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 $2600 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."

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