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

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Thompson art for National Geographic's New Everyday Science Explained

Yesterday would have been Richard's 62nd birthday. In honor of that, we've recently been told of a book where Richard contributed over a score of drawings, and we'll share some of them with you. Richard's drawings were used in the 1996 edition called Everyday Science Explained and then reprinted in 2003. His ability to do scientific cartoons was well established by this point as he'd been illustrating Why Things Are with Joel Achenbach for the Washington Post and Curt Suplee was a former science columnist for the paper. I don't recall seeing the originals to these, and don't know if they were in his archive when we were working on The Art of Richard Thompson.

In The New Everyday Science Explained, by Curt Suplee, National Geographic, 2003, ISBN 0-7922-7357-5, Richard Thompson is given credit for the following drawings (thanks to National Geographic collector Richard Kennedy for the list):

  • p. 15 (bottom) Kicking soccer and bowling balls
  • p. 20 Stepping from dinghy to dock
  • p. 27 (left) Elastic vs. inelastic collisions with a tennis racket
  • p. 30 (bottom) Car breaking down
  • p. 32 (bottom) Archimedes on a lever lifting the world
  • p. 68 Couple running on beach demonstrating convection of heat
  • p. 76 (bottom) Man in elevator demonstrating acceleration
  • p. 80 Bullet dropped and fired hit the ground simultaneously 
  • p. 87 Couple demonstrating that opposites attract
  • p. 94-95 House showing multiple motors
  • p. 114 Man on sidewalk being bombarded by different electromagnetic signals
  • p. 130 (bottom) Periodic table of elements in classroom setting
  • p. 134 Man holding hoop with animals jumping through it showing the work of catalysts
  • p. 144 Man adding water to glass tub of ingredients and creating a new person illustrating that our bodies are mostly water
  • p. 168  (bottom) Fashion models on runway wearing barrels marked with artificial ingredients
  • p. 186 Cafeteria "Build You Own PROTEIN at the Amino Acid Bar"
  • p. 190 Hamsters on stadium seating holding panels that make a picture of a hamster
  • p. 193 Three dogs showing chromosome transmittal to offspring
  • p. 212 Flu viruses in front of "International Panel of Scientists"
  • p. 237 (top) Man on assembly line demonstrating liver functions
  • p. 244 Drawing of a person with body parts sized according to the number of sensory nerves they contain
  • p. 246 Interior of head showing that images on the retina are upside down
  • p. 264 Man in bed dreaming
We'll return to these two books and compare the contents of the 1996 and 2003 editions when we get a copy of the earlier book.























Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Lee Salem has died

Lee Salem, the man who convinced Richard to bring Cul de Sac to a wider audience than just the Washington Post passed away this weekend from a stroke.

His obituary can be found here:

Lee's Story
Lee Salem's Get Well Page August 22, 2019

Friday, August 23, 2019

Danielle Corsetto remembers Richard via his original art

Danille Corsetto commented on some original Cul de Sac art she owns during her studio tour on her Patreon page at https://www.patreon.com/dcorsetto , referring to it as among her 'fave original art!"

With her permission, we reproduce it here:



Sunday, August 18, 2019

Cul de Sac comic strips and books auctioned to save bookstore


Several thousand dollars were raised today through auctions of Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac original art, books, and other works,to assist One More Page Bookstore in paying an unexpected large tax bill.

As the bookstore faced a Draconian tax increase, books Richard had signed before his death, along with 2 strips newly donated by Amy Thompson, sold to fans of the cartoonist, including one strip to local cartoonist Daniel Boris. A quick calculation is that Richard provided about $2500 in sales or 12.5% of the auction proceeds (but check the math before quoting me).


