Is The Far Side an influence in your work? Darby Conley(he draws "Get Fuzzy," remember?) said in a collection of his, "There are two cartoonists today: those who got their start by ripping off The Far Side and those who still rip off The Far Side but won't admit it."
And he's right...probably a lot of people who draw cartoons today have a strong desire to emulate The Far Side, but I think that's a mistake. No single-panel strip will ever succeed again. You think I'm exaggerating, but I'm right. At least not in this generation. When people think of single-panel strips these days they think of The Far Side and expect whatever they're looking at to be just as funny. If it's not they hate it. If it is, they think it's ripping off The Far Side and they hate it. This is why I'm glad my imagination is too huge for one drawing a day.
Anyway, I think Conley was too harsh(despite how harsh I just was up there). No idea comes from nowhere; everybody is affected by influences. You ask anybody with a hit idea where he/she got it, and they'll say it just came into their heads, but that's because you asked the wrong question. Ask "What are the biggest influences in your career?" and you'll get the right answers.
I have many influences but The Far Side is not one of them...I'm probably the only cartoon writer who can say this. The thing is, it's impossible for this strip to be my influence because when I was a kid, I wasn't allowed to read it. My mom said it "wasn't nice." I looked at some Far Side books recently, and I have no idea what she was talking about.
Anyway, if you wonder what I've really looked up to, here's a list of the top 10 greatest influences in my humorist career, listed in order of importance. No, you probably haven't heard of some of these people, but snoop around the site enough and you'll find their names:

1. Chris Lundgren
2. Berke Breathed
3. The "Tiny Toons" writing crew
4. Louis Sachar
5. Carl Barks
6. Dave Barry
7. Bill Watterson
8. Matt Groening
9. Jim Davis
10. Tina Fey

And there you have it.

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