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, May 17, 2012

Team Cul de Sac Book Iaunch

This is lifted from the Team Cul de Sac blog.

One More Page Books is close to my house and I hope to make it.  Other local cartoonists in the book will certainly be there. My deepest thanks to Terry Nebecker and Eileen McGervey.

One More Page Laughter, Doing Good and Then a Weekend of Murder

Come out with your friends to any/all events!                May 16, 2012

Wed, May 16, 7 pm
Meredith Goldstein - The Singles
Get ready to laugh with your friends when advice columnist and entertainment reporter for The Boston Globe Meredith Goldstein discusses her new book, The Singles.
The Singles"Back in her single days - before she met the man of her dreams - Beth "Bee" Evans hated being forced to attend weddings solo. Determined to spare her friends the same humiliation, she invites everyone on her list with a guest. Much to her chagrin, however, Hannah, Vicki, Rob, Joe, and Nancy insist upon attending Bee's lavish Chesapeake Bay nuptials alone. The frustrated bride dubs them the "The Singles" and their collective decision wreaks unintended havoc on her otherwise perfectly planned wedding weekend."
(and we're so excited)

On Sunday, June 10, from 5 - 7 pm, Terry is taking over the store for a fundraiser celebration to launch the Team Cul de Sac Collection.

Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson's contains original artwork from cartoonists and illustrators inspired by the comic strip Cul de Sac, including Bill Watterson (Calvin and Hobbes) and Garry Trudeau (Doonesbury). The originals will be sold at an online auction to raise money for Team Cul de Sac, which is part of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.   

The Tribute Collection comes out June 5 and we'll have them available at the launch event.  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

We love Richard Thompson and Cul de Sac - he was one of the first authors to visit our store - he's amazing!  More details to follow.  Plan to be here - we all will be!     

Thurs, May 17, 6:30 pm
St. Charles Haiti Committee Fundraiser  

Join us for the St. Charles Haiti Committee Fundraiser, featuring a wine and chocolate tasting followed by a discussion of activities supporting the community of Cavaillon in southern Haiti.  

Sample wine and fair trade chocolate while learning about Haiti and the work being done in Cavaillon.  A portion of the evening's proceeds will be donated to the St. Charles Haiti Committee to aid development in Cavaillon and surrounding communities. Click here for details.

Sun, May 20, noon - 2 pm
Calling All Mystery Lovers!

Join us for a party to celebrate the release of This Job is Murder, the 5th installment of the award-winning Chesapeake Crimes anthologies. This anthology features short stories by a number of our favorite Sisters in Crime mystery writers.     

Twelve of the 14 authors whose works appear in the anthology are expected to attend: Donna Andrews, David Autry, Jill Breslau, Karen Cantwell, Leone Ciporin, E.B. Davis, Barb Goffman, Smita Harish Jain, C. Ellett Logan, Shari Randall, Harriette Sackler, and Cathy Wiley.
This event will take place in the WestLee Party room. 

Are you interested...
in a book group for 7-9 year olds?  If so, email us.  Also, let us know what time would be good time to meet.

