By Diego Ceresa of Turin, Italy
Diego was Richard’s translator (and letterer) of Cul de Sac and other material for the Italian comics magazine Linus. When Richard passed away, Diego wrote a version of the following for Linus, and has recreated it for us on the occasion of publishing Compleating Cul de Sac's 2nd edtion – Mike Rhode
On July 27th, 2016 at 18:30, the Facebook page “Art of Richard Thompson” published the following few words by Mike Rhode: Cartoonist Richard Thompson has passed away. I've been informed by his best friend Nick Galifianakis that Richard passed away today due to the effects of Parkinson's Disease. We're poorer for his loss, but richer for his life and art.
Remembering Richard Thompson, the immensity of his genius and his humanity, isn’t an easy task. To avoid writing banalities, I thought that, better than in just my own words, his could be the best words to remember and describe him. In 2008, when, simultaneously to the Cul-de-Sac strips, Linus also published excerpts from his blog, we began an email correspondence that lasted until his illness no longer allowed him to. His messages were always full of a delicate and smart humor, and I appreciated his extreme willingness to collaborate with an obscure overseas translator - he, who was a famous illustrator and cartoonist - that constantly pestered him to get drawings to publish. A little advisory: as humble and modest Richard was with respect to his own qualities, so he exalted in an exaggerated way other people’s qualities, as you can deduce from the lines that follow.
Hello, Mr. Thompson (may I call you Richard?)
Ciao Diego, if I may call you Diego?,
Please forgive my slow reply. I'm trying to get ahead on things so I can take the end of the month off, and I've been bad about answering my email. And I haven't really gotten ahead on anything, either.
here's my new request of hi-res images from your blog. You may think that I'm a bit too demanding, but I find your blog so incredibly funny... I'm really sad I have to renounce to other brilliant features you included. Oh, and I'll pester you in a short time for its January installment on Linus.
Just today, looking at your fantastic drawings, I realized how much your linework is reminiscent of Heinrich Kley's, that German genius of the past.
Did you spend a nice Halloween night?
I can put all these together pretty quickly, and I'll combine the Christmas strip that's divided up into several pieces into one file.
Halloween was quiet for me this year as I was the one to stay at home and answer the door. Do you have trick or treat in Italy? It was always my favorite holiday, even more so than Christmas.
First my deep and groveling apologies for not answering your last email; I started a reply, put it into drafts, and it's still there. I'll finish it up and send it over the weekend.
Dear Masterful Italian Translator,
I'm hoping you and yours had and are still having a merry Christmas! Except for big heaps on every corner, our snow has mostly melted, which is fine with me. Our official measurement here was 20.5 inches and it fell in a day. That's plenty for this year. Our Christmas was good; quiet but with lots of food and wine and enough people around to make some noise.
How are you? Reading your blog, I see that deadlines are your nightmare, too! Oh, and speaking about your blog, that's the subject of my message:
I'm doing pretty well, thanks. I've still got a few more sessions left, but I've learned how to push through it when I start slowing down. The hard part is often just getting up to speed and increasing endurance. I might try rugby.
My apologies! I'm a slow scanner. More are on the way very soon, and I'll get my wife to help.
You're more than welcome! Thank you for using the watercolor strips when I'd run out of new stuff. I'm working on new strips now, which I'll get help with from a friend who'll do some inking. I hope to be up to speed soon.
sorry for the slow reply. a huge storm hit here on Friday and we're just now getting power, internet,, ac, etc
I let you down on this and my abject apologies. I had a very slow couple of days and couldn't get anything done. I haven't even made it down to my studio. I haven't kept track of the stuff Linus has used, just the drawings I've scanned for you.
Yes, this would be great, and I hold all rights to them. And I'm sure I'm missing a few, either sold or just plain lost.
I'm still moving pretty slow. And I hate to say it, but I don't think I can get you your scans this time. I haven't even set foot in my studio since Christmas.