Sad news from a beloved cartoonist. My friend Richard Thompson will end his award-winning CUL DE SAC comic strip next month.
From his syndicate, Universal Uclick:
“The last year has been a struggle for Richard. Parkinson's disease, first diagnosed in 2009, has so weakened him that he is unable to meet the demands of a comic strip. For a time, he worked with another artist, but the deadlines became too much of a task.”
Richard talks about the decision in Michael Cavna's Washington Post interview today:
"I’ve known for a year or more that I was working on borrowed time. My lettering had begun to wander off in 2009, but that could be fixed easily enough. But when Alice’s and Dill’s heads began to look under-inflated last winter, I figured I was losing control of the drawing, too. When I needed help with the inking (the hardest but most satisfying part of drawing the strip),well that was probably a tipping point. Parkinson’s disease is horribly selfish and demanding. A daily comic strip is too and I can only deal with one at a time. So it was a long, gradual, sudden decision."CUL DE SAC appears in 250 papers, The last strip will appear on September 23, 2012.
I send Richard all my best and wish this was not so. CUL DE SAC is beloved by many regular people and so many cartoonists. The CUL DE SAC books are perennials and will stay in print forever. Otterloop lives!
Above: from the 2009 OSU Festival: Tom Stemmle, Mark Anderson, Mike Lynch and the one and only Richard Thompson.