One More Page was dear to Richard, hosting him for their first booksigning (before the store had even opened), for his first Cul de Sac collection. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, the store held fundraisers for Team Cul de Sac to raise money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Richard passed away just barely over three years ago.
The store's auction site described the original art as such:

American illustrator and cartoonist Richard Thompson was best known for his syndicated comic strip Cul de Sac. Richard received the Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year in 2010. We are huge fans of Richard's work and were thrilled when he agreed to do an event at OMP when we first opened. Over the years, he was a invaluable supporter, promoting OMP and signing countless books to be shipped to fans worldwide.
Richard's wife, Amy, generously donated this original artwork of a panel of Cul de Sac ("Trick or Treat" panel #111031), his strip which focused on a four-year-old girl, Alice Otterloop, and her daily life at preschool and at home. Cul de Sac was published in more than 70 newspapers by the fall of 2007 and was distributed nationally as both a daily and Sunday strip by Universal Press Syndicate.
Bill Watterson, created of Calvin and Hobbes, praised Thompson's work: 
"I thought the best newspaper comic strips were long gone, and I've never been happier to be wrong. Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac has it all—intelligence, gentle humor, a delightful way with words, and, most surprising of all, wonderful, wonderful drawings."
"Cul de Sac's whimsical take on the world and playful sense of language somehow gets funnier the more times you read it. Four-year-old Alice and her Blisshaven Preschool classmates will ring true to any parent. Doing projects in a cloud of glue and glitter, the little kids manage to reinterpret an otherwise incomprehensible world via their meandering, nonstop chatter. But I think my favorite character is Alice's older brother, Petey. A haunted, controlling milquetoast, he's surely one of the most neurotic kids to appear in comics. These children and their struggles are presented affectionately, and one of the things I like best about Cul de Sac is its natural warmth. Cul de Sac avoids both mawkishness and cynicism and instead finds genuine charm in its loopy appreciation of small events. Very few strips can hit this subtle note."

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Take it on Faith - art from 1999

Richard did this piece for E.J. Dionne Jr.'s Chattering Class column for the Washington Post Magazine on June 20, 1999. That's the Washington National Cathedral in the drawing.

I don't recall ever seeing the original in his files.


Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Silent Auction continues with signed Richard Thompson books at One More Page Books



They're not making any more of these, folks. I guarantee it. They've got Richard's Poor Alamanac, The Art of Richard Thompson, and The Complete Cul de Sac.

Upcoming Events
The auction site is live! You have until 5 pm on August 18th to bid on the AMAZING items, experiences, and services donated by staff, authors, local businesses, customers and friends! We appreciate all of your continued support in response to the recent property tax increase from Arlington County.








703-300-9746

Monday through Saturday 10am to 8pm, Sundays 12 noon to 5pm
CONNECT WITH US


One More Page | 2200 N. Westmoreland Street, #101, Arlington, VA 22213





Monday, June 3, 2019

More "lost" Richard Thompson art


Last week saw two people reach out to me with "lost" art by Richard.

From Richard's old friend Brian Nicklas:

O - M - G !!!  I found I had two more [pieces of original art]. And one I even have the page out of WaPo [aka Washington Post] that it was done for. Yippee!








And from Anita Finkelstein comes an 11x14" page of the Ugly Truck of 1993 from the 1993 Ameriprint calendar. Bono Mitchell says this was originally done for one of the Bonotom client magazines.






If you're interested in purchasing one of the 1993 calendars in mint condition, which also has pieces by 11 other artists, contact Chris Sparks via Team Cul de Sac.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

"New" Richard Thompson art


From Richard's old friend Brian Nicklas:

 I found a scan of the original art Richard did for me for my talk on the History of Aviation and Photography.

This was for a talk I gave at ISAP (International Society for Aviation Photography) V held March 3-5, 2005 in Chantilly, VA.

So, as you know Richard - it was done in February, 2005.

This was shown after the image of the Wright's Dec 17, 1903 first flight taken by Coastguardsman John T. Daniels.

 I said to Richard I needed something to show how amazing it was that we had an image of the moment of invention. It would be like a caveman having one of those "Flintstones' cameras to take an image of the first wheel.

So here we have the Cronk brothers, Murray and Oog - on the first wheel - as depicted by the much loved "R.T."

Friday, March 22, 2019

Rarely-seen Richard Thompson cartoon in upcoming Billy Ireland exhibit

by Mike Rhode

A never-before-seen piece of Richard Thompson's original artwork, rarely seen even in publication, is about to go on display in Columbus, Ohio.

