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

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Another Kite-Eating Tree

Here's the rough and the final for today's strip. It's always more fun to do a larger and more intricate drawing than a strip with lots of talking and stage business, the trick is in finding a good enough gag to make it work. This one seems to. Cartoon trees are enjoyable to draw, as Dr. Seuss or George Herriman would tell you. And kite-eating trees are doubly so, as Charles Schulz would tell you. The hard part in this was making it look like it was full of kites and not just a random mass of triangles. The rough held together pretty well (this is the one I sent to my syndicate editor, the gentleman & scholar Greg Melvin), so I tried to follow the structure in the final too.
It did get a little fussy in the final, the little slope in front is clearer in the rough, but I think it still reads as a mass of kites in a tree. The only thing it needs now is color, which is done at the syndicate by Melissa Mallory. The final version that appears in a newspaper near you (I hope) can be seen at GoComics.

I have an idea for a tree in Grandma's back yard that's a balloon magnet, that's full of little colorful shreds of rubber. I'd thought of it a while ago and I still don't know what to do with it. But after seeing a couple of balloons stuck in a neighborhood tree and finally seeing Up last night, it's sticking in my head. I don't know, it sounds too hard to draw.


the cheese guy said...

I really loved how you used all of the panels for the tree. this is a great visual masterpiece.

Jesse C said...

I loved this one! And what did you think of Up?

richardcthompson said...

Thanks, Cheese!

Jesse, I liked it a lot. I choked up during the backstory (like everyone did) and my daughter, sitting next to me, gave me a hug. Awwwwwww. I don't know if it's Pixar's best; each is so different and so very good they're hard to compare. We also saw Ponyo for the first time. Again, I don't know if it's Miyazaki's best, etc. It was one of his strangest. My favorite of his is Spirited Away. His depictions of children always just charm the pants off me, ever since I saw Totoro back when it was released here.

Jesse C said...

Pixar really has the golden touch these days, don't they? They continue to exceed my expectations. I also really enjoyed Ponyo.

Another good one was Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. It was pretty darn funny and had nice cartoony animation. If you haven't seen it, its definitely worth renting or netflixing (that's gotta be a verb by now, right?)