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

Friday, July 18, 2014

Small things

Here's another teaser quote from that impatiently-awaited, incipient best-seller the Art of Whosis (as  seen on TV!*), But this time I include some actual text, taken from an actual PDF of the actual book, to sweeten the deal! Once again the part of "BW" is played by Bill Watterson while I assay the rĂ´ll of "RT" (we did funny accents),

This is what I was trying to get at in the previous post about the specific vs. the general. A comic strip is the ideal medium to bear small ideas (no jokes, please), especially one with little kids in it. I'll show you; here's a strip from the Post Magazine that's not in the Complete Cul de Sac because I forgot about it, even though it's one of my favorites; I gave it to my brother for Christmas. He kindly lent it back for use in the Art book. 

That's taken from a true, well I hate to call it a "story"; it's barely an anecdote. But both of us remembered it, that one inch gap between iron and shirt that made the animatronic maid's efforts so stupidly poignant. Woodie's windows were an important part of Christmastime for us as it was for many in the DC area, so I knew this would resonate back when CdS was a local strip.

Here's perhaps the height, or nadir, of smallness. For a week Dill followed that bug. You can't get much punier. Yet in  the last year of CdS, I tried some microscopic gags, all to make producing  the strip easier.

This is a rough for Stacy Curtis to ink. A week of repeating the same scene led to this-

In short, the constant search for Ways to Do Things Faster, the Shortcuts to Fill the Page, make smallness ideal.  Look at one of my favorites-

There's so little movement in it that I used the same rough for 8 panels! Alice is the only movement, and she's just fidgeting around. And the smallness is carried through the dialog; casual chitchat that goes nowhere. I'm almost embarrassed to've constructed a whole strip around this.

But that's my other point; that a comic can be made up out  of the mist desultory, small, nothing  banter imaginable and successfully present a legitimate funny, universal idea. And there's a chance you'll make your deadline.



Shena said...

*raises eyebrow at the deadline comment*

elfinelvin said...

I've seen all this before and it still cracks me up. Small is beautiful! I'll be reading this strip till I can't read anymore.

richardcthompson said...

We're in the rerun business.

elfinelvin said...

There's always the books!

John Glynn said...

That gravel comment was groundbreaking.