Upcoming exhibitions at The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library &Museum
DRAWING BLOOD: COMICS AND MEDICINE
&
FRONT LINE: EDITORIAL CARTOONISTS AND THE FIRST AMENDMENT
On display April 20, 2019 – October 20, 2019
DRAWING BLOOD: COMICS AND MEDICINE: This exhibit traces the history of comics’ obsession with medicine from the 18th century to today. The earliest cartoonists frequently satirized a medical practice dominated by bloodletting, purging, and other largely ineffective treatments. Over the next two centuries, modern medicine would go through remarkable transformations. Comics were there for the good and the bad, helping to rebrand the doctor from quack to hero, but also critiquing a medical system that often privileged profits over patients. Drawing Blood highlights the sometimes caustic eye of cartoonists as they consider doctors, patients, illness, and treatment in the rapidly changing world of medicine—one which continues to present new possibilities and new challenges. The exhibit features work by a wide array of creators, from pioneers of cartooning like James Gillray, William Hogarth, Thomas Nast, and Frederick Opper to contemporary greats like Richard Thompson, Carol Tyler, John Porcellino, Alison Bechdel, and Julia Wertz.
Curated by Professor Jared Gardner, OSU Department of English

I received the above notice the other day and have already pointed out that the second exhibit is co-curated by Ann Telnaes.  I also reached out to ask my friendly acquaintance Dr. Gardner what piece of Richard Thompson artwork he was including in the show. Curator Caitlin McGurk and the Billy Ireland did a very nice show of Richard's artwork a few years ago, and he donated material to them before he passed away, so I was curious what Jared had chosen.

The press release says you have a piece by Richard Thompson in it. Can you tell me what it is?

The piece by Richard is a loan from Kevin Wolf— it a small cartoon he did for an actuarial magazine he regularly did spot-illustration and cover work for over the years.

What spoke to you about the art? Were you previously a fan of Richard's?

I’ve long been a fan of Richard’s work, and getting to meet him briefly during his visit to the exhibition of his work at the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum was an incredible honor.

How did you select it for the exhibit, especially since it wasn't in the pieces he donated to the Billy Ireland?

Kevin Wolf, the owner of this particular piece, shares my interest in comics and medicine and is a regular attendee at the Graphic Medicine conference. He shared the cartoon with me, a really fun gag cartoon of a knight trying to figure out insurance policy options, and he generously offered to lend it for the show. It will be featured in a section dedicated to medicine and humor, a section that will also include an early doctor’s visit by Bill Watterson’s Calvin and an page from Mad Magazine poking fun at doctors.

I know the piece. As you note, it was done for Contingencies Magazine, art-directed by Richard's old friend Bono Mitchell. We considered it for The Art of Richard Thompson book but it didn't make the final cut. There was too much to choose from. Below is a scan we made for the book.

Anything else you'd like to add about the exhibit?

I guess the only other thing to add is that the exhibit begins in the 18th century with Hogarth and co. and ends with the modern “graphic medicine” movement that was kicked off with Justin Green’s Binky Brown and which is today a veritable flood of remarkable graphic memoirs and other comics about illness and healing.

(published simultaneously on ComicsDC and Cul de Sac blogs)

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Will Henry liked Cul de Sac

New kid on the block: Will Henry's 'Wallace the Brave' joins Savannah Morning News' comics lineup

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The Art of Richard Thompson is available in French

As of last fall, The Art of Richard Thompson is available in French (in Europe at least) from Urban Comics of Paris. They have done an excellent job on the book production. Cul de Sac is also reprinted by them in three volumes. The American version is sold out from Andrews McMeel. The Incomplete Art of Why Things Are (The Richard Thompson Library Volume 1) is still currently available.




The note says that translated versions of the comics have been added at the back of this edition.
 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Cartoonist RJ Casey would like to teach Richard Thompson's humor

