Gary Larson, creator of the award-winning comic panel, The Far Side, will take a 14-month "creative hiatus" beginning Oct. 30, Universal Press Syndicate has announced.

Larson, whose comic panel appears in more than 800 newspapers and in books that rank on the nation's bestseller lists, will return Jan. 1, 1990, said Universal Press Syndicate President John P. McMeel.But McMeel said that during the hiatus, Universal Press Syndicate will make available selections from Larson's earlier material.

Of the 3,000 comic panels Larson has created, nearly 1,000 have been viewed by relatively few newspaper readers, he said. Before 1982, fewer than 30 newspapers carried The Far Side, said McMeel.

"What is unique about the comics that Larson created during that time is their revolutionary brilliance - the extraordinary humor that helped Larson change the world of comic humor."

McMeel pointed to the consistency of Larson's work, the uniqueness of his humor and the demands on his talent and time.

"For nine years, Larson has helped revolutionize comic humor - but even revolutionaries need to refuel," he said.

"I'm sure every one of his fans will agree that Gary Larson deserves a vacation."