August 14, 1950 |
Tacoma, Washington, U.S.
|Notable works||The Far Side|
Humans have changed ecosystems more rapidly and extensively than in any comparable period of time in human history, largely to meet rapidly growing demands for food, fresh water, timber, fiber and fuel. This has resulted in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth.
I keep thinking someone's gonna show up and say, 'There's been a big mistake. The guy next door is supposed to be drawing the cartoon. Here's your shovel.'
The Bluebird of Happiness long absent from his life, Ned is visited by the Chicken of Depression.
I think I'm maintaining the quality, but internally I'm paying for it.
A long time ago, I became aware that many of us have a tendency to lump nature into simplistic categories, such as what we consider beautiful or ugly, important or unimportant. As human a thing as that is to do, I think it often leads us to misunderstand the respective roles of life forms and their interconnectedness.
Every week when my batch of weekly cartoons would go to FedEx, it felt like a small miracle. Then in a few days, it's 'Here we go again.'
On Career Day in high school, you don't walk around looking for the cartoon guy.
I think one thing that's important to maintain is a sense of fear, always doubting yourself… a good dose of insecurity helps your work in some ways.
I just get silly inside my head and I start to think about something and in my head I start twisting it around, contorting it and envisioning it in different ways.
Cartooning was a good fit for me. And yet now, years later, I almost never think about it.
People try to look for deep meanings in my work. I want to say, 'They're just cartoons, folks. You laugh or you don't.' Gee, I sound shallow. But I don't react to current events or other stimuli. I don't read or watch TV to get ideas. My work is basically sitting down at the drawing table and getting silly.
The daily calendar seemed, to me, like a kind of cartoon black hole, and you didn't have to be a rocket scientist to know that that couldn't be sustained indefinitely. That's why I pulled the plug on that one after the '02 edition. Kind of a preemptive strike.
This was more than just a cow – this was an entire career I was looking at.
You know those little snow globes that you shake up? I always thought my brain was sort of like that. You know, where you just give it a shake and watch what comes out and shake it again. It's like that.
The message is not so much that the worms will inherit the Earth, but that all things play a role in nature, even the lowly worm.
My future plans are hazy, and I've yet to experience how much cartooning is in my blood and therefore how much I'll miss it. But I have some other interests, especially in music, and I will probably take the opportunity to delve into those things more deeply.