Dreaming in Comics: Alumni Interview with RJ Casey '09

Friday, June 8, 2018

Bill Watterson art auction for Team Cul de Sac - information on bidding

In honor of Arlington's Richard Thompson who passed away two years ago fro Parkinson's disease, Bill Watterson has donated a signed sketch in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes book vol. 1
  Chris Sparks added 2 photos in ORIGINAL COMIC ART COLLECTORS .       Chris Sparks June 8 at 10:34am   For folks asking me about the Bill Watterson art for The Michael J Fox Foundation/ Team Cul de Sac. Feel free to email me at teamculdesac@gmail.com for other questions. Please share. This is for a great cause. Art info: "Calvin and Hobbes sketch and signature by Bill Watterson, approx 2" x 2" - On display Friday night during the Drink and Draw, auctioned off Saturday night at the Art Auction" Bid on the Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes art Auction/Team Cul de Sac Drink and Draw. Chris Sparks will be at AA-724 next weekend at Heroescon. Come by and see him for any questions about TCDS or anything about the Drink and Draw. This year HeroesCon is privileged to display and auction off a copy of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes for Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This volume features a rare signature and sketch from creator Bill Watterson. There are several ways to bid on this unique item. Email your proxy bids to teamculdesac@gmail.com by 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. Email bids received after 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 will not be tallied. The piece will be auctioned off live at 9 p.m. Saturday night during the HeroesCon art auction in the Westin Grand Ballroom. Bids may also be placed live starting at 9 p.m. via Heroes' Facebook Live event. Make sure to follow Heroes Aren't Hard to Find on Facebook to participate in the live auction. Further information can be found online at www.heroesonline.com, www.teamculdesac.blogspot.com, and the Information Booth on the convention floor. ***More info with be posted next week and weekend about details on the Facebook live event.*** Don't miss the 8th Annual HeroesCon Drink & Draw Charity Event Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Providence Ballroom; co-sponsored by Chris Caira and Brian Saucier of www.creatorlaw.com. Come see and bid on live art pieces created by attending HeroesCon artists, with all proceeds going to Team Cul de Sac for Parkinson's Research in honor of the late, great Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson.. Art supplies and materials will once again be provided by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, and live music by our friends Jack the Radio.   Like Comment    
   
   
 
   
   
 
 
   
Chris Sparks
 
For folks asking me about the Bill Watterson art for The Michael J Fox Foundation/ Team Cul de Sac. Feel free to email me at teamculdesac@gmail.com for other questions.

Please share. This is for a great cause.
Art info:
"Calvin and Hobbes sketch and signature by Bill Watterson, approx 2" x 2" - On display Friday night during the Drink and Draw, auctioned off Saturday night at the Art Auction"

Bid on the Bill Watterson Calvin and Hobbes art Auction/Team Cul de Sac Drink and Draw. Chris Sparks will be at AA-724 next weekend at Heroescon. Come by and see him for any questions about TCDS or anything about the Drink and Draw.

This year HeroesCon is privileged to display and auction off a copy of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes for Team Cul de Sac and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. This volume features a rare signature and sketch from creator Bill Watterson. There are several ways to bid on this unique item. Email your proxy bids to teamculdesac@gmail.com by 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16. Email bids received after 7 p.m. on Saturday, June 16 will not be tallied.

The piece will be auctioned off live at 9 p.m. Saturday night during the HeroesCon art auction in the Westin Grand Ballroom. Bids may also be placed live starting at 9 p.m. via Heroes' Facebook Live event. Make sure to follow Heroes Aren't Hard to Find on Facebook to participate in the live auction. Further information can be found online at www.heroesonline.com, www.teamculdesac.blogspot.com, and the Information Booth on the convention floor.

***More info with be posted next week and weekend about details on the Facebook live event.***

Don't miss the 8th Annual HeroesCon Drink & Draw Charity Event Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Westin Providence Ballroom; co-sponsored by Chris Caira and Brian Saucier of www.creatorlaw.com. Come see and bid on live art pieces created by attending HeroesCon artists, with all proceeds going to Team Cul de Sac for Parkinson's Research in honor of the late, great Cul de Sac cartoonist Richard Thompson..

Art supplies and materials will once again be provided by Cheap Joe's Art Stuff, and live music by our friends Jack the Radio.
 






 
 
   
   
 
 
 
   
 
   
   
 

   


Monday, June 4, 2018

Signed Bill Watterson book to be auctioned for Team Cul de Sac

From Chris Sparks:

Bill Watterson contributes a signed with a doodle in a hardcover of the Complete Calvin and Hobbes to Team Cul de Sac for our Heroescon Drink and Draw auction. A sketch from Bill is beyond very rare. We appreciate his continued support in helping us to raise money for the Michael J Fox Foundation for research in honor of our friend Richard Thompson. (Remember, you can donate at any time). Please visit our booth at Heroescon and come out to our drink and draw at the Westin ballroom on Friday night,the 15th of June. We will probably do remote bidding for those unable to attend in person

