Color Me Curious: Where Should 'Cul de Sac' Reside on Sundays?
In the 1999 film "The Muse," the deadpan comic Steven Wright -- playing a loser cousin of Steven Spielberg's -- shares with Albert Brooks's character a would-be nugget of golden advice: Consider making films in color, he intones. "The people love color."
The line is delivered dryly, but not without truth. Staring at Richard Thompson's Sunday "CUL DE SAC" in The Post's Style & Arts section the past two weeks, I'm reminded anew just how much I love cartoon color.
As Comic Riffs has noted in recent days, "Cul de Sac" has relocated from The Washington Post Magazine -- birthplace of the Otterloops -- to a new neighborhood in The Post. And has happened the past two Sundays, "Cul de Sac" has run in black and white. I hold out hope that one will soon run in color, but already, my inky withdrawal symptoms are kicking in. Color me a little bit blue.
So just what's the deal? some 'Riffs readers have asked. Well, HERE is the deal:
1. "Cul de Sac" all but certainly isn't returning to the magazine, so that option's out.
2. "Cul de Sac" will run in color in Style & Arts when it's feasible.
3. Moving "Cul de Sac" to the Sunday funnies would likely require killing a current Sunday strip to make room.
Comic Riffs was curious about how often "Cul de Sac" might run in color in Style & Arts. Post management tells 'Riffs that it's a function of available "color positions" in the section: "Where color positions fall on Sunday Style & Arts and how many color positions we get inside the section is not up to the editors but [is] a function of the size of the entire paper and other production issues." In addition, Post management says: "When possible, 'Cul de Sac' will run on an inside color page but color is not guaranteed each week."
In short, color for "Cul de Sac" is now a catch-as-catch-can proposition in The Post. Granted, Thompson's black linework is a joy to behold in and of itself. Yet to my eager eye, knowing "Cul de Sac" is available out there SOMEwhere in color is like knowing that a museum has masterpieces hidden in storage: I long to seek them out. (And would I feel this way about "Hagar the Horrible" or "Marmaduke"? No, not bloody likely.)
And then, as a cartoonist, I've come to believe that readers prize color judging not just by their reaction, but also by the very price structure. For my syndicated strip "Warped," I was paid the identical amount for a single Sunday cartoon as I was for the week's other six strips combined. Given that rate scale, an artist easily believes all the more that readers must really crave color.
But perhaps I'm entirely wrong, off-base and entirely lunk-headed on this matter. I might be seeing the production of color funnies through rose-colored spectacles, in addition to the distinct tint of how syndication rewards financial green.
So the Official 'Riffs Question of the Day is: How you would you prefer to view your Sunday "Cul de Sac"?
The non-binding poll is below. Meantime, to make sure to celebrate "Cul de Sac" on a colorful note somewhere: Tomorrow is Richard Thompson's birthday. Cheers to you, O Emperor of the Otterloops.
Remember the New York Post's Obama "chimp" cartoon of earlier this year that drew charges of racism? The Huffington Post now reports that the NY Post editor said to be the most openly critical of the cartoon, Tempo associate editor Sandra Guzman, has been let go. Whether her criticism of the Sean Delonas cartoon was a factor is open to reader interpretation.
THE RELATED READ:
THE READER POLL: "The Stimulus Chimp" -- Is This NY Post Cartoon Racist?
THE "CALVIN AND HOBBES" QUESTION: "Cul de Sac" creator Richard Thompson considers the influence of Bill Watterson.
| October 7, 2009; 8:30 AM ET
Categories: The Comic Strip, The E-Mailbag
Save & Share: Previous: Riffs' Picks: From Late-Night TV to the Idiot Box, Today's Fave Five Cartoons
Next: Riffs' Picks: From Genesis to an Editor's Exodus, Today's Fave Five Cartoons
Posted by: jsutliff | October 7, 2009 9:36 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: yellojkt | October 7, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: filfeit | October 7, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: seismic-2 | October 7, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lthomas1 | October 7, 2009 11:21 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Mrhode | October 7, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Lindemann777 | October 7, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: subwayguy | October 7, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: docmommaVA | October 7, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: kilby | October 7, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: MaxineofArc | October 7, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: vldazzle | October 7, 2009 9:45 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: olddog1 | October 8, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: DC20004 | October 11, 2009 1:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cmsiv | October 14, 2009 1:11 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.