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, April 30, 2009

Three Easy Steps to a Sunday Cartoon

Last Sunday's Cul de Sac made me happy, mostly because it started out as a kinda lame idea but ended up being pretty good. And , look, the colors came out pretty!
Above is the first sketch, where I had a vague idea involving Alice barging into Petey's room and annoying him with chatter. It was boring, so I gave her a puppet, which helped, but it didn't come alive until Beni joined her.
When in doubt for a big finish, introduce Dill. But I didn't know what he'd say until the very last minute. Above is the rough I sent my editor; you can see that I added the final comment outside the box. Then I moved it over to Dill's balloon, et voila.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Shakespeare's Birthday, Again

Today is Shakespeare's birthday, or maybe not, nobody knows for sure! Like nobody's sure if he wrote all that stuff, or looked like those pictures of him, or if he was really Sir Francis Bacon. Please post your competing and unfounded theories in the comments section.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Take a Poet to Lunch, Again

It's National Poetry Month, so here's something old and poetic.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Today's Poor Almanack

I've been wanting to do a cartoon about the Twitterverse ever since I heard the word, and figured it'd be something like the Blogosphere cartoon I did a year and a half ago. The plan was to end the cartoon with a link to a Twitter site that would, once you got there, provide the ultimate punchline. Well, that part didn't work, and I was so far behind when I got to drawing the final cartoon that I left out half the jokes I thought up (and they were classics, each and every one). And the cartoon goes off on a weird, pointless tangent about Twitterature, a word I made up after 120,000 people had already thought of it. A better cartoonist would've done a Twitterized version of Absalom, Absalom, but I've never read it and I'm lazy.

But what I'm left with is a stupid Twitter account with no ultimate punchline on it. Twitter seems to perfectly fit Dorothy Parker's implied definition of a fresh hell, but I figure let's keep our hells nice and fresh, so I'll try it until the banality and tedium of what I tweet becomes too starkly apparent. I read somewhere years ago that birdsong is really just a way for the bird to say, "bird here!" and all the music is just lagniappe, which can be extrapolated in humans to "Mozart here!" or "Leadbelly here!" or "Britney Spears here!" This doesn't have much to do with Twitter, but it is a little depressing.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Cul de Sac on YouTube, For Real This Time, No Kidding

Thanks to the fine folks at Ringtales and the geniuses at Jantze Studios, featuring the voice of the awesome and adorable Colette Jantze.

Talking Stick.



Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Coming Soon to a YouTube Near You

Okay, Okay, tomorrow I'll have the links up to the Ringtales Cul de Sac animations.

No, really.


For all of you who asked for it (and I mean both of you), Uh-Oh Baby T-shirts in the above style are now available in the Uh-Oh Baby store (entrance on your right). They come in various sizes, including baby and toddler. I'm of the opinion that a baby's first word should be "uh-oh", just so he or she learns early how quickly things can go south.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Deadline Enstranglement

Here's the Happy Deadline Clown, instead of the Creepy Deadline Zombie.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cherry Blossom Time, Again

Two cartoons from years past, reposted because some things never change.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

April Fools!

Kathie Kerr, the gracious human whirlwind at Universal Press, sent out this photo of the just-installed sign at the new Andrews & McMeal headquarters in Kansas City. Evidently my syndicate is now in the fast food business, which, given the state of the economy, is probably wise.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Today's Cul de Sac

This Sunday strip started out as a daily, but a sudden late-developing seismic shift turned it into Sunday, BOOM, just like that. I think it turned out OK, what with the looming Alice, but I wish I'd had time to rejigger the panels some more so the third panel was the only large one. I don't do enough panel jiggering, or fool around enough with panel shape and size and order, mostly because I'm easily confused by things like that and I don't want to drag my readers down with me. Also because the jokes in CdS, such as they are, are scattered around the strip so haphazardly that if a reader gets lost amongst the panels he or she might circle for days looking for a punchline.

And here's a bonus mystery panel from the coming Tuesday's strip, just to make things more interesting.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where I'm Going Tomorrow

My friend David Hagen, the only man I know who's met Hillary Clinton and Mr. T, has a show of his paintings up at the Century 21 Exhibit Space at 1711 Wilson Blvd in Arlington. And tomorrow there's a reception from 6 to 9! Will Hillary and Mr. T attend? Who cares? David'll be there and that's enough for me!


About five years ago I was in the parking lot of a big box store, probably Costco, and I saw the most sophisticated form of cartherding on the planet: guy driving a little electric tractor pushes a line of seeming hundreds of grocery carts gracefully across the lot. As he went by, warning lights flashing and horn beeping, everybody in the lot turned to watch, like he was an unexpected parade float. The fact that I remember this is further proof that the dial on my excitement meter only goes up to about five.

Not that Dill's goes any higher.

Monday, March 23, 2009

What I'm Reading

When I should be drawing. I'm poring over Stay Tooned, despite it's distasteful and off-putting cover (John! I'm kidding! aha-ha-ha!). It's been said that Stay Tooned is edited and published by John Read with the combined energy, charm and talent of ten men, plus two. And it's true! In this issue, I especially enjoyed meeting up again with RJ Matson, who I knew when he was living in DC in the 80s, reading Tom Richmond's excellent advice on drawing, and Benita Epstein's chicken cartoon, which makes me laugh every time I think of it. And I enjoyed everything else, once I got past that cover (and skipped pages 70 to 78; sheer boilerplate*).

I've reread the Stephan Pastis interview by Tom Heintjes six times at least. It's funny, passionate, misanthropic, inspiring and even thrilling. Makes me want to quit my job and be a syndicated cartoonist. And there are at least 800 articles I haven't even gotten to yet. I shouldn't waste so much time drawing so I can catch up on my reading. I'm still only on page 85 of Great Expectations, and I bought the book a year ago next week.

*John! I'm still kidding!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


With the kind assistance of John Heltman, Dill now has his own Facebook page. Which is more than I ever expected for him (Dill, not John).

And Cul de Sac is on Facebook too! Who knew?

Also I'd forgotten this; Dill's last name is Wedekind, which seems like a really cheap joke. But I can't speak for his parents' sense of humor.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Again

Here's one from '04, which as you can see is pretty similar to the one below.