Upcoming Events and Author Visits
  • Tues, May 22, 7 pm: Spiritual/Philosphy Book Club discusses Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time
  • Wed, May 23, 7 pm: Garrett Peck discusses books, The Potomac River: A History and Guide and Prohibition in Washington, DC: How Dry We Weren't
  • Thurs, May 24, 7 pm: Just in time for the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in, Max Holland shares from Leak: Why Mark Felt Became Deep Throat.  
  • Mon, May 28, 4:30:  No Kids Book Group due to Memorial Day holiday
  • Wed, May 30, 6:30: Join us for our Educator Appreciation Evening - Click here for details!
  • Thurs, May 31, 7 pm: Ken Budd discusses The Voluntourist: A Six-Country Tale of Love, Loss, Fatherhood, Fate, and Singing Bon Jovi in Bethlehem. See the side bar for more info about Ken's book.
  • Sun, June 3 at 3 pm: Amanda Hodgkinson discusses her novel, 22 Britannia Road, a heartbreaking novel about wartime secrets  
  • Thurs, June 7 at 7 pm: Join us for a unique event, The Book as Art, with an artist, Alla Proskuryakova, and author/illustrator and artist, Sallie Lowenstein who have created books that are truly works of art - stay tuned for details! 
  • Fri, June 8 at 11 am:  Author Siobhan Fallon joins our Daytime Book Group to discuss her book, You Know when the Men are Gone  
  • Fri, June 8 at noon: Mysterious Women Who Know their Place -    Former White House staffer, author Karna Bodman; Agatha Award winner Marcia Talley, journalist Ellen Crosby, and award-winner Donna Andrews deconstruct their mystery-thriller books which all feature D.C., VA and MD locales. Mystery fiction scholar/editor Elizabeth Foxwell moderates. PLEASE NOTE: This event is off-site at the American Women Writers National Museum, 1275 K St NW, Suite 102 
  • Fri, June 8 at 7 pm: Patti Dobrowolski joins us to discuss Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life. See side panel for a link to Patti's TEDx talk. 
  • Sat, June 9 at 6 pm:  New York Times Bestselling Author and Screenwriter John Gilstrap invites you to celebrate the publication of his latest thriller, Damage Control at a launch party at One More Page    
  • NEW!!  Sun, June 10 from 5-7 pm: Join us for a special event to celebrate the launch of "Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson's" to honor award-winning cartoonist Richard Thompson See side panel for details of this event we're so fortunate to host.
  • Wed, June 13, 7 pm:  Daniel Kalla discusses his new book, The Far Side of the Sky    

Remember, in addition to street parking, there is limited retail parking available in the WestLee garage while you are shopping at One More Page.  Follow the store signs to our back door, ring the buzzer and we'll welcome you in.

We are 6 blocks from the East Falls Church Metro!  Go to the right as you exit the Metro station and then go right on 19th Street.  As the road curves, the name changes from 19th street to N. Westmoreland Street. Our store is on the left hand side of the street.  Click here for directions from the Metro or if you are coming by car. 

Please call (703)-300-9746 or Email if you have any questions.  

In This Issue
This Week
New Book Group for Kids?
Upcoming Events
Team Cul de Sac
Authors in the Media
Our Book Groups

Upcoming Authors in the Media

 Meredith Goldstein (The Singles) in NY Times
At OMP- Wed, May 16, 7 pmKen Budd (The Voluntourist) in the NY Times Travel Section and  his interview on Fox 5.
At OMP- Thurs, May 31, 7 pmSee Patti Dobrowolski's (Drawing Solutions: How Visual Goal Setting Will Change Your Life) TEDx talk
At OMP-Fri, June 8, 7 pm

Our Book Discussion Groups 
Our next Book Club with Jenn is Mon, June 18 at 7 pm when we discuss The Language of Flowers: A Novel by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.
Please note date change!
The Language of Flowers
Our next Non-Fiction Book Group is Tues, June 12 at 7 pm to discuss Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams.
Turn Right at Machu Picchu

Don't miss our next Daytime Book Group meeting at 11 am on Friday, June 8.  Author Siobhan Fallon joins us to discuss her book, You Know when the Men are Gone

 You Know When the Men Are Gone
The next meeting for our Mystery/Suspense Book Group is Tues, June 19, when we discuss Ratking (An Aurelio Zen Mystery) by Michael Dibdin.  
The next meeting for our Philosophy/Spiritual Book Group is Tues, May 22 when we discuss Just One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson.

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One More Page | 2200 N. Westmoreland Street | #101 | Arlington | VA | 22213

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Visit to Tai Shan

This ran in the Post Magazine in January 2006 when Tai Shan mania gripped DC in a relentless hug. I'd developed an antipathy to pandas for no good reason and about the time the National Zoo was paying the Chinese through the nose to rent a coupla pandas I did a poem in the Almanac trash talking the lumbering brutes. I can't find that drawing, but part of it went "Pandas are boring, tedious and blah, Great big two-tone fuzzy cures for insomnia." It didn't do any good: the Zoo is at it again.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Farewell to Maurice Sendak

Peter Dunlap-Shohl drew this wonderful piece on the death of Maurice Sendak last week, ingeniously mashing up the Seventh Seal and the Wild Things. I especially like the casually tossed-away cane at far left. I was going to link to a documentary by director Spike Jonez where he visits Sendak at his home but it's been taken off the web. I will link to a great tribute by Philip Nel at the Comics Journal. Phil's been working on a massive biography of Ruth Kraus and Crockett Johnson and he knows his children's literature.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Two Brand New Old Cul de Sacs

Both of which have something to do with motherhood.
The above is from May 16, 2004. I didn't like Madeline's job that much. It seemed too sitcommy.
Marcus has always had a difficult relationship with his mom. This appeared August 19, 2005.

