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, October 16, 2009


Back in the late 80s and early 90s I did a whole string of work for the National Institute of Health, the huge research facility on a sprawling campus that's right across the street from Bethesda Navy Hospital. Which must be convenient if they ever need to borrow anything. I had friends working in the graphic department who produced some beautiful work; signage, banners, posters, brochures, invitations to the many events held there, etc. Sometimes they'd hire freelancers and, if they needed something laughable, sometimes it'd be me.

This was the first job I did for them, and it got plastered all over the hospital. I've still got one hanging in my studio which means I still like it. I like the hand, and the almost entirely inaccurate rendering of the Clinical Center. And of course the message, which is still important today.


tudza said...

I'm a little puzzled by the message. Do they really mean they want you to go home when there is a possibility that you may die of your symptoms? People have been dying of the flu past and present, with the current swine flu being of special interest because it has been killing young people instead of old ones.

richardcthompson said...

It's aimed only at employees, who may come to work despite feeling lousy. It says that, while we appreciate your diligence, you're not doing anybody a favor by spreading germs, so go home, get better (see a doctor, get some rest, etc). If you're a patient, stay here and we'll make sure our (healthy) staff treats you.

Mike Rhode said...

Man, I didn't know you did these. Very cool. Those are going to be hard to collect.

tudza said...

The choice of words is a little odd, which is what threw me. I'm sure this would be posted only where employees would see it and that would avoid confusion, but it says "visit". Not a good choice in my opinion.

I visit the doctor if I am a patient. If I work for him, I'm going to work. It really ought to say "Don't come to work if you are sick."