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, August 31, 2012

Everybody Go To Baltimore Next Weekend

Baltimore Comic-Con
Saturday Sept. 8
Room 302-303

11:00-12:00 - Team Cul de Sac

When Richard Thompson, the creator of the comic strip Cul de Sac, was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, his friend Chris Sparks began a fundraising effort to honor his friend. With Richard's support, he asked others to donate artwork featuring the Cul de Sac characters for a Team Cul de Sac book with proceeds going to The Michael J. Fox Foundation For Parkinson's Research. Now, join Chris Sparks and other members of Team Cul de Sac including Steve Conley, Matt Dembicki, SL Gallant, Roger Landgridge, Michael Cavna and others as they discuss the book, Richard Thompson's work, and their continuing efforts to raise funds in Richard's name."

Then you can all head out for crabs and beer, or perhaps a Scooch.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Another Thing About Me

R.C.Harvey explains it better than I can in his column at the Comics Journal. Please note bonus comment from my old friend Dan Steffan. Caricature by RCHarvey.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


I told Mike Peterson that I feel like Tom Sawyer must have felt when he attended his own funeral. A large dose of compliments can turn your head and right now mine's spinning.. We're currently in Duck NC where it's raining. More news as it becomes available.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wash Post Blows the Lid Off Cul de Sac Shocker

Mike Cavna has the story here.

Last night he ambushed me with some gotcha questions-

1. Can you tell me how you came to this decision now? Was there a moment that this choice became clear, or has this been a long and gradual decision -- perhaps one that had a tipping point?

 A. I've known for a year or more that I was working on borrowed time.  My lettering had begun to wander off in 2009, but that could be fixed easily enough. But when Alice's and Dill's heads began to look under-inflated last winter I figured I was losing control of the drawing too. When I needed help with the inking (the hardest but most satisfying part of drawing the strip),well that was probably a tipping point. Parkinson's disease is horribly selfish and demanding. A daily comic strip is too and I can only deal with one at a time. So it was a long, gradual, sudden decision.

2. Was there one aspect of creating a daily comic strip that made you decide this was too much? Perhaps it was more the drawing, or the writing, and/or the deadlines? And did you consider letting an assistant -- perhaps Stacy -- carry the load for an extended period of time, or not so much?

A. The deadlines would be the obvious answer as I've hated and feared them all my life (true of most cartoonists, I've found). Yeah, I thought about passing along more of the drawing to Stacy. I thought he did a wonderful job inking my roughs. But I was having trouble separating the writing and the drawing. I found that one fed off the other more than I'd realized' that it was an organic process, to use pretentious art talk. Most of the time I'd start a strip with no clear idea where it was going, or There'd be an end without a beginning. And I'd figure it all out as I was inking it, which isn't the best way to work and would've driven a conscientious editor crazy. One reason I hate and  fear a deadline is that I can't finish a damn thing without one, and everything is mutable right up till the last minute. And often beyond..

3. How are you feeling these days? And what's next for you -- perhaps short- and medium-range -- in terms of treatment?

A. Well, I need some work. Last winter I took time off for a month of BIG therapy at Bodykinetics Rehab and it was tremendously helpful. Basically it recalibrates your body using big, exaggerated movements and yelling and silly walks. But then I went back to work and slacked off and began to decline physically. This was when it became clear Parkinson's didn't mesh too well with a daily deadline. I got wobblier and had a few falls, and I've pushed the meds as far as they'll go. So the next step is something called Deep Brain Stimulation, where they implant wires in your brain, adjust the current and Boom, you're good to go. It's a process that takes 4 to 6 months and I'm just starting out.

4. Is there an overriding emotion you feel now that you've made this decision? Relief? Sadness? Resigned joy? Deep gratitude?

A. All of those. Relief because I've not lived without a deadline of some kind hanging overhead for almost 30 years. Sadness because there was more I wanted to do with the strip that would only be possible with a daily format. Resigned joy because I don't know, because it sounds good. And deep gratitude because I fell into this dream job at the last possible moment and got to produce work I'll always be proud of and made friends I'll always respect.

5. Will you continue to draw (perhaps with less demanding deadlines) -- maybe freelance, magazine covers, back to drawing cows for the FDA or Milk Advisory Board *smile*?
Or are you hanging up your Hunt #101 Imperial for good?

A. I'm not ready to quit, but I'm sure my work will change. It may look like it was done by Cy Twombly using his sleeve.

6. How do you feel about having had the space and stage and opportunity to draw Cul de Sac for as long as you did -- as well as all the acclaim, respect, fandom (from book sales to the Reuben Award)?

