The Washington Post

COMICS VIDEO OF THE DAY: Preview the ‘Team Cul de Sac’ auction art


When profiling cartoonist Richard Thompson in May, Comic Riffs spotlighted the Team Cul de Sac book-and-auction project to raise money for Parkinson’s research. The project, spearheaded by North Carolina print and Web designer Chris Sparks and backed by the publisher Andrews McMeel, has attracted scores of original-art donations from top cartoonists.

Now, Sparks has just visited the publisher’s Kansas City offices, where he beheld many of the contributions in person.

Here, Sparks previews more than 100 donated artworks, ranging from Mort Walker to Matt Wuerker. Beyond “Beetle Bailey” and Politico, the video also features art by — to cite just a random smattering — “Pearls Before Swine’s” Stephan Pastis, “Big Nate’s” Lincoln Peirce, “Frazz’s” Jef Mallett, “For Better or For Worse’s” Lynn Johnston and Patrick McDonnell of “Mutts,” as well as Jerry Scott and Jim Borgman of “Zits” and Alaska print cartoonist/animator Peter Dunlap-Shohl.

“It was such fun to see so many cartoonists [who] work in so many different fields come together and showcase their talent,” Sparks tells Comic Riffs. “I was so amazed to see it all.”

Thompson announced the launch of Team Cul de Sac in January, a year-and-a-half after announcing that he had received a Parkinson’s diagnosis. “Cul de Sac” is syndicated by the Andrews McMeel syndicate Universal Uclick to about 150 newspapers, and in May earned Thompson the National Cartoonist Society’s esteemed Reuben Award.

Perhaps the most conspicuous absence in this video is Bill Watterson’s contribution. The “Calvin and Hobbes” creator offered his first new public art in more than 15 years: an oil-on-board painting of Petey Otterloop.

Writer/artist/visual storyteller Michael Cavna is creator of the "Comic Riffs" column and graphic-novel reviewer for The Post's Book World. He relishes sharp-eyed satire in most any form.


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