Showing posts with label Richard Thompson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richard Thompson. Show all posts

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Remembering Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson, the ace cartoonist from Arlington, passed away a year ago today from complications of Parkinson's disease. I still find myself thinking I need to stop in when I'm on his side of town. Take a look at some of his drawings and share a smile in his memory today.
































Thursday, August 04, 2016

Remembering Mr. Richard

by Claire Rhode

I will be eternally grateful for the time I have spent with artists. From an early age, I was my dad's frequent companion to everything from art museums to comic conventions. I met a lot of artists, but none of those I met were ever quite like Mr. Richard Thompson.

Mr. Richard was one of the artists who seemed to be around all of the time, with my knowledge of him coming from being my dad's shadow and not from any prior experience with his work (although I soon learned). Because of that, I have no memory of actually meeting him. In my (admittedly flawed) memory, he has just always been a part of my life. I remember play dates with Charlotte mostly arranged so our dads could hang out; picking up Mr. Richard for conventions; and frequent mentions of my dad "going over to Richard's for an hour" (or two or three). It seems to me that I don't have a past without Mr. Richard in it, at least tangentially, and I cannot imagine a future where he is not present at all.

It isn't just his presence in my life that has made him special to me. A lot of people have talked about his sly wit (which, quite frankly, flew over my head until recently) and his art far more eloquently than I could ever hope to, so instead I want to talk about his kindness. Mr. Richard had a knack for making everyone in the room feel seen and a part of things, even the ten-year-old in the corner reading. He would smile or crack a quick joke and no matter who he was talking to, he would make them feel included, just as if they were old friends joking around. A talent like that is a wonderful thing to have. I wish that Mr. Richard had gotten more time, for art, for his jokes, for his kindness, and, most importantly, for his family and friends, but I also know that he lived his life in a way that made a lot of people smile, and that is a wonderful gift to have given to the world.

Mr. Richard, rest in peace.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Some tributes to Richard Thompson in the press (updated as necessary)

WUSA: Local acclaimed illustrator dies at 58

ComicsDC's Mike Rhode:A short personal remembrance of Richard Thompson

Brian Fies: Richard Thompson

ICv2: R.I.P. RICHARD THOMPSON

Donna Lewis: So many words. So few words.

Washington Post's Michael Cavna's online obituary

Heroes Con: THANK YOU RICHARD THOMPSON

John Martz: A Cartoonist Remembers His Hero, Cul de Sac’s Richard Thompson

Stacy Curtis: Rest in Peace, Richard Thompson

Dave Kellett's Sheldon comic

Scoop: In Memoriam: Richard Thompson

A Certain Line: When the laughter stops

Washington Post's Michael Cavna: These are the Richard Thompson masterpieces we’ll most remember him by

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

Encore Stage: Remembering Richard Thompson, Creator of Cul de Sac

Cartoonist Richard Thompson Dies of Parkinson's Disease by Peter Dunlap-Shohl

RIP, Richard Thompson: How the artist extends to us the hand of profound wit and humanity By Michael Cavna

Comics Journal: Tributes to Richard Thompson - Craig Fischer and Warren Bernard and Charles Hatfield

Mike Lynch: Richard Thompson 1957-2016

Comics Journal: Dancing on the Manhole Cover: The Genius of Richard Thompson by Phil Nel

Comics Journal: Obituary by Andrew Farago

ComicsDC: Claire Rhode on Remembering Mr. Richard

RIP Richard Thompson by Dana Jeri Maier

Donna Lewis' Reply All tribute

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Richard Thompson panel at 2011 Heroes Con

Heroes Con is going on this weekend in Charlotte, NC. Richard Thompson's mother was an orphan in the town, and the con is held right across the street from the former orphanage space.

We went down twice together, at the invitation of con owner Shelton Drum and his right-hand man, Dustin Harbin. Richard had a great time. Last night I stumbled across a recording that I had forgotten about, so I put it online.  I haven't listened to it since recording it, but here's Richard talking about Cul de Sac, and Parkinson's Disease.

Heroes Con 2011: Richard Thompson A Celebration


Published June 4, 2011


10:30 AM
Richard Thompson: A Celebration
Room 209 


Is Cul-De Sac the best comic strip being published today?
Perhaps, but one thing is for certain, it is the best drawn and the
funniest. Okay, that's two things. Please join Mike Rhode and
some fellow strip creators as we sit down and examine the art of Mr.
Thompson. In addition to discussing craft and daily deadlines, we will
see if Richard can provide any insight as to whether poor Petey will
make it through the entire soccer season without having a psychotic
breakdown. Ahhh, total Bliss (haven).

With Craig Fischer and Team Cul de Sac's Chris Sparks.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Compleating Cul de Sac draft in hand - a new Richard Thompson book coming soon

A Team Cul de Sac fundraiser book is coming soon!

Including all the art that was left out of Eisner-award-nominated The Complete Cul de Sac, it's 150 pages of strips, interviews and sketches.

We're pleased to provide more Richard Thompson for your viewing pleasure while supporting Parkinson's disease research.