The Complete Collection of Mother's Day Poor Almanacs

Assembled by looking up old posts and copying & pasting.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Savings Galore

If you're buying the Mighty Alice on Amazon, why not save all kinds of money and get Children at Play for the low low price of only $5.20! Quick, while supplies last!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

This Week's Cul de Sacs, April 30 to May 6, 2012

Here are the roughs I sent to Stacy Curtis for this week of strips. Besides inking Cul de Sac, Stacy's got a full plate of children's book work, some of which involves traveling for school visits. This means he has to do the inking in a hotel room, not the most ideal situation for us sensitive art types whose psyches demand a familiar work environment to maintain creative flow.

So I thought a repeating Petey might make things easier all around. And as Petey tends to freeze up under mild duress all it needed was a stinkbug to provide just that.

Having decided on repeating Peteys-
it was an easy jump to overdoing it-
and piling the Peteys on.
If one flustered Petey is funny then an infinite number of them'd be a riot-
I hope. These are representative of the batch of roughs I foist on Stacy every week. Note how they get gradually sloppier as I lose track of the progress of the meager story arc. In fact I had no idea how to end it, so I told Stacy I would do the climactic Saturday strip, which features enough second panel exposition by Alice to frighten off anyone who dislikes text-heavy balloons.
So it all worked out well enough.

I did the Sunday about a month ago. It's photoshopped out of a dozen bits and pieces but, ssshh, don't tell anybody. Alice and Dill have had several Drawing Fights; victory has been disputed in all of them.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

It's National Cartoonists Day Again Again, Again

You may be wondering, "How can I best celebrate this festive day?" You might consider:
  • Finding a cartoonist near you and mowing his (or her) 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.
  • I'll bet he needs a haircut pretty bad.
  • 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.
  • Are you handy with a pen? Ink some cartoons for him!
  • 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.
  • Is he not posting anything new on his stupid blog and it's driving you crazy? You should send him a cheerful card stuffed with cash to inspire him.
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, and the year before, if it looks familiar.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Restaurant Closings

Like many newspapers, the Washington Post runs a column listing various health code violations for the week. Each entry describes the circumstances leading to a closure of a food establishment by the investigating health department. Here's a sample of a recent column:
Hollywood Bistro
1800 G St. NW
Closed Friday for operating without a certified food manager.
Lucky Corner Market
5433 Georgia Ave. NW
Closed April 19 for operating without a license, gross unsanitary conditions and operating without a certified food manager. Reopened April 23.
Mid-City Deli
1418 14th St. NW
Closed Friday for failure to minimize vermin, circumstances that might endanger public health and improper food holding temperatures.

It's buried in the Local Living type section along with another column equally enjoyable, the Animal Watch, listing those run ins with animals, wild and domesticated, that've required the intervention of a vested authority. (Its probably-untoppable apex was reached years ago with a report about a squirrel found racing around inside a single-family residence. Two policemen showed up after the homeowner called 911 and quickly isolated the rodent in the living room curtains, but the squirrel broke free and dove into a grand piano. One officer, thinking quickly, played a few bars of something by Toad the Wet Sprocket and the squirrel shot out of the piano and disappeared out the front door.)

These columns appeal to me for all kinds of reasons: the poker faced style, the easily graspable nature of the incidents and, in the case of the health code violations, the fact that restaurants are  fun to draw. When I was doing the Poor Almanac (1997-2009) and was looking for an idea (always) I could usually scare up enough jokes to fill out the cartoon without the desperation being too apparent. Because restaurants are not only fun to draw; they're inherently funny.

