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, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter Part 3

This is the result of rigorous research. You could base a school report on this cartoon. See also here.

Happy Easter Part 2

The further adventures of Hopsy Bunsy & Peeps McCracken. I did another one of these with one of Stephan Pastis's crocs emerging from the egg, but I gave that one to Stephan Pastis.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

This makes slightly more sense if you know that the Almanac was printed next to Doonesbury in the Post. I did several like this and if I can find them they'll be posted too.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sneak Peek into the Future

 As long as I've goy you all here, this is a  panel from a Sunday strip for next month. I swiped from an old drawing, below, hat I did because trees are fun to draw. Monday is Arbor Day, at least in Virginia, so this may help prepare you for it, if you live in Virginia.

Team Cul de Sac Has Some Nice Friends

Team Cul de Sac, the Parkinson's research fundraising project started by the indefatigable Chris Sparks, has received some inspired contributions by artists and cartoonists. The recent donation pictured above is particularly eye-catching. It comes from Mr. Bill Watterson, who's got a dab hand with a paintbrush and whose beloved Calvin & Hobbes stands as the platonic ideal of the comic strip, or as close to as such a thing is possible. I once saw a comment on a comics thread from someone saying that he'd dreamed about hiking in the Cascades and coming across a church newsletter stuck in some bushes that featured new Calvin & Hobbes strips that were being published nowhere else. That strikes me as eerie and charming and a good measure of the depth to which C&H has permeated the popular imagination.

So I was floored when I got a call yesterday from Chris saying that Caty Neis, who's shepherding the Team book project at Andrews & McMeel, had gotten a painting from Bill. An oil painting of Petey Otterloop of all people. After studying it pretty closely for the last consecutive 12 hours or so I can say that he's done Petey as much justice as possible. Adding another dimension to a 2D character is a tricky business and Petey's awkward enough in dealing with the two he's normally confined to.

Thanks to Bill from the bottom of my heart. And thanks also to Alex, Jim, Jerry, Bill L, Crow, Stephan, Steve, Ron, Matt, Canaan, Jim D, Shannon, Pab, Matt, Mo, Mark, Lynn, Peter, David and everybody else who's contributing. I appreciate it more than I can say.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Today's Cul de Sac for April 17, 2011

They really have these things, musical toothbrushes, only not quite as advanced as the one pictured. I use a small toothbrush to clean pen nibs and the one I've been using is called a Firefly toothbrush. You squeeze the handle and it lights up and blinks for one minute, so you know just how long to brush your teeth. These things might be aimed at children or at people who use them to clean pen nibs, I'm not sure which.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lazy Tax Joke Repost

I hate to say it, but here it is that time of year, April being the cruelest month and all. You know that if it says "From the IRS" it must be real, too.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Your Unnecessary Spot Illustration of the Day, Nobel Edition

Reading from left to right in the row of framed caricatures is Kenzaburo Oe, Toni Morisson, Seamus Heaney and Wislawa Szymborska, all of whom won the Nobel Prize for literature. This was drawn about ten years ago for a New Yorker piece on the backstage hijinks at the Nobels, here depicted as a brawling mass of distinguished gentlemen. Evidently the actual process of determining who wins the Nobel for literature, so dignified on the outside, is inside like a that Three Stooges short where a well-mannered dinner party devolves into a pie fight. It was a joy to draw that brawling mass, though it probably took me a while to lay it out so that it made visual sense (drawing crowd scenes or even groups of more than three people is not one of my favorite things). But this tangle of people came out well enough that I reused one of them, the airborne berserker on the right, when I drew something on Senate hijinks for the New Yorker a few years later.

The caricatures of the Nobel laureates are Okay though I wish I'd pushed them a little further, but the rioting Nobel committee still makes me happy.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Today's Cul de Sac for April 10, 2011

This is still the way I do math, fractions especially, a talent I've passed on to both my children. Whatever a drawing fight is I'm glad I thought of it (though others may have preceded me in inventing it). The actual fun in this, of course, is Andre's kinetic energy contrasted with Petey's stasis. They get along well as friends because their basic tastes are alike and their temperaments are not too mutually exclusive. But I think after spending extended time in each other's company they're kinda relieved to go their separate ways and be alone again.

More Damned Cherry Blossoms

The DC Cherry Blossom Festival continues today with the big parade. It's not the greatest weather for it, being cool, grey and dampish, and the blossoms are long past their peak. So here are some half-hearted reposts of cherry blossom cartoons. The cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin, the major players in the Festival, are not really this pink. They're white with a pinkish cast. I point this out so no one's too disappointed, in case anyone's using this as a visitor's guide.

The last one still makes me laugh. Coming up next: something fresher.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Your Guide to DC Children's TV Show

I was looking for something about DC kids' TV shows and found this post from 2008 and decided to put it up again. This may be one more sign of this blogs creeping senescence; soon every post will be about how great something was that happened on the blog two years ago.

Though I was born in Baltimore, I grew up in and around DC. And one of the things that struck me as a child about the Capital of the Free World was the number and complexity of local TV kid's shows. These are the ones I remember best, though I'm sure I'm leaving some off the list (hello, Pick Temple).

The local TV newsman/broadcasting-personality who puts on a silly costume and stands in front of a cardboard set to introduce ancient cartoons and Three Stooges shorts is something kids today just don't have access to and I think they're the poorer for it. These shows were central to our daily routine and the local stations put a lot of love and work into them. Well, some. When you only have six or so channels available on your TV then each one has a more distinict personality, and these shows were a large part of it.

When I was about seven I got to be on Ranger Hal (I was wearing a kilt; long story) and, instantly if briefly, my status in the neighborhood shot up. I remember one kid asking me if I got to meet Felix the Cat, whose cartoons were a fixture on Ranger Hal, and I had to let him down gently as to Felix the Cat's incorporeality. I don't think he believed me.

And I think appearing on these shows probably did the TV newsman/broadcasting-persornality a lot of good too. If someone like say, I don't know, Bill O'Reilly had a half-dozen seasons in a clown wig and giant bowtie back early in his career he might be more grounded today.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Today's Cul de Sac, March 15 to April 3, 2011

 In a blinding burst of speed we go blazing right through today and into the future!
Like I said, this keeps happening to Petey. I think he's starting to enjoy it.
If Andre hears about Pevey he's going to want a secret identity too.
Between the time Alice wastes getting ready for bed and waking up for nightmares I can't imagine she's getting enough sleep. No wonder she's kinda cranky.
Though it looks like she's also enjoying herself.
 Maybe enjoying herself too much.
This has happened before, you know.
Bedtime entertainment is a wide-open field in the arts if you're looking for a job in a related field (I hope you're listening, Julie Taymor).
This is a well-known fact.
Running around and making noise is how I usually handled sports, so I never got around to learning the rules of most games.
I was afraid someone might complain about the ball rolling into the street.
Beni in for Andre and Petey.
Those wooden paddle spoons have mostly been supplanted by plastic spoons. This is probably epochal.
 I'm hoping that Petey hasn't discovered a latent talent for soccer. It might spoil his life.
Sssshhh. This doesn't come out till tomorrow, but I'm sneaking it in (of course, half the papers in the country deliver Sunday supplements on Saturday). Dill's poignantly strange toy first appeared in Christmas of 2007. I hope nobody plays with it from a range of more than four feet away unless they're wearing protective gear.