Ordering information will be available soon after our crack team of editors (Richard, Mike Rhode, Chris Sparks and Bono Mitchell) carefully scrutinize the book to decide which errors and mistakes we can let slip through.







Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The Art of Richard Thompson book excerpt: Thompson and Bill Watterson talk comics

Not a hoax. Not a joke. Not an April Fool's day trick. Here's an excerpt of the conversation of Richard Thompson and Bill Watterson from The Art of Richard Thompson, which you can buy right now from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or order and wait for a copy signed by Richard from One More Page.

BILL WATTERSON: When I was a kid, I loved Peanuts, so I wanted to be the next Charles Schulz. I didn’t understand what that meant of course, but it seemed like a plan. You came to your comic strip from a different path,
however.

RICHARD THOMPSON: Yeah. Off in my own little world of being a pretend cartoonist. Without a plan.

BW: So how did you envision cartooning? What was your experience of it as a kid?

RT: Well, Schulz pretty much defined “cartoonist.” But I remember in fifth grade, a friend’s older sister had some Pogo books and we spent the day poring over them. That was the first time I understood some of the jokes. It was pretty intimidating and dense for a kid.

RT: Yeah, mostly strips. Comic books were hard to find. And a strip is a one-person deal. Not like animation, where you’ve got to work with other people.

BW: As a kid, animation just seemed out of the question to me. I wouldn’t even know how to go about doing it.

RT: It was interesting. But even when I was old enough to maybe try it, I always hated the idea of working with others.

BW: Plus, you needed film equipment and all that.

RT: Yeah. Really, though, I did cartoons without any clear thought of having a future in it.

BW: Any other strips or cartoons that had any impact as a kid?

RT: Some strange ones. There was a panel called Mr. Tweedy about a hapless little guy. I don't remember who drew it. And there was Freddy by a guy who signed as Rupe. I think he was local.

BW: I don't know either one.

RT: I think it was probably in one paper. Also, Wizard of Id... BC... And Mad Magazine of course. I discovered that when I was probably ten.

BW: I remember there was some shock value in bringing Mad home.

RT: Right. (laughs) I remember the first time I picked it up in the grocery store and said I wanted to buy this. My parents looked at it and went ickkk. But my dad finally read it and started giggling. He had a good sense of humor, thankfully.

BW: My next-door neighbor bought it regularly, and he'd bring it over and I'd pore over the drawings. Eventually I worked up the nerve to ask my mom if I could get it. There were a number of years when I really thought Mad was the cat's pajamas, although now I think it was pretty formulaic. But even as a kid, it seemed out of the mainstream of cartooning. It was off in its own world.

RT: It seemed to open up this whole subculture.

BW: Could you imagine yourself doing something in that direction?

RT: Kinda vaguely.

BW: I could never see a way in. I couldn't imagine myself drawing movie and TV satires. I guess Don Martin did the closest thing to a regular cartoon, but in that grotesque style. Or Dave Berg's whatever....

RT: The Lighter Side Of (laughs). I'd often read it first. It was always so square!

BW: Right! So what did you respond to in Mad? What aspect?

RT: Oh, the art. The Aragones drawings in the margins and stuff like that. There was no one thing. Spy vs Spy, which was kind of exotic. And of course the parodies, where you discover caricature.

BW: I marveled at Mort Drucker, but I didn't see any road between here and there. At that age, my drawing skills were pretty much limited to drawing things in side-view outlines.

RT: I would try, but... I do remember seeing David Levine drawings of Nixon in like, sixth grade, in my classroom. My teacher was an anti-Nixonite. These beautiful, elegant drawings of Nixon--I remember being fascinated by it. He was using ink like paint, almost.

BW: What, the hatching?

RT: Yeah. So elegant.

BW: I never really responded to Levine. The likenesses were strong, but sort of like stone sculpture, or something- -not warm. I dunno. I remember Oliphant's caricatures really impressed me--so wild and cartoony, compared to Drucker. But getting a likeness is really hard. What made you want to do that?

RT: Caricature was something that'd always interested me. Later, as a freelancer, I thought the more arrows in my quiver the better. When I showed the art director at the Post, Mike Keegan, some pages of caricature sketches, he was delighted. I was suddenly taken more seriously too. I remember the British show Spitting Image had just premiered, and it gave me the kick I needed.

BW: Hm, I'm trying to think what else was in the air back then...

RT: I remember we had a bunch of New Yorker cartoon books in the classroom. This is like fifth or sixth grade. The teacher would bring them from home or something.

BW: OK, you moved in more sophisticated circles than I did!

RT: I didn't quite understand them. There's a Roz Chast drawing about her as a child finding Charles Addams cartoons, and I remember finding those too, and how gruesome they were. And the painting in them was soft and..

BW: The grays?

RT: Yeah, like no one else.

BW: I was probably a bit older when I saw New Yorkers. You know, if it was a cartoon, I'd jump to read it, but I don't remember them making much impact. Well, actually, I still like George Booth a lot. He's one of the few New Yorker cartoonists whose drawings are funny.

RT: I remember being impressed with New Yorker cartoons, but I probably didn't understand much.

BW: How about comic books? Nothing?

