WE GOT YOUR SIGNED COPIES OF the art of richard thompson right here, next to these copies of the complete cul de sac!

Richard Thompson, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, has graciously offered to sign copies of this beautiful book when you place your order through One More Page. Because cartoonists, like banjo players, are lovable but unpredictable, we can't guarantee a delivery time. We thank you in advance for your support, and your patience. You can click here or call us at 703-300-97p46 to be among the select and stand up for America by purchasing a signed copy of The Art of Richard Thompson!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Nursery Rhyme Comics

Coming to a bookstore near you on October 11 courtesy of the fine folks at First Second- Nursery Rhyme Comics, edited by the unstoppable force known to his friends as Chris Duffy. Chris is as close to the platonic ideal of a comics editor as it's possible to be (he knows how to get really good work out of people and he's forgiving about missed deadlines, and he's a nice guy; also, he's a talented cartoonist himself, which makes me worry a little).

Using his editorial superpowers Chris got 50 cartoonists to illustrate 50 nursery rhymes, people like Nick Abadzis; Andrew Arnold; Kate Beaton; Vera Brosgol; Nick Bruel; Scott Campbell; Lilli Carre; Roz Chast; JP Coovert; Jordan Crane; Rebecca Dart; Eleanor Davis; Vanessa Davis; Theo Ellsworth; Matt Forsythe; Jules Feiffer; Bob Flynn; Alexis Frederick-Frost; Ben Hatke; Gilbert Hernandez; Jaime Hernandez; Lucy Knisley; David Macaulay; Mark Martin; Patrick McDonnell; Mike Mignola; Tony Millionaire; Tao Nyeu; George O’Connor; Mo Oh; Eric Orchard; Laura Park; Cyril Pedrosa; Lark Pien; Aaron Renier; Dave Roman; Marc Rosenthal; Stan Sakai; Richard Sala; Mark Siegel; James Sturm; Raina Telgemeier; Craig Thompson; Richard Thompson; Sara Varon; Jen Wang; Drew Weing; Gahan Wilson; Gene Luen Yang; & Stephanie Yue. I'm grateful to be among them.


I got to do "There was an old woman tossed up in a basket..."
There was an old woman tossed up in a basket
Nineteen times as high as the moon;
Where she was going I couldn't but ask it,
For in her hand she carried a broom.
"Old woman, old woman, old woman," quoth I,
"O whither, O whither, O whither, so high?"
"To brush the cobwebs off the sky!"
"Shall I go with thee?" "Aye, by and by."
Here's a sneak preview, with slightly variant text-
Ooh! I'm going to rush out and buy that at a bookstore near me!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

National Book Festival

This weekend for two days only the Library of Congress presents the National Book Festival, on the National Mall. Hundreds of authors like Dave Eggers, Tomie dePaola, Rita Dove, Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Yardley and David McCullough will grace the dust-choked midway to demonstrate literary folkways and handicrafts. There'll be out-loud reading, grammar juggling, artisanal autographing and writer's block judging. And I'll be there-

Presentation

  • Graphic Novels
    Sunday, September 25
    1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Book Signing

  • Sunday, September 25
    2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
 So come on down for two whole days of literary fun 'n' games!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Last Week's Cul de Sacs, September 5 to 11, 2011

This is all old news, but Oh Well; The Pancake Princess as seen by Peter Otterloop, Jr.
I'd drawn myself into a corner with the preschool play as I had no clue about it beyond the title and suddenly it was curtain  time. There's a whole genre of plays written solely for kids to perform as school plays and I've seen enough of them to've developed a severe facial tick. So I knew what to expect. But I needed what Petey might call a distancing mechanism to disguise my ignorance of the actual plot; in this case, Petey's POV was a great disguise. A technical note: the texture in Sofie's hat is a litho crayon, which I can't use without making a mess. Petey's neater than me.
A few alert readers pointed out the Kevin Bacon joke.  It was entirely accidental but I take full credit for it.
Miss Bliss's music cur look is my favorite thing from this week (apart from the Kevin Bacon joke).
Also the third panel, which refers to a strip from July 26. This rewards alert readers and flummoxes everybody else (great way to run a comic strip).
The happy ending.
The meta ending.
And the completely unrelated Sunday. Coming next: Adventures in a Perambulator.

Friday, September 9, 2011

SPX

I sure hope every one of you is going to the Small Press Expo this weekend in Bethesda MD (even if it is more like South Rockville). I mean, look at this line up-

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Petey Sits In, or, Most Of This Week's Cul de Sac

And not in a small chair, fortunately. The dream of all who draw a daily comic strip is to have somebody else please take it off their hands for as long as humanly possible.


Happily, Petey became available at just the right moment. We were on an abbreviated vacation in Duck NC when some of these strips were drawn, which means I didn't have any of the elaborate technical apparatus normally available when I work. I've grown reliant on a lightbox, a tilty art table, 5,000 pens, a stereo, 3,000 CDs, a messy floor, etc, and downsizing to a dining room table in a beach house that also has a nice & distracting view is difficult. So I let Petey do the drawing for a week of so.

I've been making this stuff up as I go along, more or less from week to week, with only a vague idea of what happens next. It took me a while to realize that Emilio Spinnerack's assignment to draw a comic from real life would mesh nicely with Alice's play, which I hadn't really thought through. All I knew was that the play should be incoherent, as though each player was the author and star. So I get to kill two birds with one stone, or fill two weeks with one joke. Regarding Monday's strip, I don't like drawing in public much either.
Drawing in a "child-like" style is tremendously fun in many ways. I've thought about shifting Cul de Sac's art more toward a style I'd call Little Kid Expressionism for a while. By Little Kid Expressionism I mean the characters' anatomy would be clumsified, the perspective would tilt, adults would loom larger, etc and the whole thing would be easier to draw. I can see this but I can't describe it. So this is a way of sneaking up on it a bit. And if anyone complains I can blame it on Petey.

Though I do worry about the lettering being legible. I'd used Petey's handwriting a few times so it seemed a good idea to keep it going for continuity's sake. Petey is at heart a perverse traditionalist, especially fond if unnecessary traditions, and I figured he'd like cursive, probably fancy Spencerian lettering, just for its difficulty. It makes a nicely absurd mismatch with the art too.
(I forgot to include the above strip in the original post) All I can add is that drawing a ceiling always a good move.
A cameo by Kevin's dad and mayne his mom.I'm guessing the whole Kevin family is annoyinng.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Onion's A.V. Club Newspaper Comics Primer

Noel Murray writes a good, easily-digestible primer of America's Most Beloved Art Form That's About to Evaporate. And somehow uses the words "grace" and "dignity" in a paragraph about Cul de Sac.