The blog of Richard Thompson, caricaturist, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My Second-Favorite Drawing

The above drawing is 15 years old this week. Or last week, I forget. It's the first piece I did for Chris Curry at the New Yorker; she needed a quick drawing of Ross Perot for the last page, quick being it needed to be fedexed for the next day. I did five quick roughs, none bigger than your hand , faxed them, and she said, "This one's good. Don't do a final, just sign it and send it." I wish all my roughs turned out so well. I've tried to hit that sweet spot again, where every loose line fell into place just perfectly and, you know, the looser the better. But it's been all downhill since.

Maybe it just demands a gargoyle-in-embryo face like Ross Perot's to hit that spot again. Whatever happened to him, anyway?


Jim Borgman said...

I think someone should blow a whistle about midway through our day, collect our work and send us home. Don't you think our stuff would be so much fresher that way?

richardcthompson said...

Yes, they'd say, "All done! All done!" and gently remove whatever we were working on while we groped numbly at it and whined a little.

Then we could spend the rest of the day at a bar dancing with our shoes off. Life would be so much simpler.

Jim Borgman said...

So on a drawing like this, are you using that damnable Imperial nib? I would have guessed some sort of fountain pen. And where do the big thick lines come from? Sorry, I'm still learning this pen thing.

richardcthompson said...

Back then I was using a Hunt #512 Bowl-Pointed, which has a pretty fine & somewhat unvarying line, on Beinfang Ad Art paper, which was transluscent, took ink beautifully, and is no longer made, dammit. The thicker lines were happy random chance. There was a little blob of white-out on the mouth that I drew over.

I remember all this even though I sold the drawing about 12 years ago for a decent amount, but I kinda wish I hadn't. It was used as a Texas Monthly cover, too, and it was the closest I've ever been to my ultimate scheme to do just one really good drawing every year, then live off the residuals.

I've got a coupla thousand questions about brushes, and digital coloring, too. Maybe I'd better email 'em to you.

john said...

I still have that tear sheet Richard,
Is that thing worth any dough?
'Can't believe i had to wait fifteen years for the pen nib and paper info.
And God bless Miss Curry for stopping you when she did.
Now- where's that swimming Bill Clinton?

j cuneo

richardcthompson said...

I've got a tear sheet of a guy up in a tree that I'm sure was the first work of yours I saw. Which was the swimming Clinton? I don't remember it.

john said...

It was a black and white drawing and had Prez Clinton swimming- paddling along the surface, from the side, maybe with some of his face under water. For the New York Times i think.
Oh, it was lovely...