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, November 23, 2009

Cul de Sac Coloring Contest!

Today at the Comic Riffs Blog Michael Cavna announces an exciting contest that will test the very fiber of your creativity, if your creativity is in fact fibrous. Details can be found

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fan Art Saturday Falls On A Saturday This Week Again!

This week we have two Very Special Friends of Cul de Sac - but aren't you all? (said in a Dame Edna Everage voice, please).

First, Ms. Jennifer Hart of Arlington, who writes and hand delivers to us a perceptive and funny weekly newsletter and who also bakes us excellent cookies, somehow found the time to draw these two excellent images, both of which I wish I'd've thought of.

This one, casting Petey as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come and Alice as the Ghost of Christmas Past, really cracks me up. Who would play Scrooge? Mr. Danders, of course.
Here Mrs. Otterloop has some problems with her annual Winter Sweater, a theme I've visited a few times. And probably will again soon enough, but Jennifer got to this variation first, darnit.

Mr. Diego Ceresa, the renaissance man, artist and translator whose work we've lauded on this blog before, sent in this vivid image of Alice If She Had Pupils. It's haunting in the same way an Andy Warhol painting would be, if Andy Warhol had ever had the foresight to paint Alice Otterloop.

Mille grazie to Diego and Jennifer! I'm inspired, which I sure do need because I got a pile o' work to do.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Tall Tales Radio

That nice man Tom Racine- cartoonist, podcaster, voice extraordinaire- called me the other day and we had a nice long chat. Et voila, it's available as a podcast over at the excellent Tall Tales Radio! Tom's the one who sounds like Superman, I sound like a helium addict who plays the kazoo, and not well, either.

While you're over at TTR, please take the time to vote for Tom's mighty work at Did you know he's done 60 high-quality & informative podcasts? The man's indefatigable! And he looks good in a derby.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Golden Treasury Keepsake Garland of Classics

This is the first public glimpse of the cover rough for the Cul de Sac Golden Treasury Keepsake Garland of Classics, due to hit the shelves Spring of 2010. The Cul de Sac Golden Treasury Keepsake Garland of Classics will gather the complete contents of both previous Cul de Sac books, plus author commentary, drawing how-tos, grammar tips, suggestions for improved posture, recommendations for further reading and a favorite recipe for spoonbread, whatever the hell that is.

Fan Art Saturday Falls On A Saturday This Week Again!

Here we have two masterful examples of fan art. So masterful, in fact, that I'm considering passing the strip along to one of you people; I can't do this forever, you know. And then Cul de Sac would qualify as a "legacy" strip, making its position on the comic pages inviolable. I'd just keep 95% of the take, plus all rights into perpetuity. Deal?

From our old friend the cartoonist & animator Marc Crisafulli comes this heart-warming scene of an unexpected romance between Nara and Beni, As Nara is the most mature and accomplished student at Blisshaven (being 4 1/2) and Beni is more competent than most, especially Dill, I shouldn't be surprised. Please note the liveliness of the line and the subtle yet fanciful color. Marc, take a bow!

Here Mr. Evan "Doc" Shaner proposes a very likely explanation for the name Blammos. And he includes the redoubtable Mr. Danders, who I've sadly neglected for the last year. When I look at a piece like this it makes me wish I knew how to draw. Thank you, Doc, please take a bow! And thanks for the kind email (and my regards to your wife).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alice at Two

Here's a bit of today's strip; Alice at two, or The Feral Child.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Fan Art Saturday Falls On A Saturday This Week

Here are two more excellent additions to our burgeoning collection of Fan Art.

First, from the multi-talented triple-threat omni-directional Chris Eliopolous, this terrifying preview of what could happen if Petey should somehow stumble into the presence of the awful Uh-Oh Baby. Thanks, Chris! It's bone-chilling!

Next, cartoonist, blogger, founder of Falling Rock State Park and longtime long distance friend of CdS Josh Shalek limns Petey and his own Uh-Oh Baby, the dread Ernesto. Truly horrifying, especially as Ernesto is based on a real person, or possibly two. Thanks, Josh!  

More TK, as we say in journalism.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Something Halloweeny Part II

With much help from the mighty Diego Ceresa, renaissance man. Below is the original in English. It seems less satisfying somehow.

Something Halloweeny

From 2006. The flying candy was fun to draw. Below, the great Diego Ceresa's masterful recasting in Italian.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fan Art Saturday Falls On A Wednesday, Updated

Finally, with my profound thanks for your contributions and apologies for my slowness in posting them, here's some Fan Art.

First, from Ross Klettke, this engaging portrait of, in his words, "someone who kinda looks like Petey." That's about as close as I ever get. And please admire the lovely frame-

Next, from Navy Bean, comes a loving rendering of Alice in all her glory. Getting Alice's hair right is particularly hard; I never do, but Navy nailed it.

