There once was a furball named Danders...
Readers capture the many faces of the Otterloops. (UPS)
As "Cul de Sac" celebrated its first birthday in syndication this month, Comic Riffs invited readers to show their short-form poetic appreciation for the strip -- including everyone from Alice Otterloop to pet guinea pig Mr. Danders.
The invitation -- to scrawl a haiku, ode, sonnet or cheap limerick -- brought inspired entries. From those submissions, creator Richard Thompson and his handpicked jury (that would be the literary-minded Mrs. Thompson) settled on three winning entries. Let's just let Richard explain:
"My justification is, that, um. I liked all the entries -- the silly ones and the more heartfelt ones, too (my wife particularly liked Mrs. Otterloop's Running Commentary). But the three I narrowed it down to were each poems that I could see turning into a strip (and I might just do that in a few years, when I've run out of ideas and I'm more confident nobody'll catch me at it).
"I think they nicely caught the feel of the strip; Petey the worrier, Oswaldo Twee and his unenjoyable literature, and Dill, who puts his head into things. And they made me laugh. Thank you to everyone who entered, and congratulations to those who won."
So, without further ado, here are those that won (in no particular order):
A writer named Oswaldo Twee
Was shaped like a fat manatee.
He wrote books for tots
Who hated them, lots,
'Cos the plots were completely glee-free.
--- [Posted by: Anonymous]
Pasty Petey stammers and
Stutters and stalls;
But never answers the door
When "Nature" calls.
--- [Posted by: for the love of Petey]
Haunted cubby eats
gloves, hats, books, unwary kids.
Stick your head in, Dill!
--- [Posted by: Anonymous]
So congratulations to the winning entrants, be they anonymous or "pseudonymous." Comic Riffs promised the winner a personally autographed copy of the first (and newly released) "Cul de Sac" collection. Despite our limited budget, we shan't be cheap -- each winner will receive his or her own copy of the book -- including an autograph that Richard (who's also a Post cartoonist) will graciously make out to you, a loved one, or even an "Anonymous" loved one, if you prefer. (You may reach us at email@example.com to claim your prize -- if in fact you Anonymous entries can prove you are who you say you aren't.)
UPDATE: The same inspired entrant wrote both winning "Anonymous" submissions. She will receive as many copies of the new "Cul de Sac" collection as Richard Thompson can autograph -- and "Comic Riffs" can afford.
Thanks for playing -- the entries were highly entertaining, even if we at Comic Riffs are still getting hate mail from rotund, joyless manatees.