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

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Today's Cul de Sac, August 12 2010

I might've mentioned before that one of the things I don't like to draw, along with crowds and horse's back legs, is a car interior. Every time I write a strip with a car full of people talking I kick myself. Something about the perspective and having to squeeze all the people into it. And all the seats, headrests, seatbelts, etc, and if Alice is in it there's got to be a kid's carseat  And then I've got to somehow find room for all those words with the jokes and stuff. When I first sketched out the above strip it had a few panels with an intricate shot of the van's interior and the kids in 3/4 perspective. Then I realized I'd have to ink the damn thing, erased it and then rewrote it to redistribute the lines so I could draw the whole thing from the side, left to right. 

On the other hand I really enjoy drawing cars from the outside, as long as they're my kind of cars; lumpy things on wheels that are somehow capable of forward movement. And putting a couple of heads in the windows is no problem. Here's the first drawing I did of the Otterloop's van, from the first Cul de Sac strip that ran in the Post Magazine on February 8, 2004.

There might've been a few minor changes over the past six years. Alice, for example, doesn't wear that blue dress so much any more. But looking at it now I'm pretty happy with the van, especially the wheels and the teeny cloud of exhaust. And look at how many people I've crammed into the windows!


the cheese guy said...

I hope we can keep the feather in her hat.
Thank you for the insight.

Bill's Big Bamboo said...

I like the new format for the blog; giving us readers a closer look at all the preperation involved in producing the daily strip.

And here I thought it took about 15-30 minutes to write & draw, with the rest of the day spent on your boat with swimsuit models.

Who knew ??

Mike said...

You don't comment on Andre today, but I was very impressed by the fact that he's an utter and preposterous liar. Every childhood includes at least one of those.

Hinzi said...

I think it’s worth the effort and frustration drawing people in cars. They look almost as ridiculous as people on cellphones. It’s the essence of modern life as we know it.

Please keep doing it!

Chris said...

I love Alice's "FOR REAL?" comment. The fact that all the kids in the strip have vocabulary and insight far beyond their years is a great device, but it's really endearing to hear them occasionally talk just the way real kids their age would. It keeps the characters from becoming too adult-like.

exeyevee said...

I love that you can click on the panel and see a gorgeous hi-res version. Richard, here's the incentive for keeping up with the daily insights: keep it up for a year and voila! you have a rough draft for a brand new Cul de Sac Treasury, chock full of terrific commentary. I'd buy it even though I'd already read it all on the blog.

Tom Dell'Aringa said...

I love that outer van drawing, especially the people in the middle window of the van. It's awesome.


I CANNOT draw cars at I give illusions of it with just s steering wheel...a cop out I KNow..but , HEY! I got more important things to do, ya know! HAHAH