Cul de Sac is now eight years old, having launched in the Washington Post Magazine in its 2004 Valentine's Day issue. Above is the first sketch and the drawing used on the Post Mag cover the week it debuted. Originally it was going to be on the plastic bag holding the paper too, but that didn't happen. Which is a relief, as it might've scared away Post readers and depressed sales.
This proto-Alice is a little weirder looking than the more recent model. But I like the sketch a lot, and I wish I could draw the strips so loosely. Drawing things in little boxes cramps looseness and forces the lines to behave and stay in place. Especially when they have to share the available space with words which, for reasons of coherence, get more elbow room and the choice spot in each panel.