Here's one of only 4 or 5 in color, from c. 2000. Lugubrio's is based on a place near Dupont Circle where the lights were so low the waiters were disembodied voices and you ate by feel, often off another's plate.

Note the local cuisine reference, another sore point in DC as it has so few recognizable traits to call its own.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Today's Cul de Sac in Rough Form, April 30 2012

A word of warning: Petey doesn't move a muscle all week. I find it makes things easier to draw if they're static and repetitive (and I hope Stacy agrees). I'm telling you this up front in case you're hoping for big action sequences or derring-do so you're not disappointed.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Today's Cul de Sac, April 29 2012

Alice communes with Nature, in condensed, easily accessible form. Every kid needs a shrub to hide in. I've had several and I was intimately familiar with every inch of dirt it covered (though not familiar enough that I avoided sitting on a slug during a night game of hide and seek).

Here's Alice's first venture into Nature. As always, I thought today's would be easy to draw, but no. Scribbly masses of leaves keep not looking like leaves but only like scribbles unless I fuss with them, and then they look too fussy.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Today's Cul de Sac in Rough Form, April 28 2012

This is the rough of today's strip I sent to Stacy Curtis for inking. I draw the roughs on Canson Marker Layout, a semi-translucent paper, using various sizes of Micron pens. Then I email it to Stacy, who prints it out to his preferred size and slaps it on a lightbox, then inks it on bristol with one of his grungiest, unwashed and most-favorite pens while I take a nap. I did a little photoshop fussing around with the middle panel. It originally had hundreds of tiny zombie toads, and I realized it's an unnecessary cruelty to inflict crowds on my inker, so I simplified it. Some.

And that's how a comic strip collaboration is run these days.

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).

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cul de Sac Yesterday and Today, April 21& 22 2012

So I inked these two strips all by myself, which is kind of novel these days.

Either he's gotten a new haircut or I've forgotten how Andre Chang's head is shaped. He's been gradually increasing in size since he was first sighted in the strip 20 months or so ago. Someone told me he's really one of Sendak's Wild Things and there's no stopping him from getting larger and hairier, but that's life.

From August, 2010,when Alice first met Andre. Below, another Dill's Dream Sunday, meaning another excuse to draw something I wouldn't otherwise draw.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Poor Almanac That's Slightly On Topic

As long as we're talking about art auctions, here's an Almanac from 2006, when perfume magnate Ronald Lauder paid about $135 million for a painting by Gustav Klimt. Entitled "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer Wearing the Wallpaper", it was described by Lauder as "our Mona Lisa". Some thought it was maybe not the best buy for $135 million (even though it's got bits of real gold in it).

Anyway, I did this list of mnemonic devices to help others from making the same mistake. These are not to be used by those bidding in tee Team Cul de Sac auction, of course.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Auction Preview

Take a look at this line up! Wouldn't any of them look nice over your sofa or fireplace?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Boing Boing

A few weeks ago I talked to Glenn Fleishman, the well-respected writer on technology who's also been a sound-board operator, typesetter, graphic designer, curriculum developer, course manager, catalog manager, programmer, editor, conference planner, speaker, book-information expert, columnist, reporter and radio guest.

I don't know anything about any of that stuff, so we talked about cartoons, another of Glenn's passions as anyone who follows his lively Twitter feed knows. The wonderful site Boing Boing, home of Tom the Dancing Bug, posted the results of our chat here.

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Auction

Here, for the first time anywhere (unless Chris sparks has beaten me to it), is the official ad that Heritage Auctions has put together for the Team Cul de Sac auction.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Now Go Listen to Stacy Curtis

Now that you've committed Chris Sparks' interview to memory you need to do the same with Tom Racine's interview with Stacy Curtis. Stacy spills the beans on his early, violent career as an editorial cartoonist, describes our Clouseau-and-Cato-like working relationship and explains his Banjo Pig Awareness program.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter Tradition

It's kind of an Easter tradition around here to post this old Almanac cartoon, Okay, posting old cartoons is more like a daily tradition around here. Whatever it takes to keep this blog on its legs, short of uploading photos of our cats doing funny things.