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

Showing posts with label somebody's got time on his hands. Show all posts
Showing posts with label somebody's got time on his hands. Show all posts

Thursday, April 26, 2012


This is a clip job of previous posts and is meant to shed some light on a character who is a little hard to explain.

Below is the first appearance of Ernesto Lacuna, in the Post Magazine. I brought the stranger-than-Petey little boy back a few times, and I gave him the strange attribute that Petey thinks he may be imaginary. His name is a reference to Lacuna, a gap or missing section in a manuscript, text or piece of music, and an obscure musical pun on the name of Cuban composer Ernesto Lacuona (boy, this gets a laff every time, but you'll recognize this). You'll notice he plays the oboe and Petey's got a trombone; this was later reversed. Please excuse the awkward formatting.

Ernesto is one of my favorite characters to write for. He's something of a Bond villain in embryo, as is evident from his remark below about the extinct volcano, and he's enigmatic enough that I can write dialog that doesn't always make sense as long as it's vaguely threatening.

But Ernesto's also unimpressive enough that he's hard to take seriously. He's based on several kids I knew who wanted to grow up in a hurry under the mistaken impression that adults have all the power. Ernesto belongs to a group called Future Adults of America whose purpose is to gradually take over the world so that they'll be running it by the time they're in their forties, and he keeps trying to get Petey to attend FAA meetings. Which, from Ernesto's description, is mostly an excuse to issue position papers and to eat doughnuts. Disliking organized activities and food with holes in it, Petey has declined so far. Maybe he should go sometime, as it'd be fun to draw. This is the kind of idea I love, as I can revisit it, explore it further and get a lot out of it. And nothing's better than that when you're dealing with a daily strip.

During the Summer months, Ernesto barricades himself in a carrel fort in a remote corner of the library. This Sunday strip above is the remnant of a string of dailies featuring one of Ernesto's periodic decline-and-falls. This time he was caught by the Future Adults of America appropriating a box of doughnuts meant for fund-raising and subsequently kicked out. I think he started a competing group but I forget what it was called.

Ernesto's actuality is best left unexamined, I think.
Maybe he's a wormholian who can slide between realities (I knew kids like this).
Or maybe he's a projection of the zeitgeist. Whatever, he's good for laffs when used sparingly. Some readers find him annoying, though he was a favorite of one of my best editors. Below is my favorite Ernesto appearance (available in the first CdS book or in the Golden Treasury).