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

Saturday, May 23, 2009


My sincere congratulations to Lio for winning the comic strip division Reuben, with some help from Mark Tatulli. Who now owes me ten bucks.
And congratulations to all the other winners, like Mr. Dave Coverly, who won the big shiny ugly statue. I can only hope he has an appropriately ugly sofa to complement his Reuben.

The Reuben Weekend, Day 2

While other, lazier, cartoonists are lolling around an imaginary city, I'm using my time to work on the cover of the second Cul de Sac collection, a chunk of which is shown above. This kind of work ethic is one of the many benefits of being an anhedonic stick-in-the-mud.

My profound thanks to Jennifer Hart, Arlington, for her kind and thoughtful good luck cartoon-by-mail. It cleared up my anhedonia nicely.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Reuben Weekend

As you're no doubt aware, this weekend is the 63rd annual convention of the National Cartoonists Society, the highlight of which is the Reuben Awards on Saturday night. This year it's in Los Angeles, specifically in Hollywood, and, though I'm up for a comic strip division award, I'll be missing it this year because I know Los Angeles is imaginary. It's being held in the Los Angeles Renaissance Hotel, part of the Hollywood & Highland Center which is styled after the Babylon set from DW Griffiths' silent classic "Intolerance".

Yikes, what a spread, huh? The entire population of the middle tier is a squadron of dancing bellhops. Those of you with sharp eyes will note Stephan Pastis and Mark Tatulli on the upper balcony defacing a decorative elephant with tasteless cartoons, with John Glynn (in the hat) urging them on. It's all further proof that LA is imaginary.

Above is a photo of an actual Reuben Award, as designed by Rube Goldberg (it looks like it comes with a set of dinner plates, too). Originally it was to be a lamp, but it was converted into a trophy. Kind of a pity because it'd be a great lamp, especially if there was one on either side of a very ugly sofa. I'm not up for one of these, which is also a pity as I own a somewhat ugly sofa. The division awards come in plaque form, and I'm up against Mark Tatulli's Lio and Stephan Pastis' Pearls Before Swine. So really, I don't have a chance. But I do have a certificate.

My friend Mike Lynch, cartoonist extraordinaire and NCS national rep, sent me this. And you'll notice that the space provided for the division has been left blank, which leaves me free to invent my own. I'm thinking "Neatness" or "Choreography". To enter the comic strip divisional award, you're required to submit a dozen samples. Below are a few of the strips I sent. 

Though I'm missing the actual event, I intend to cover it extensively and to that end I'll be live blogging it, with constant updates here and on my Twitter feed (which I've barely touched otherwise). And on Facebook, too. I think I can bring a fresh and dispassionate perspective to this Reubens thing from 2,000 miles away.


Here's an exclusive first look at an upcoming Sunday strip, featuring a first-ever look at the back of Blisshaven Preschool. Please note the fully-appointed toy shed, as well as the blacktop, which is likely so covered in chalk that the original asphalt doesn't show through. Also visible is the entire student body attempting to escape, who knows why?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pop Pop Synchronicity

I'm pleased and proud that today's Cul de Sac is in pop pop lawnmower synchronicity with today's The Doozies, which is drawn by the redoubtable Tom Gammill. Such cosmic coincidences just confirm my faith in the million monkey approach to writing Shakespeare.

I don't think I had a pop pop lawnmower when I was a kid, but my brother did. Sensibly enough, he called it a bop bop wubong.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Special

Above is an Almanac from 9 or 10 years ago, and below is the one from yesterday. I don't want to point fingers, but it looks like somebody's cartoon skills are going a wee bit downhill.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

A Very Happy Cartoonist Day

You may be wondering, "How can I best celebrate this festive day?" You might consider:
  • Finding a cartoonist near you and mowing his lawn, at least the front lawn (especially the hard part with the hill).
  • While you're at it trim his shrubs, so the mailman can find his front door again.
  • Does his house need vacuuming? Well, what are you waiting for?
  • Who left all these dishes in the sink?
  • The cats; somebody feed the cats.
  • You could take him to lunch at the Mexican place down the street, where they're having some no doubt cartoonist-related celebration.
  • For God's sake laugh at his cartoons. If they appear in a newspaper, buy extra copies (or multiple subscriptions, even) and laugh at them too. 
Note: if the cartoonist near you is a lady, please substitute "her" for "his". The original of the cartoon reproduced above is in the collection of the fabulous Mr. Jef Mallett, so this is a scan of the Almanac book page. And it's the same one I ran last year, if it looks familiar.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

For Free Comic Book Day: Today's Poor Almanack, Plus Some Old Ones

Here's today's Poor Almanack. those below are from the last few years.

The Mangaloid Wars one still cracks me up. The rest less so.

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