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Posted at 6:00 AM ET, 10/ 2/2008

The Morning Line: The "Cul de Sac" Contest--YOU May Be a Winner!

By Michael Cavna

CUL DE SAC: Be the first on your block to win a "Cul de Sac." (UPS)Enlarge Comic

If you love the writing in "Cul de Sac," then it's time to do a little writing of your own.

As the Richard Thompson comic strip passes its first birthday in syndication, it's time to celebrate in style. And here at Comic Riffs, we know of no nobler way to pay tribute than to inaugurate a "Cul de Sac" Fans' Writing Contest.

Your mission: Scrawl some form of short-form verse -- be it a haiku, ode, sonnet or cheap limerick -- that reflects your fandom of Alice, Petey, Mr. Danders and the whole Otterloop brood.

Where to begin, you ask? Well, the strip has many friendly "hooks." Alice calls her dad's car a "Honda-Tonka Cuisinart," for Pete's (or Petey's) sake. A moniker like Danders practically panders! And with a name like Otterloop, one needn't even break out the rhyming dictionary.

What's in it for me, you ask? Well, the winner will receive a free, personally autographed copy (by Thompson, that is -- my autograph would only de-value it) of the recently released first "Cul de Sac" collection.

Why's it gotta be short-form verse, you query? Well, Richard Thompson himself will judge this contest, and he's a very busy man (speaking of: He'll appear at the SPX event in Rockville this Sunday). Full-page essays, while perhaps charming, will only annoy the judges' panel. In other words: Be quick about it, man!

So don't delay -- our Comments field is standing by, awaiting your literary gems:
There once was a furball named Danders...

By Michael Cavna  | October 2, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  The Morning Line  
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Wait. What?

Posted by: JkR | October 2, 2008 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Pasty Petey stammers and
Stutters and stalls;
But never answers the door
When "Nature" calls.

Posted by: for the love of Petey | October 2, 2008 11:06 AM | Report abuse

There once was a furball named Danders
Who stared at classroom bystanders
He went home with Alice
To the Otterloop palace
Now his thought balloon amusingly slanders.

Posted by: they call me MISTER Danders | October 2, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

so many comics
look dull like a deadend street
till -- pow! -- cul de sac.

Posted by: Street Poet | October 2, 2008 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Every day I need my fill
Of Alice, Danders, Petey, Dill
And all the other Otterloopers
To catch the blunders, gags, and bloopers

My favorite strip? A tie between
A costumed Princess Fairyqueen
And the birthday party plight
That ended in a sticker fight

I find delight in keeping track
Of what's happening in Cul de Sac

Posted by: Sharing Time | October 2, 2008 10:32 PM | Report abuse

Richard is a great cartoonist,
which rhymes with bassoonist,
and neither work well when you stick a crabcake in them.

Posted by: Joe Sutliff | October 3, 2008 1:55 AM | Report abuse

Wait, how long does this contest go? I'm blanking...

Posted by: whosis | October 3, 2008 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Comic Riffs will accept entries through next Wednesday.

*And a reminder, for those who'll be in the Washington D.C. region: Richard Thompson -- who also draws for The Post -- is scheduled to appear at the Small Press Expo event in Rockville, Md., this Sunday at 5 p.m. for a moderated session.

Posted by: Editor's Note | October 3, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

each morning my gal sits down with her paper, fruit loops and gun
just wanting to start the day with a small bit of food and fun
Oh no- the gun's gone off! She's shot 'er loops!
But at least she can still read about the Otterloops
Watching an endless Welcome Back Kotter loop
Isn't as fun as reading about Alice Otterloop

Posted by: Anonymous | October 3, 2008 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Since I can't channel Gene Weingarten, I shall have to settle for submitting this Cul-de-Sonnet:

Since "Calvin" was predestined to leave us,
And since reprints with Snoopy and Woodstock
Are how "Peanuts" has tried to deceive us
Not with true "Classics" but just puppy-cock,

Where can we go to observe a child's life
(With real insight, so that this new work is
As truthful as Mark Trail's Sunday wildlife,
Rather than junk, as "Family Circ" is)?

For that, we follow the princess Alice
Past the weird crossing guards who play oboe
And find our Holy Grail, the true chalice
In wonderland. We drink and say, "Oh, so
**That** is childhood!" As Danders might have said
(As the rodents **always** say): "Feed your head!!!"

Posted by: Seismic-2 | October 4, 2008 1:00 AM | Report abuse

A teacher of preschool, Miss Bliss,
is a nurturing idealist.
But if kids give her lip
On a nature-filled trip,
They find out she is stern when she's pist.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 8:50 PM | Report abuse

A finicky fellow named Petey
Picked through all his meals, veg or meaty.
He suspected his foods
harbored wee, germy broods
that mocked him with eyes small and beady.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Mrs. Otterloop's Running Commentary

Laundry, groceries, late for carpool!
Is half the morning gone already?
Alice skinned her knee dancing for the mailman.
Life rushes past while I'm kissing boo-boos.
Petey grumbles that casseroles are "mutants."
(Try a plain burger with a smiley cheese face?)
Alice's sweater sparkles with sand and glitter,
Petey's backpack weighs more every day.
Fill out Grandma's insurance forms, pack Peter's lunch,
Hand out Band-Aids, cocoa, comfort, love, and safety.
Petey built a zombie trap with library books --
Oh no, they're five days overdue.
Alice shouts, "I'm Princess Splasharootie
of the long-lost Royal Dolphin kingdom!"
Hurry, run and mop the bathroom floor.
What ARE my darlings thinking?

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 8:59 PM | Report abuse

The great graphic artist Bob Staake
Is a fan of the strip "Cul de Sac."
He has said, "I do think it's sensational,
but unlike the Style Invitational,
there are no penises hidden within."
("So far as you know," says Richard, and grins.)

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2008 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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 | October 5, 2008 9:02 PM | Report abuse

A.M. Otterloops
Quotidian smiles for me
over hot coffee

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

oops - the previous anon. is me...

A.M. Otterloops
quotidian smiles for me
over hot coffee

Posted by: Shanster | October 8, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Thompson imagines
smile, a little bit of us
pen and ink boxes

Posted by: Shanster | October 8, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

My husband's in love with a teacher:
that "Cul de Sac" temptress, Miss Bliss.
He lusts for that pen-and-ink creature
and covers each strip with a kiss.

His fantasies -- how they delight him!
She disciplines him for a failing test!
Her sleek hair and power excite him
(evidently because they are Palinesque).

I'm shaking with rage. It's appalling.
He's turned on by figments with buns!
O hear how the Voices are calling.
I'd better start cleaning the guns.

Posted by: Horsefeathers | October 8, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Haunted cubby eats
gloves, hats, books, unwary kids.
Stick your head in, Dill!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Puinea Gig Danders
pomp and circumstance in fur
trapped in a classroom

Posted by: Shanster | October 8, 2008 6:33 PM | Report abuse

I like the one 'bout Oswaldo Twee!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 8, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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