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, February 16, 2008

President's Day Special Almanack

I think it's awfully nice that presidents get their own day. Do you think they get special deals at family-friendly restaurants on their very special day? In the Midwest there used to be a restaurant called Bob Knapp's that offered patrons a birthday deal where you'd get a percentage off based on your age; if you were ten you'd get ten percent off, if you were 100 you'd eat for free. Anything over 100 and I guess they'd owe you. It's no longer around, maybe because centenarians flocked to it. When my daughter turned four she got four percent off plus a slice of very tasty chocolate cake, and they probably sang Happy Birthday to her.

That was a digression. I did this back during the last Clinton administration, when a presidential stain was the stuff of comedy. Not like these days, when a presidential stain is more like Lady Macbeth's.


Dustin Harbin said...

Where do you go to learn to draw like this? That Calvin Coolidge is priceless. Although the style is not particularly similar, the energy reminds me of a guy named William Dempster, who (presumably among other things) illustrated several volumes in the Educator Classics Library in the late 60's. The best was Paul Bunyan--when I was a kid, this was my first introduction to Paul Bunyan, and I still think of him as this scratchily illustrated thing. A confident, inky quill line will always remind me of the Great Saginaw. Sigh.

richardcthompson said...

Stuff like that from your childhood sticks in your head, doesn't it? I remember the cover of a third grade history textbook only because I liked the drawing on it. I don't remember much inside the book, though.

And the Calvin Coolidge was swiped from one by Miguel Covarrubias that I saw years ago (not in third grade, though he did draw the endpapers in the Wonder Book Encyclopdia set my mom bought around 1960; it was the only encyclopedia set we ever had and the last president it covered was Eisenhower). But I swiped the Coolidge for a drawing of him and Grover Cleveland to illustrate the most teetotalling and the most indulging presidents, and I used him again in this drawing (from memory this time, so my conscience is almost clean).

But now I gotta know; who's the Great Saginaw?

Dustin Harbin said...

The 1972 World Book Encyclopedia was the source of all knowledge in my household.

The "great" Saginaw, in case you're not kidding, was a part of (I believe) Michigan, a forest of mythic proportions that stretched across the upper plains states into Canada. In my Dempster illustrated Paul Bunyan volume, it is the great final prize.

Or maybe Montana--I pull it out and reread it every few years. I'd scan pages from it if I didn't think the old hardcover binding wouldn't burst into dust.