Richard Thompson, creator of "Cul de Sac," and winner of the 2011 Reuben Award for Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year, has graciously offered to sign copies of this beautiful boxed set when you place your order through One More Page. Because cartoonists, like banjo players, are lovable but unpredictable, we can't guarantee a delivery time. We thank you in advance for your support, and your patience. Click here to order or call us at 703-300-9746.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

more merchandising

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Art in Illustration

Here's an issue I've never seen addressed anywhere, so it's either too tough or it's nonexistent.  I mean, of course, using Art in illustration. I've made known my theories of Art for quite  some time. With maddening deliberation, I remove my pince-nez and quote myself (picture Edward Van Sloan in Lugosi's Dracula), "Comics is a bastard medium (embarrassed laughter).  Image marries Language, then tires of his nonstop chatter, dumps him, and runs off with  Commerce. Then, a couple years later, Image realizes she's stuck in a double-wide with this lummox and a bastard child (cries of "Here now!" and "There's a good fellow!") Commerce's heavy drinking and uncertain paycheck force Image to work at an unsavory dog track and loses her looks. (cries of, "Resign!") So Commerce runs off with Telemarketing (pandemonium and gunfire), And that, gentlemen, is my answer to the question - Are Comics Art? Which, sadly has nothing to do with the subject at hand. Let's have a photo of Edward Van Sloan with a link.

No, I mean when you draw stuff that's already been drawn, like this-

Or this-

Or even this-

But not this-

Your Unnecessary Magazine Illustration for Today

I know, this is really a sneaky way to get an illo for the  Art of Whatsis, pad this blog and waste everyone's time repurposing old, stale art. Yeah, so? Watcha gonna do about it, four-eyes?

I don't remember what magazine this was done for, only that I turned it in to Bono Mitchell. Some screed against smoking would be my guess. I do recall that it was, "they're all smoking." And that I did it very quickly. Probably because it's just out-and-out ugly, and nothing fires up a cartoonist's muse as the Ugly.   

 I used oil on paper, which is not recommended for longevity, but I used Liquin, a thixotropic, resin-based medium that took the place of linseed oil. I worked in my normal mantra for this technique, dabbing half-heartedly at it with the foam rubber padding they use under carpets (this is true). 

The rest must wait till the Art of Carpet Sample.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Small things

Here's another teaser quote from that impatiently-awaited, incipient best-seller the Art of Whosis (as  seen on TV!*), But this time I include some actual text, taken from an actual PDF of the actual book, to sweeten the deal! Once again the part of "BW" is played by Bill Watterson while I assay the rĂ´ll of "RT" (we did funny accents),

This is what I was trying to get at in the previous post about the specific vs. the general. A comic strip is the ideal medium to bear small ideas (no jokes, please), especially one with little kids in it. I'll show you; here's a strip from the Post Magazine that's not in the Complete Cul de Sac because I forgot about it, even though it's one of my favorites; I gave it to my brother for Christmas. He kindly lent it back for use in the Art book. 

That's taken from a true, well I hate to call it a "story"; it's barely an anecdote. But both of us remembered it, that one inch gap between iron and shirt that made the animatronic maid's efforts so stupidly poignant. Woodie's windows were an important part of Christmastime for us as it was for many in the DC area, so I knew this would resonate back when CdS was a local strip.

Here's perhaps the height, or nadir, of smallness. For a week Dill followed that bug. You can't get much punier. Yet in  the last year of CdS, I tried some microscopic gags, all to make producing  the strip easier.

This is a rough for Stacy Curtis to ink. A week of repeating the same scene led to this-

In short, the constant search for Ways to Do Things Faster, the Shortcuts to Fill the Page, make smallness ideal.  Look at one of my favorites-

There's so little movement in it that I used the same rough for 8 panels! Alice is the only movement, and she's just fidgeting around. And the smallness is carried through the dialog; casual chitchat that goes nowhere. I'm almost embarrassed to've constructed a whole strip around this.

But that's my other point; that a comic can be made up out  of the mist desultory, small, nothing  banter imaginable and successfully present a legitimate funny, universal idea. And there's a chance you'll make your deadline.



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Friday, July 11, 2014

Agreed; The Specific is Funnier Than The General

In the last chapter of the forthcoming must-have book of the year, the Art of Some Guy, I bloviate, dilate & expound on comic strips at excruciating length with Bill Watterson, with a few unrelated ventures into global politics, sports and fashion. At one point, there's this exchange;

RT: I remember one of the first interviews I gave to some reporter somewhere. She called and I told her "the particular is always more funny than the general." And she said, "could you be more specific?" (BW and  RT laugh). And I couldn't! I hemmed and hawed for ten minutes! (Laughter).
My point is not that I can hem & haw for ten minutes (my current personal best for hemming & hawing is 24 hours). My point is the Specific is funnier than the General. It's axiomatic, whatever that means, and I still can't think of any specific examples. So let's run some strips to distract you and make you think you've learned something.

Be sure to watch for future helpful & informative tutorials on the comic arts!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Poodle in the Playground

Here's something so old I'd almost forgotten it. For the Post Magazine of  June 21,1998 I did a piece suggested by my friend Bruce Guthrie, a close student of history, taken from a tourist guidebook to odd places. I even went to the playground so the drawing would be accurate. Strangely, this listing was gone in the next edition. My thanks to Mike Rhode for ferreting this out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014


I hate to alarm anybody but there are only ten copies of Richard's Poor Almanac left on the planet. I had 500, bought at firesale rates from a sinking publisher, but now those are gone. Like the passenger pigeon they once darkened the skies, but, alas, no longer. And who is to blame? All the greedy people who're hoarding copies of RPA in false walls, toasters, attics and under floorboards, like in Fahrenheit 451.

But panic no further! Those of you wanting a copy of this understandably scarce book will be happy to hear that now you can snag a copy for a reasonable sum. One More Page Books, my friendly neighborhood bookstore that also stocks the Collected CdS, has a supply of RPAs on hand, all signed by me. Copies are going for $15 (I think) and they'll ship your book right to your door for just $4. Run on over to 2200 N. Westmoreland Street, Suite 101 Arlington, VA,  22213 or call 703-300-9746 or email info@onemorepagebooks.com and tell 'em to send you a copy and quick, or you'll have some kind of Richard's Poor Almanac-related syncope.

These charts once appeared on Amazon's RPA page. I have no idea what they mean.

Friday, June 27, 2014

"BABY BLUES" Artist Comes Unglued- A Blog Exclusive

We have photographic proof that the well-known adult cartoonist Rick Kirkman has had an "episode" which has left him a virtual four-year-old. He is seen dancing around on a manhole cover holding some unidentified colorful  objects, possibly an explosive device. The landscape appears to be volcanic, leading experts to speculate he may have fallen, or been  pushed,  into  a caldera while playing tea party or maybe it was bath time.

Whatever, lock your doors.