Wednesday, April 27, 2011
When I first visited this blog, I drooled over the terrific submissions that Chris and Richard have been collecting for the art book, but I was annoyed too. Why should artists get to have all the fun? Why can't comics critics and bloggers play for Team Cul de Sac?
To that end, I'm cobbling together a big, fat, old-school zine to raise money for the Team. I've asked an armada of bloggers, critics and fans (and maybe a cartoonist or two) to each write a short essay answering the following questions: what is your favorite comic (comic book, comic strip, graphic novel, whatever), and why? The Team zine will be a compilation of these essays, an explosion of wildly divergent opinions, and an ideal shopping list to take with you as you plunge into an unfamiliar longbox or used book store.
The contributors are an all-star line-up: Derik Badman, Noah Berlatsky, Alex Boney, David Bordwell, Matthew J. Brady, Scott Bukatman, Johanna Draper Carlson, Isaac Cates, Rob Clough, Corey Creekmur, Andrew Farago, Shaenon Garrity, Dustin Harbin, Charles Hatfield, Jeet Heer, Gene Kannenberg Jr., Abhay Khosla, Susan Kirtley, Sean Kleefeld, Costa Koutsoutis, Andrew Mansell, Robert Stanley Martin, Chris Mautner, Joe McCulloch, Ana Merino, Chris Pitzer, Mike Rhode, Jim Rugg, Frank Santoro, Chris Schweizer, Caroline Small, Tom Spurgeon, Ben Towle and Matthias Wivel.
The zine will be a word-packed 40 pages, topped off by a cover by some fledgling artist named Richard Thompson.
How can you get your copy of this collectors' item?
The World Premiere of the zine will be at this year's Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina on June 3-5. Richard and the Team (including myself) will be selling copies there. The price? Five bucks, with every cent going straight to Team Cul de Sac and research into a cure for Parkinson's Disease.
After Heroes, we'll make the zine available through the mail, and sell it at other cons too. (If you want a copy, we'll make sure you get one!) Watch this space for more information about the zine--including its title, which is still in flux--as we rapidly approach Heroes Con.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
(Reposted from my blog).
Friday, April 22, 2011
Hello from Team Cul de Sac headquarters! We received a special package this morning containing a one-of-a-kind painting from an one-of-a-kind guy. Wow, I still can't believe it. I have been proudly showing everyone here at Andrews McMeel Universal. I ran into Bill Amend and he was impressed. He says he'd better get on it now. Are you in?
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Alex sent us this wonderful strip for the book! I do believe that Alex, from is so far the winner of the long distance contributer for Team Cul de Sac. Thank you so much! More on Alex!
After a getting a degree in biochemistry and working in the pharmaceutical industry for far too long, Alex Hallatt downshifted from London to the South Coast of England to become a full time cartoonist in 1999. She did the cartoon for Brighton's daily paper for 4 years, before downshifting further to New Zealand.
In 2007, her comic strip about three penguins who migrated to the Arctic (Arctic Circle) was syndicated by King Features. It has an underlying environmental theme and appears in newspapers worldwide. Alex crossed the ditch to Australia in 2008 and now lives in Elwood, Melbourne.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Friday, April 15, 2011
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Stephan, Thank you so much. You just ain't right! (Wow, something else for Mike Rhode to bid on.)
I am afraid of everything.
Dogs. Earthquakes. Flying. Family.
I am also a whiner. A whiner who needs to control his surroundings.
That means that everything needs to be just the way I like it, especially when it comes to writing the strip.
The drapes have to be closed. The right music has to be on my iPod. The little Kleenex that sticks up from the top of the box cannot be sticking up from the top of the box (I tuck it back in). And if my boxers are too tight, I will change them.
These two bad character traits merge in unholy ways when I fly.
First off, I don’t want to die. Secondly, everything is out of my control and all of it bothers me. The cramped seat. The idiot in front of me who made it cramped. The fat idiot next to me who spills over the armrest.
I am reminded of all this because on Wednesday, I’m flying to Comic-Con in San Diego, where I have to speak.
But I am also reminded of what I lack in the way of courage and grace because on Saturday, I will be on a panel with Richard Thompson, the creator of the comic strip Cul De Sac.
Richard is probably the most talented all-around syndicated cartoonist working today. And he is the only syndicated cartoonist I know of to receive an endorsement from the legendary (and reclusive) comic strip creator, Bill Watterson, who popped briefly out of hiding to write of Richard’s work: “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..”
Richard announced this week that he has Parkinson’s.
In his blog entry, Richard does not complain. Nor does he show self-pity.
Instead, Richard jokes about it.
Jokes about the problems it could create for his chainsaw-juggling act. Jokes about the possible benefits. Jokes that he will have a good excuse for missing deadlines.
Now there’s a reaction for you.
You know, I think as children we are taught that courage is John Wayne courage. It is loud and it is brash and it wears boots.
But that’s not courage.
Courage is being diagnosed with Parkinson’s and writing chainsaw-juggling jokes about it.
And Richard’s discussion of his diagnosis is, at least to me, a reminder that while life may be unpredictable and unfair, its greatest beauty is in the capacity of the individual to stare into the face of that difficulty and smile.
And make chainsaw jokes.
So this is for Richard.
If the coward and whiner that is me can one day face adversity with a tenth of what Richard has shown, I know I will have done something right.
OK, Steve! How much money do you want us to spend on this auction? As much as possible!