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

Monday, May 12, 2008

My Personal Commitment to Recycling, or, How to Tell a Joke Three and a Half Times

The above is last Sunday's Cul de Sac. This is an idea I had about 18 years ago. At the time, the Post's Sunday Outlook section was interested in maybe running a cartoon by me every week, and I came up with about a dozen roughs to show them what I had in mind.

This is the sketch of the sofa-man I did for the Outlook editor. The stuff I turned in was okay, nothing special, some better than others. For various reasons we never pursued the weekly cartoon deal. But I still liked this idea, so when I turned in some roughs to Gene Weingarten when we were talking abou maybe running a cartoon by me every week in Sunday Style, I resurrected this one.
Then, when the cartoon that eventually became Richard's Poor Almanac launched, I finally used the sofa-man sketch, but I stretched it out to two weeks. The cartoons below ran in mid-1997. For those not from the DC area, Wendy Rieger is a local newscaster who's cute.

Some day I'll use the sofa-man idea again, maybe in a graphic novel, something Kafka-esque. Instead of a big bug Gregor Samsa wakes up to find himself transformed into an ugly sofa, and he gets left on the curb where he's picked up by a guy scrounging for furniture for a group house in College Park, Maryland. Hijinks ensue and he finds true love at the end with a fainting couch. See? This stuff writes itself.


Jhay Phoenix said...

Pretty interesting story bout the man-sofa. How do you come up with these ideas...I'm not the best at writing stories. You have some good gags..I want to get a copy of your book when it comes out.

Garrincha said...

or... or... he meets the coffee table-girl from ikea and both start a romance that ends up in a reality show about clashing furniture.


Kid Shay said...

"How to Draw Syndicated Comic Strips the MARVEL WAY."

I like it best when it's narrated by the kids. Seems somehow more realistic.

Centaurs are awesome.

David Hagen said...

Hi Richard!
I'm happy to stumble onto your blog and now a loyal reader although my computer makes my head hurt.

Rex Immensae Majestatis Chapman said...

This was one of the better Cul de Sac Sunday strips, and I say this as someone who normally laughs out loud at the Cul de Sac Sunday strips.

I realize that my constant praise of your cartoons may devalue it in your eyes, but really the praise is driven by unceasing admiration, not a desire to anonymously suck up.

richardcthompson said...

Thanks, DC, I can't come up with anything without terror of a deadline.

And thank you, Garrincha. I should've made this an assignment for today: write a story about a sofa. Then we all do a book of collected sofa stories.

Yeah, Kid, it made more sense as a children's fable. And your snarky comment about Garfield on dailycartoonist made me laugh, and still does.

David! Hey, good to see you (or at least your avatar). You're not using your forehead to type on your keyboard, are you? I forget sometimes and do it.

Rex, I appreciate it immensely. Just your signature alone is enough to get me laughing, in a wholly respectful way in keeping with your exalted position.