A. Like I said above, I fell into drawing a daily comic strip more by luck than design. And that kind of luck is unimaginable, at least to me. I feel like I've squeezed a lifetime career into way too short a time (though I started working on Cul de Sac almost 10 years ago). It took me forever to figure out the Reuben, because it's one of those "not in my wildest dreams" things.  But I finally got it: it's like finding this fabulous object, an artifact of an ancient civilization that's far in advance of our own, and it's crashed in my backyard so I get to keep it.

Mostly, I'm grateful to all who pushed me into this. Starting with Tom Shroder and Gene Weingarten, on through Lee Salem, Rich West, Bill Watterson, Greg Melvin, John Glynn, John McMeel, Pat Oliphant, Amy, Emma & Charlotte Thompson, Mike Rhode, Nick Galifianakis,  Chris Sparks, Shena Wolf and ending maybe with Anna Glynn or Emily Sparks. Without them I'd still be doing covers for the Milk Advisory Board. And also my Mom, who told me years ago if I ever did a comic strip it'd be pretty wonderful, but I'd probably drive myself crazy.

7. Any final "Cul de Sac" thoughts or sentiments you'd like to say to your many fans?

A. Don't wander off yet1 There'll be a joke after the credits.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Two Ancient Cul de Sacs

From July 2004, when all the animals could talk and I didn't know what I was doing. Snakehead fish were popular that year.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Chris Sparks, Steven Artley, Michael Auger, Carolyn Belefski, Michael Cavna,  Danielle Corsetto,    Barbara Dale, Peter Dunlap-Shohl, Nick Galiļ¬anakis, Shannon Gallant, Kerry G. Johnson, Jamie King, Donna Lewis, Annie Lunsford, Bono Mitchell, Joe Sutliff, Matt Wuerker and I will be signing the Team Cul de Sac book tonight at 7:00 at Politics & Prose. Lines formed at 5 this morning.

Monday, July 9, 2012

More Restaurant Closings Again

The last one may be real.

Wednesday Night!

Politics & Prose, DC's happeningest bookstore, will host a Team Cul de Sac group book signathon on Wednesday, July 11 at 7:00. I'll have a full list of cartoonists who're attending. Please come help make the audience more numerous than the cartoonists. Politics & Prose is conveniently located at 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Two Old Fourths

Quick before the power goes out again-

Monday, July 2, 2012

More Restaurant Closings

After three sweltering days without power I feel like closing some restaurants. Especially since the power came back on but the air conditioner didn't.
Note: the joke about the Starbucks-inside-a-Starbucks also appeared in the Onion about a year after I did this. Not that there's a chance in hell that the Onion swiped it from me. Some jokes are inevitable. But I got there first!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Want to Join The Onion A.V. Club

Because then I could hang out with cool guys like Noel Murray, who wrote a nice review of the Team Cul de Sac book. Besides, if you're friends with book reviewers they'll sometimes give you free review copies when they're through with them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Heroescon 2012

This weekend in Charlotte NC things get lively! Heroescon appears in the subterranean halls of the Charlotte Convention Center like a gaudy 3-day annual bloom. And, dammit, I'm not going!But I've got friends who are, and some of them are getting together in Room 206 on Friday at 4 for this-
 If you're at Heroescon please stop by and have a seat!

And while you're in Charlotte would you please stop by Mert's Heart & Soul and bring me a plate of shrimp and grits?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

June 19th

If anybody sees Mr. Chris Sparks of Asheville, North Carolina today wish him a happy 42nd birthday for me, would you?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Launching a Book

Here's what it looked like Sunday night at One More Page books, once the mob had cleared and only cartoonists remained. More to come.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tonight at One More Page

Sunday, June 10, from 5 - 7 pm:  Fundraiser celebration to launch the Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson's. Several of the contributors live here in the DC area and will be on hand to sign copies. Join us for wine and light snacks to celebrate the launch of the book!  A portion of the day's sales will go to Team Cul de Sac. Click here to see which cartoonists you might run into.  Whew!!!  Don't miss this great event! One More Page is located at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street, #101, in Arlington VA, phone 703-300-9746, just a few blocks west of the Lee Highway exit off Route 66.

(Swiped from One More Page's website)

tick tick tick

And this was 5 minutes ago! Go bid.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Team Cul de Sac Auction - The Last Two Days

Here we have a two-fer: brilliant cartoonist, cartoonist, cartoonist, critic and writer Shaenon K. Garrity and her husband the accomplished curator, cartoonist  and author Andrew Farago offer insights into Ernesto Lacuna. Look at the detailing and insight on this baby! It can be yours for a little more than $55! See here.

Team Cul de Sac Auction - The Last Two Days

Over the next two days I'm going to post some random selections from the auction just to gin up sales.

First up: the unique and ingenious R. SIKORYAK paints an Otterloopian parody of Picasso's the Three Musicians. Currently a mere $90! Chicken feed  to a person such as yourself! Go here.