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, January 31, 2008

A Proto Cul de Sac Almanac of Yesteryear

This is an old Almanac from like '99, featuring a Toddler's Roundtable discussion of Issues of the Day. I had so much fun doing these that when I had to put together a strip I cast a lot of little kids who talk a lot in it. Probably because thinking in pointless tangents just comes naturally to me. I'm just grateful I don't have a job requiring adult decisions affecting countless lives or anything.

Still, the Mozart Effect is hooey, so I'm glad I cleared up that issue.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mardi Gras Parade, Updated

Everyone should come to this thing. It'll be great, and if it's like last year's parade, the whole thing is short enough that it goes around the block a coupla times so if you can view it more than once and, you know, revise your opinion of it as it goes by again. And you get enough beads thrown at you that at some point it becomes hazardous. Boy, what fun!

Meanwhile, the Godzilla-King Kong float is under construction in an abandoned body shop...

These are from more than a week ago. I understand Godzilla and Kong are much further along now and are practically ready to join polite society.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Saturday's Almanack

The Washington Post runs a column of Restaurant Closings in the Thursday local suplements, an I've always enjoyed them. So sometimes I do one, too.

The Post also runs an Animal Control Watch column and it's even better as it drily recounts anecdotes about unwanted wild animal invasions, stuck kitties, flightless birds, etc. Probably the best one ever involved a squirrel that was running amok in someone's house. Two policemen responded and cornered the squrrel in a grand piano. One officer, thinking quickly, played a riff by Toad the Wet Sprocket, which caused the squirrel to exit the piano and shoot out the window, to the homeowner's great relief. I think we're all agreed that this is something that could not have been accomplished with an oboe.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mozart's Birthday, Part 2

Here's a nicer drawing of Mozart than the rodenty-looking thing in the previous post. Still, it's not too reverential. I've always thought that if you got a chance to actually bump into any of these mighty pre-photography historic geniuses, like Mozart, Beethoven, Shakespeare or whoever, you might be disappointed by how unpreposessing they were. And they might've smelled a bit unusual, too.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Mozart's Birthday

On January 27th Mozart turns 252 years old. Here's something to sing if you want to celebrate.

Speaking of oboes (see below), Mozart wrote some really lovely oboe music, including an oboe concerto, an oboe quintet and on oboe quartet. As well as all those symphonies, operas, chamber music, etc. etc. He also had a lively & filthy sense of humor and possibly told the very first Aristocrats joke.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


Here's a bonus wallpaper screensaver. Or, slightly resized, a theater curtain.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Spinning Romney Again

You may remember this from a sketch for the New Yorker a month or so ago. Waste not want no, especially if you've got a deadline and nothing new to show. Besides, doesn't the American Public deserve to see this?

Musical Petey, Coda

Here's a bit from an upcoming daily featuring Petey on the oboe. I think he's a little off beat.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Aw, Shucks Again

Tom Spurgeon sure says some nice things. I wish the guy he was talking to would shut up some and let him say more.

You really should be reading The Comics Reporter every day, you know.

(Apologies to Sam Henderson for swiping his caricature of Tom Spurgeon, and to Tom Spurgeon who I'm sure looks nothing like that. And to Chuck Jones for swiping that line from one of his Three Bears cartoons. And as long as I'm at it, my apologies to my wife for laughing at that pasta thing she made last night.)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

More Musical Mirth

This nicely rounds out the completed saga of Musical Petey (preceding three postings). it's an Almanack cartoon from about five years ago and it came out in the fall, when schoolkids are selecting their instrument for band. Our excellent local music store, Foxes, in Falls Church VA, always does a booming business around then. Sadly, this doesn't mention the oboe or even woodwinds at all. Unless you count bagpipes as woodwinds, though really they're offensive weapons.

Musical Petey, Finale

Here's the dramatic conclusion. 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 Ernesto Lacuna, an obscure musical pun on the name of Cuban composer Ernesto Lacuona (and boy, that gets a laff every time). You'll notice he plays the oboe.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Musical Petey, Part 2

Here's more, and yet more to follow-

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Musical Petey

I just drew a few daily strips about Petey practising the oboe. When Cul de Sac was running in the Post Mag Petey played the trombone. I think he switched because the trombone is too hard to draw. (Try drawing somebody playing a trombone and you'll see what I mean; it always comes out looking like somebody's trying to wear a crutch like a hat) I chose the trombone for Petey because it was so counter-intuitive. Petey's pretty much an introvert and there's no more extroverted instrument than the trombone, it's the most glad-handing of the brass family. But oboes are reasonably funny, and they have that reputation of being the ill wind that nobody blows good.

Below is a sequence from the Post of about 3 years ago when Petey was facing his public trombone debut.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Let's Draw Hillary

I think I've drawn Hillary almost exactly 419 times now, give or take, and I just drew her again for this week's New Yorker. It took me a while to get her face down, partly because she kept rearranging her features and her hair back when she was First Lady, but now she's settled on an appropriate face for public consumption. And I have too; here are few various Hillaries.

The above was for USNews & World Report back about 1995. It's Ebullient Hillary.

This was for the NYer when Hillary was running for the Senate. It's my favorite Hillary so far.

This is a sketch of Hillary I still like, done for no reason except I'd finally figured out how to draw her.

This is the drawing for this week's NYer. It was one of those jobs where the deadline suddenly shrank into a matter of hours as the piece was still being written. So it got a little too tight and careful, but it came out OK in the end, I think. And now seeing Ann Telnaes' masterly rendering of Hillary as something between Judy Jetson and Patty & Selma Bouvier makes me want to try drawing Hillary all over again.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A Talking Editorial Photoplay by Ann Telnaes

Everybody go over to The Washington Post , slide down to Hillary's Fairy Tale on the middle left, and click on it to enjoy the animation genius of Ann Telnaes. Quick!

UPDATE: I switched the link to a direct-to-Annimation link.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Here's Ann's animation for Friday . For some reason the page is balky for loading, give it a kick or two and it comes through fine.

Sunday, January 6, 2008


Note to everyone who requested a print of that Beethoven drawing; they're almost in the mail! That is, I've found enough of them to cover demand, and there are probably more somewhere in that g-dd-m closet. Expect one in your mailbox soon, this year certainly, or double your money back.

Drawing Monsters, Updated

These are two sketches I did for a Mardi Gras parade poster, of course, as I'm sure you can tell. Which'll possibly be turned into a float even, with people on it throwing things, maybe even me.

Update. Here's a bonus drawing of King Kong. Did you know that in the original scritpt, King Kong was going to be a proboscis monkey?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A Cul de Sac of Yesteryear Again

This is from New Year's Day 2006. I reused some of this in a different form in the daily strips a week before Christmas. If everyone forgets about it, I may reuse it yet again. Maybe by then it'll be Classic Cul de Sac.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Elephants for Monday on New Year's Day!

From all of us to all of you, a very Happy New Year.