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

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Today's Cul de Sac, September 23 2010 and Yesterday's Cul de Sac, September 22 2010

These two strips belong together so I thought I'd post them together, and also I didn't get around to posting yesterday. The whole point of Big Shirley is to be large and implacably unthreatening. She's hard to draw too, as she keeps turning into a cat or a pig or a hedgehog if I get too enthusiastic with the pen. 
And please note that I drew her twice; no photoshopping a panel in from a previous strip. That's something I'd never do unless it was really, really convenient. Although I did have trouble drawing that first Big Shirley. I put her in deep shade and the whole panel became an amorphous blob of crosshatching. 

The lesson here is: next time Grandma gets a canary.


Deidre said...

Wait, you can draw amazing caricatures of humans - perfectly balancing exaggeration and pathos - but you can't draw dogs - exaggeration and pathos on four legs. Now, cats, they're the difficult ones.

Deidre said...

OK, I retract. I just read the Dog Days cartoon.

paul bowman said...

Wondered sometimes what real-life dog experiences might be behind Big Shirley, thinking to myself you must've had a reason for going with a dog who seems hard to keep very dog-looking. — But with these recent strips she started to make sense to me. Not sure why. ... Maybe, for one thing, I start to appreciate the perfect contrast between a pale, skinny, diminutive granma with large fleshy features and this lump of black animal with kind of german-shepherd-handsome features. — Anyway, thank you for addressing an issue I've worried about probably more than pleasant comic strip reading entirely demanded.

Barbara Hanson said...

Big Shirley is one of my favorite characters. I remember when she tried to return a toy (?) to Alice, and I actually welled up. The look in Big Shirley's eyes was so sad, yet hopeful. I'd love to see the relationship between them change, Alice become Big Shirley's champion...and perhaps ride atop her in the next Fourth of July parade.