RT: Some. They were hard to find. I'd find them occasionally, and then I'd probably whine 'til I got them. If they were Batmans.

BW: Really, they were hard to find? My town had three drugstores that used to carry them, and I'd get them sometimes, but superhero comics didn't do a lot for me.

RT: Archie and whatnot... I had a few of those but I was never really into them.

BW: One summer my neighbor gave me this huge box of Archie comic books, and I read them in the car on some family vacation. I have no idea where he got them, but there were a zillion of the things, so my brother and I sat in the back seat reading one after another until it nearly killed us. We read ten thousand Archie comic books and they were all exactly the same.

RT: And the drawings are so clean.

BW: Yeah, very slick. Even then I thought they were dumb and outdated. It's a bizarre memory. How about underground comix? Did they have any impact on you?

RT: Some. I came late to undergrounds. I had friends who collected them (Henry Allen has Zap #0) but my main exposure was all in histories and anthologies. I liked, revered Crumb, though he is overwhelming, and thought Wonder Warthog was freaking hilarious.

BW: I saw some in college and I liked Wonder Warthog too, but on the whole, the undergrounds didn't make much connection. I preferred sillier, more cartoony stuff, I suppose.

What non-cartoon things made an impression on you as a kid?

RT: My folks liked doing things and making me a part of it. I remember when the Mona Lisa came to town. I was about six. We stood in line for a long time. Red draperies and guards every few feet, and then  ventually, there it is. My mom liked it a lot. The whole way, she was telling me what an important painting it was and the story of it. She had a great appreciation for culture. She didn’t have any great understanding of it so much as just liked it, I guess.

BW: Wow, I guess you’re one of the few people who’s ever seen it without a foot of bulletproof glass in front of it.

RT: I think so. You couldn’t get right up to it--there were velvet ropes. But you could breathe the same air. (BW laughs)

BW: I don’t remember much exposure to fine art--just the popular culture of the day. I think of my childhood as the Batman TV show, the Beatles, and the moon landings. Although I do remember in middle school there were a few years when I read all the Doctor Dolittle books. I loved those--the idea of talking to animals. A PETA sensibility ahead of its time. It probably had some subliminal influence on my strip. What aspects of pop culture did you participate in?

RT: Well yes, the moon landings and take-offs. You knew it was important when the teacher pushed the TV into the classroom.

Jump over to Richard's Cul de Sac blog for more discussion on comic strips.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

New Eric Shansby painting for Team Cul de Sac

Washington Post cartoonist Eric Shansby has done a painting for Team Cul de Sac's fundraising effort to defeat Parkinson's disease. The painting will be auctioned this spring, but money can be donated at any time.

Shansby took over illustrating Gene Weingarten's Below the Beltway column from Richard Thompson, when Thompson moved on to doing Cul de Sac.

The painting shows Alice and Petey from Cul de Sac, climbing on Ben Franklin, an inspiration for Richard's other Washington Post strip, Richard's Poor Almanac. It is acrylic on canvas board and measures approximately 9"x12".

The painting will also be reproduced in the forthcoming fundraising book, Compleating Cul de Sac, which includes interviews, sketches and 100 Washington Post strips left out of the Complete Cul de Sac.

Friday, January 16, 2015

"The Art of Richard Thompson"

"The Art of Richard Thompson"


http://www.politics-prose.com/event/b...

Named the Outstanding Cartoonist of 2010 by the National Cartoonists Society, Richard Thompson is best known for his syndicated series, Cul de Sac. But his work encompasses much more, and in this colorful career retrospective, six of his peers present the different facets of Thompson's art. Join Galifianakis, Washington Post cartoonist and author of If You Loved Me, You'd Think This Was Cute, Weingarten, Pulitzer-winning journalist who writes The Washington Post's "Below the Beltway" column, and Apatoff, an illustration scholar whose recent work includes a biography of illustrator Robert Fawcett. They will be interviewed by Michael Cavna, writer, artist, and lapsed cartoonist now producing The Washington Post's "Comic Riffs." (Andrews McMeel)

Founded by Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade in 1984, Politics & Prose Bookstore is Washington, D.C.'s premier independent bookstore and cultural hub, a gathering place for people interested in reading and discussing books. Politics & Prose offers superior service, unusual book choices, and a haven for book lovers in the store and online. Visit them on the web at http://www.politics-prose.com/

Friday, January 09, 2015

The Art of Richard Thompson at Politics and Prose

Politics and Prose had a good turnout for a discussion of The Art of Richard Thompson book. They video'd the talk, but until they put it online you can go to https://archive.org/details/PP150109ArtOfRichardThompson for unofficial audio. Here's official Richard Thompson photographer Bruce Guthrie's take.

They have about 20 signed (but not by Richard who was too sick to appear) books for sale.

Michael Cavna, P&P owner, Nick Galifianakis

Moderator Michael Cavna

Co-writer David Apatoff (in blue) with his wife the author Nell Minnow

Gene Weingarten realizing he's going to have to talk



Britt Conley, who massaged and color-corrected all the scans

Gene Weingarten recounting his stalking of Bill Watterson

Nick G thanking everyone who worked on the book