RIP: Richard Thompson, creator of “Cul de Sac”

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 SacThe 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:

Miss you, Richard.

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.