 #heroescon #tea
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(64K)
mculdesac

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Support Team Cul de Sac by donating artwork


Heroescon (June 15th-17th) is right around the corner. Guess what folks, it means it is time for me to ask for more wonderful donations for this years Drink and Draw! Which will be held on the night of the 15th after the shows activities are over for the day. Shelton Drum and the crew will be announcing the location soon over at https://www.heroesonline.com/heroescon/

I met Richard Thompson at Heroescon in 2008. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's a year later and in 2010 we started Team Cul de Sac to raise money for the Michael J Fox Foundation. So far we have raised over $241,000 bucks and I would really like to break the quarter million dollar mark this year.

What can we use? Original published art is always wonderful! We also love any art that you would like to produce for the event that you have been inspired to do this year.

Maybe you have a new book out and would like to send a few copies with sketches in them?

Maybe you want to do a live painting at the event for us?

Maybe your publisher would like to donate other books for us to sale at our booth?

Remember every penny we raise goes to The Michael J Fox Foundation for research. Not a penny goes to the overhead of the operations.

I need donations by 8th of June. Remember to send a business card/ contact info so we can promote you and your donation!

Our address is

Team Cul de Sac
C/O Chris Sparks
54 Herron Ave
Asheville NC 28806

If you have any questions, please email us at teamculdesac@gmail.com



Friday, September 8, 2017

New collection of Richard Thompson art coming out next weekend


The Incomplete Art of "Why Things Are"
Art by Richard Thompson
Foreword by Joel Achenbach • Edited by Michael Rhode
The Richard Thompson Library, Volume 1
Before the incalculable capacity of the Internet to answer nearly any question put to it while allowing a legion of pedants to hold forth without constraint, getting the facts of the matter took some effort. Just before the end of those benighted times there was a Washington Post column entitled "Why Things Are" to which readers could pose everything from child-like queries to stoner hypotheticals in the hope of answers to life's arcane conundrums. That weekly column ran in the newspaper from 1990 to 1996, and it was adorned with smart, silly cartoons by then staff artist extraordinaire Richard Thompson. In retrospect, it's not surprising that those cartoons stand up quite well by themselves, getting their own laughs from the eccentric questions posed by readers. Gathered here for the first time is a (near) complete collection of Thompson's genius illustrations and cartoons for "Why Things Are," the first regular humor series in Thompson's career.
THE RICHARD THOMPSON LIBRARY

The Richard Thompson Library, published by Picture This Press, collects the work of one of the great artists working in cartooning and illustration in the last 25 years.
Paperback: $27.95 • 346 pp. • B&W • paperback • ISBN: 978-0-9906932-8-4
Hardcover: $34.95 • 346 pp. • B&W • hardcover • ISBN: 978-0-9906932-9-1


Richard Thompson (1957-2016)

Richard Thompson
photo by Allan Janus

Thompson—one of his generation's greatest cartoonists and caricaturists—was beloved by readers and fellow artists alike. Pat Oliphant called him "Michelangelo with a sense of humor," and Bill Watterson, who had not said anything publicly in almost 20 years, broke his silence to credit Thompson with "giving me a reason to read the comics again." In a more than 35-year career, Thompson, his work appeared in U.S. News & World Report, The New Yorker, Air & Space/Smithsonian, National Geographic, and The Atlantic Monthly. He is best known for his 2004–12 syndicated comic strip, Cul de Sac.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Richard Thompson at Deep Creek Lake - previously unseen art



A local illustrator, caricaturist and courtroom artist Dana Verkouteren just shared this painting with me, noting it "was one Richard painted after he, Bono [Mitchell], and Linda Lunsford were up at Deep Creek lake with me, for a  late autumn weekend. It was an incredible thank you gift that I treasure! Honestly, even looking at it up close, I’ve no idea how he created that image. 



This was back in the early 1990s. This is a watercolor I did from a photo after the weekend from a hike. That’s Linda in front with her camera, my brother Steve is in the red shirt, and my ex-husband Bill standing. That’s a part of Richard painted in the lighter green, slightly hidden behind Steve’s backpack. That’s Steve’s dog “Lexi” happily striding on the left.

Thanks to Mike Jenkins for the tip.