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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tribute to Richard Thompson


 Yesterday, Richard Thompson of Cul de Sac fame passed away at the age of 58. 

Richard Thompson's work was very influential to me. First there was the artwork. His drawing skills are ridiculous. How can so loose a line be so exact and right? It's amazing how much the line quality can say about the artist. What sticks out most about his drawing is the blend between excitable nervous energy and also pure joy. There's always a happiness permeating his drawings that you don't need words to say. That joy infiltrates its way into his editorial illustrations and his comics and his characters.

His watercolors then… I'm not even going there how good THEY are. 

Lastly, his storytelling and characters. Richard Thompson is one of the last standard bearer of the traditional newspaper comic strip, and while the newspaper industry and the comics that are in it are on life support, it may be a long time until we see his likes again. But even as the newspaper industry is gasping for air while the internet came of age, along came Richard Thompson's Cul de Sac.

His writing alone would have made an amazing comic strip. Even if you took away his irreplaceable art, you'd still believe Alice and Petey are real. They were real kids. Richard Thompson somehow knew how kids talked (Not what they said, HOW they said it). The joyful banter back and forth, the seemingly non sequitars between Alice's preschool friends, the incessant worrying of a milquetoast brother. It's crazy how talented this guy was.

The mark that he made on my work (and on countless others!) is incalculable. It's upsetting that he was taken away so fast from Parkinson's, and my thoughts and prayers will be with his family and friends as they grapple the loss. I want to close this by emphasizing to everyone what joy he brought to the world through his art. Thank you, Richard!

Monday, July 11, 2016