From poet-cartoonist Teresa Dowlatshahi, Miss Bliss. Teresa reports that she's scared of Miss Bliss's formidable bun. I hope that drawing it exorcized that demon, though it's never worked for me.

This impressive full length portrait of Beni is provided by Asa Giannini. I especially admire the hammer, the houses, and the subtle color sense.

The famed John Glynn sent this bust of children's author Oswaldo Twee, which is acutely observed and personally flattering.

We thank Anonymous for the following. I've always admired the work of Anonymous in all the arts and this may well be his/her finest effort.

Our friend and renaissance man Chris Sparks sent us this compelling Alice via Facebook. Among Chris's many accomplishments (web designer, art collector, father) he's also a master cheesemonger, which is as much fun to type as it is to say!

Stan Ortega chose to limn Annoyed Guy in Movie Theatre, whose memorable turn in a Sunday strip is still the talk of comics fans across the nation. Those eyes, how they haunt me!   

From Argentina, from the pen of the mighty Kioskerman, comes this passionate. lively and wholly wonderful Alice. Gracias, Pablo!

Dallion sends us this wonderful sketch of an unexpected subject. Nice choice, Dallion, and keep it up with the pen & ink. Just remember that ink's a liquid medium like watercolor and that happy accidents are your best friend!  

There you are, the first collection of CdS Fan Art from the magic day that Saturday happened on Wednesday. More later.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Fan Art Corner with Update

This post inaugurates a new and unique feature for this blog- art submitted by fans, avowed or unwitting, of Cul de Sac! You could search the web over and find nothing comparable to our Fan Art Corner! Here we present Alice as imagined by the Mighty Mo Willems (whose "Pigs Make Me Sneeze" just debuted at #5 on the NY Times Bestselling Children's Books). Acclaimed as an author, artist, out-loud-reader, stand up comic and general ball-of-fire, former Sesame Street resident Mo Willems is perhaps best known for providing the forward to the second Cul de Sac collection. Which by its virtuosity, subtlety and humor made the cartoons in the book seem superfluous, much as the forward by Bill Watterson had dominated the first collection. For the third collection we've got Walt Disney, who was recently discovered frozen in a glacier in the Swiss Alps, still locked in combat with his nemesis, Pegleg Pete. For that book we're leaving the cartoons out entirely; they're a letdown and an anticlimax, and who needs that? What was I talking about...?

Fan Art! So if you have a hand-drawn (no tracing!) original image of a Cul de Sac character- Alice, Petey, Dill, Beni, a grocery cart- send it my way and I'll post it right here at Fan Art Corner! Nothing too elaborate that might make my work look feeble in comparison please.

UPDATE- Thanks to all who sent in such fine, heart=felt work! I'll post them later today, and designate Saturday Fan Art Day.



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.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Amazon Crazy Days Blow Out Special!

For a limited time Amazon is offering the first Cul de Sac book for only $5.20! Follow this link

Oops! Too late!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Today's Poor Almanack

This is the first one in a while. I nay be a little out of practice.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


No full deck jokes.

Thank you.

Mary Z. Gray

This is my friend Mary Z. Gray on a video from the Washington Post site. My dad worked with Mary on the President's Committee on Mental Retardation back in the 60s and 70s. In 1982, after Mary had become a crack freelancer of humor and travel pieces, she sold a story to the Washington Post Style section and sent along a drawing I did with it. The Post published the story, which wasn't unusual, they'd run Mary's stuff for some time, but they ran the drawing too, thus inadvertently launching my dubious career.

In the video Mary, who's one of the funniest raconteurs I know, talks quite movingly about growing up on Capitol Hill and living above her father's funeral parlor. I'd heard her talk about this before, but never known the address of her old residence. Reading the interview in today's Post Metro section. I turned to B8 at the jump and there was a photo of the house's current incarnation. It's now the Haskell Center, part of the Folger Shakespeare Library where my wife works as a docent.

The full interview with Mary is here

Poll at Comic Riffs

There's a poll over at Mike Cavna's Comic Riffs blog about Cul de Sac's placement in the Sunday Post. My official position is, as long as they keep it away from the obituaries and the tire ads. I'm satisfied.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


In the Great Computer Crash of Aught-9 we lost most all of our old emails and a good chunk of our addresses. If I owe you an email you might want to send me a new one, or send one just to remind me of your address. Emails that include cathartic or uplifting jokes will, of course, receive priority.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Our computer just died, after spitting out steam and giant bedsprings. Amy says it doesn't seem able to locate its own hard drive (and it's sitting right there, plain as day). We may have to wipe it and start all over. Or drop it from a height, which'd be more emotionally satisfying. This is being typed on the laptop, which feels flimsy and toy-like.