August 12th, 2014
A few years ago, I wrote a recommendation of the strip “Cul de Sac,” by Richard Thompson, a gentleman I had the privilege of meeting several times. I wrote:
The characters are eccentric in ways that continually delight and surprise. I read individual strips in bits and pieces (here’s the strip’s official online home), but it wasn’t until I sat down with the full books in-hand that Alice, Petey, and their parents and friends took on strange and hilarious personalities. The language is clever and specific; the drawings are weird and delightful…
In 2012, Richard retired from drawing “Cul de Sac”, following the worsening of his Parkinson’s disease. To aid in a fundraising effort for Parkinson’s research, I and many of my cartooning colleagues contributed original art to a book called Team Cul de Sac. The next time I saw Richard was in my buddy Dave Kellett’s cartooning documentary Stripped.
This week, Richard passed away from complications from Parkinson’s. He was 58 years old.
Here’s a video that shares a little bit of what made Richard’s art — and his life, and his personality — so marvelous:
I hope everyone takes the time to read some “Cul de Sac”, or his editorial strip, “Richard’s Poor Almanac”. Richard was a phenomenal talent, a cartoonist’s cartoonist whose work overflowed with wit and exuberance, and I hope his voice will endure to inspire generations of artists in the way it has me.
He was also a kind, generous, gentle man whose acquaintance I was supremely honored to have made:
To David, the genius behind Wondermark, with admiration from your fan —
Richard Thompson, SPX 2010
He did not have to be so kind, but he chose to be. I will always be grateful that I met him, that I got the chance to experience his work, and that I could be a tiny, tiny part of his life.
We will miss you, Richard.
Thanks to everyone who entered our latest caption contest! I had a lot of fun reading all the entries, and it was very hard to choose winners, as is always the way of these things. For future reference, the captions were entered on the Wondermark Facebook page, and there were also some in the comments on this post.
Common themes this time around included: the dromedary as stork delivering a baby; puns on “animal magnetism” or “attraction”; mentions of Insane Clown Posse (“magnets, how do they work?”); references to Camel cigarettes or “Arabian” things like shawarma; proverbs about passing through the eyes of needles; instructions to plant the child at some specific spot in the garden; robots; and long Dickensian dialogues.
That all being said, please enjoy some, in no particular order,
“Mabel had a knack for getting out of her chores.”—Graham Bird
“I’ve told you before! Milkshakes bring boys to the yard.”—Gedbury of Slacks Creek
“I’m terribly sorry madam, sometimes the stork delivers the wrong ones. Thank you for keeping the receipt.”—David Ault
“Back off, Ermengarde, I got this.”—Francis Heaney
“I hate the packaging on these things.”—Pan Outeast
“Stand back, Helen! The bastard still has my ball bearings and I’ve finally got him right where I want him!”—Chuck Jordan
“Is that my good magnet? Are you using my good magnet again?!”—Erik Deckers
“Its budget dwindling rapidly, the BBC production of Moby Dick was forced into increasing levels of abstraction.”—Jorpho
“Dammit, woman, don’t try to stop me! This is science!”—Kristan Wheaton
“My real dad lets me play with magnets whenever I want!”—Alex S.
“And with Mother’s return, the situation went from bad to worse.”—Collin Voyles
“Technical foul. Lose one quarter furlong.”—Doug Zimmer
“Get in the car. No time to explain.”—Shawn LeBlanc
“Wait! I want to change my vote!”—David Tresner-Kirsch
“The view from here is much improv’d:
It is two-toed, not cloven-hooved!”—Pan Outeast
…A reminder! Last caption contest, we instituted a rule that we would ALSO consider, as an exhibition entry, a line of dialogue from the current “Garfield”. Which, for the day the contest ended (July 12th), gives us:
“How’s the summer treating you?”
[Hold for polite applause.]
Now, without further ado, or distracting reminders to
come visit me at the San Diego Comic-Con this week, at booth #1229…
Tuesday July 12th, at midnight Pacific time, is the deadline to submit to our fourth Caption Contest! You can submit your entry here on the site, or on the Wondermark Facebook page. I will read all the entries and post my favorites soon!