Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cul de Sac

Richard Thompson
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Cul de Sac is a comic strip currently running in newspapers that's gathered quite a bit of acclaim, one of its most ravenous fans being Calvin and Hobbes' Bill Watterson, who does the foreword to its first volume. Watterson is pretty reclusive, so it's a wonder that he did this foreword. Even more stunning is that he was the one who came up with the idea of doing the foreword in the first place, giving it quite the seal of approval. This volume begins with fifty beautiful watercolor strips that Thompson produced during its run in Washington Post Magazine. Immediately, he establishes himself as a great artist, although the strips themselves aren't quite as charming and endearing as it becomes later on. But once it gets rolling, it really hits its stride. The strip follows a family that lives in a suburb, focusing mostly on Petey and his young sister Alice, spending quite a bit of time in her preschool classroom with other children who have funny, sometimes very insightful conversations way beyond their age range, but manage to be as gullible and silly as most children their age. I wouldn't exactly hold this up alongside some of the great comic strips of the past like Peanuts and Watterson's own Calvin and Hobbes, but this is just the beginning of the strip and it's really high and above the other offerings one would find when glancing over the pretty unfunny comics in any given paper across the country. I find it to be quite a breath of fresh air and really look forward to reading more of these fun strips.

1 comment:

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