Click here to see my donation to the Team Cul De Sac book, forthcoming from Andrews McMeel.
Cul de Sac, if you’ve never read it, is one of the best newspaper strips ever, and that my dears is no exaggeration. It’s graceful but idiosyncratic, never in a hurry but never boring, playfully drawn but rooted in deep cartooning know-how. Richard Thompson is one of the more influential cartoonists working today, not only in his own world of newspaper and editorial cartooning/illustration, but in my world, the world of a bunch of cartoonists trying to teach themselves to draw. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with cartoonists about Richard, his approach, which nibs he uses, etc. At HeroesCon last year Richard gave Joe Lambert one of his nibs and he walked away holding it like a piece of fragile treasure.
Anyway. Richard has got Parkinson’s Disease, which sucks. He’s pretty cheerful about it, but I am not. Richard’s friend Chris Sparks has organized Team Cul De Sac, which is raising money as part of Michael J. Fox’s Team Fox charity, to benefit Parkinson’s research. They’re not only raising money, but they’re putting together a book full of cartoonists’ takes on Richard’s characters, with the proceeds going to benefit the charity. The book will be published later this year by Andrews McMeel, and the list of contributors already includes Bill Watterson, Patrick McDonnell, Sergio Aragones, Stephen Pastis, Pat Oliphant, and I believe good ole “me.”
Richard Thompson really is one of the most influential cartoonists of his (or my) generation; it’s a pleasure to be a part of such an august assemblage of artists, and I hope when the book comes out you’ll purchase a copy–and even before then, if you have the space in your budget, think about donating to the Team Cul De Sac charity drive. Parkinson’s is a degenerative illness that it’s within our power to cure; for those of us who aren’t doctors or researchers and can’t help directly, being able to donate money to research and treatment is a not only an option but a necessity. Thanks!