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Somebody explain today's "Far Side: Last Impressions" to me! (1 Viewer)

Jay H

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It's a picture of some kind of mechanical motorized elephant on the shoulder of a road with a caveman guy staring in wonder while the mechanical elephant is seen smoking and billowing black smoke. Meanwhile a stream of cars go by on the road. the caption reads:
Tantor burns up on I-90
After looking up on Google, apparently, Tantor is the name of an elephant that Tarzan saves and befriends from a bunch of warriors trying to capture it. {ref: see a: EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS b:Jungle Tales of Tarzan}
However, is there some reference somewhere as to if Tantor is some mechanical elephant??? I'm kind of perplexed at this obscure Far Side panel today.
Jay
 

Andrew Chong

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hahahahahaha (i think) :D .
Isn't it just Gary Larson's usual whacky artistic licence at work here? Maybe Larson thought seeing a caveman using the only thing he could relate to, an elephant, as his 'automobile' was funny because of the juxtaposition of the ice age and the industrial revolution.
 

Jay H

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I was thinking of that too, but then it seemed odd to make a reference to an obscure name for an elephant. Perhaps "babar" is/was copyrighted? So I looked it up on Google.
I wonder if he has roadside assistance and a big enough towtruck :)
Jay
 

Keith Mickunas

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Its really quite simple. Tarzan was riding his elephant on I-90, it caught fire, so he pulled over and the elephant continued to burn until nothing much was left. It can happen to any motorist.

Honestly, I don't think there's anything to it. Tarzan traveled around on an elephant and we use cars. Larson combined the two, that's all. Now can someone explain how a small knife in the back can kill a rhino, and furthermore how did the murdered hide the rhino in the closet?
 

Jay H

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yeah, but what does the mechanized part have to do with it? Was Tarzan's elephant mechanized in the stories? I think it would make more sense if he made it more generic, like a caveman riding a modern elephant. Makes one think that it has something to do with Tarzan (other than the fact that tarzan I guess rode an elephant at some time of his lifetime)

I think Andrew has got something in that it looks to me like an evolution of the elephant to the jungler person, as the car is to the modern man.

As far as the Rhino in the closet one, perhaps it is just the off-the-wall idea of a rhino in the closet being a prime suspect. As if a real rhino is going to be in the closet hiding from the cops!

Jay
 

Keith Mickunas

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Well why would a living elephant catch on fire? That wouldn't make sense at all. Only if the elephant had an engine inside him could he catch on fire.

A rhino hiding in the closet isn't the problem, but the fact that he was stabbed in the back makes the situation more difficult. You see, the closet isn't that big, there's no way someone could have gotten into the closet with the rhino, stabbed him in the back, then gotten out. It would have been quite simple for the rhino to squish the person in self defense. Clearly the murderer sneaked up behind the rhino, stabbed him in the back, then hid him in the closet. But even that seems difficult. There's quite a mystery there.
 

Jay H

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But since when did Tarzan ride a mechanical elephant? A modern day Tarzan, perhaps, would ride a mechanical elephant but that surely that wouldn't be limited to just Tarzan. Larson could of drawn say an elephant with a huge thorn in it's foot or some other elephant malady...
I think the hanger (a snake in disguise) killed the Rhino, you can see a hanger in the closet with the rhino sprawled on the floor with a knife in it's back in the panel. :)
Jay
 

Bill Buklis

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I don't think the Rhino was killed in the closet. It's more likely that he was killed elsewhere and the body stuffed into the closet to delay discovery. From the panel it's clear that this isn't the first murder.

As for how you could be strong enough to stuff the rhino in the closet? Perhaps it was Tantor before he burned up on I-90 trying to make his getaway.
 

Kevin P

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The rhino one reminds me of another Far Side, where a bunch of penguins are huddled around a dead penguin, and the penguin cops/detectives are saying to one another something like "Yep, beaked in the back. You know this won't be an easy case to solve". The thought of one penguin "beaking" another to kill it just cracks me up! :laugh:
Or the bird detective spotting bird tracks outside a bird victim's window, and saying "Aha! The suspect's tracks! Of course, we all leave tracks like this!"
KJP
 

Jack Briggs

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"Cheetah Wheelies" was my all-time favorite Far Side.

Has Larson ever said anything about bringing the series back?
 

Chris Derby

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From the material included with this years calendar, I think he makes it pretty clear that not only will this be the last Far Side calendar, it is the end of the series for good... period.. Sad to see it go, but the man probably wants to relax a little.
 

Duane Robinson

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I love Gary Larson's stuff. In high school I had all those huge compilation books of his panels. I really need to go search in the garage and try to find them and give myself a good laugh.
 

Graeme Clark

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These are still all old cartoons on these calanders aren't they? I don't recall any of the ones mentioned.

Anyway, I think you're thinking way too hard about the Tantor one.
 

Brian Kleinke

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Its Far Side... sometimes it makes sense... sometimes it doesn't :) Just for the record.. I was wondering about that one as well. But over all I give Far Side a big :emoji_thumbsup:
Brian
 

Julian Reville

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The Far Side was great; sooner or later EVERYONE finds something they can relate to. Being a small-animal veterinarian, my favorite was the parody of "The Horse Hospital". Every sick or injured horse got the same treatment: BAM!!

Of course, you had to be there....
 

Ashley Seymour

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Haven't seen the cartoon but from the description it is classic Gary Larson. The cave man is his symbol for representing an old idea, or something in the early development stages. The mechanical aspect of the elephant probably represents the early mechanical devices, probably steam driven that were prone to frequent breakdowns. The elephant represents an animal contemporary with the cavemen, and not a horse. The elephant was also the largest animal in the wild with the cavemen and another symbol for his representation of this powerful beast.

Engines are rated in horsepower to equate them with the beast of burden status that the horse enjoyed/was relatated to. I wonder what one elephant power is in terms of horsepower?

And then of course Gary speculating on early inventions where the inventor had the right idea but got it just a little bit off.
 

Kevin M

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Was this from a calendar or does your local paper still publish old Far Side panels?
 

Jay H

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What Graeme said, I think these are a collection of old panels, as I recognize a couple of these before. Mind you, I only have a couple of Larson collections and not every book he published. I have gotten the calendar almost every year for the past 4 years though.
I like today's one with the shark yelling at the beach goers : Bear! Bear! as all of them are running into the water.. :laugh:
Jay
 

Keith Mickunas

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Ashley, you're putting way too much thought into this. The idea is what kind of problems would Tarzan encounter if he had to commute to work each day. There's nothing to analyze.

According to the box, this is the end. How sad. What's strange is there's a number of comics in it that I don't remember seeing before, and I thought I've seen them all. One of my favorites in there recently is the two ducks working together against Margaret, one at the bottom of the stairs to keep her attention, the other giving her a nudge down the stairs.
 

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