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HarperCollins to Publish Post-'Far Side' Larson
Judy Quinn -- 8/25/97
Andrews McMeel Publishing must not be too pleased that it didn't get dibs on There's A Hair in My Dirt, an original hardcover tale to be written by Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson. Instead, the book went to HarperCollins senior editor Mauro DiPreta, who told PW that he sought out Larson via his company, FarWorks Inc. in Seattle, soon after Larson retired his strip in 1995. "Mauro had approached Gary about a science book, but Gary had had this other idea for a long time," said FarWorks spokesperson Page Finn. "He had talked to Andrews McMeel about it over the years, but the timing was never right. They were focusing on the cartoon books, which is their forte." The book will be released on April 22, Earth Day 1998. DiPreta is expecting that pent-up demand for new Larson material could lead to sales of 250,000-300,000. Andrews McMeel Publishing president Tom Thorton wouldn't comment on the move, but he has pretty big consolation: the house has published 22 books with Larson, to the tune of 31 million copies in sales. And Larson has just wrapped up a Far Side animated feature, which no doubt will boost that ever-strong Far Side backlist.

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