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Posted at 11:05 AM ET, 11/23/2009

Break Out the Crayolas! It's the Official COLOR 'CUL DE SAC' Contest

By Michael Cavna

For many readers, it's become a starkly black-and-white issue: They want to see "CUL DE SAC" in color..

So it's time to take matters into your own hands. Literally.

As most of you know, Richard Thompson's Post-grown comic strip has run in black-and-white instead of color on most Sundays since moving to the Arts&Style section nearly two months ago. So Comic Riffs, with the aid and abetment of Mr. Thompson himself, today announces the first official Cul de Sac Coloring Contest. That's right--it's your turn to color this beloved comic strip how you see fit.

The rules: Color any "Cul de Sac" strip yourself -- be it by crayola or computer -- and send it to Comic Riffs. The contest is open to "kids" of all ages, be you 9 or 99. Comic Riffs encourages youngsters to write their age on their entries.

"Cul de Sac's" Richard Thompson (Courtesy of Richard Thompson)

Mr. Thompson himself has agreed to judge the contest. The deadline for The Post to receive all entries is Dec. 7. Entries may be sent to via e-mail to; or via mail to: "Comic Riffs," The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. (Note: The Post is not responsible for any lost or unreceived entries.)

The winning images will be published on Comic Riffs. Meantime, we wonder: Will Petey retain his pumpkin hair? Will Mr. Danders get a whole new look? Color us curious, hopeful and intrigued.

NOTE: You can choose your own black-and-white "Cul de Sac" strips to color, or use one of these samples:

Cul de Sac (UPS)

'CUL DE SAC' (UPS)Enlarge Image

By Michael Cavna  | November 23, 2009; 11:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip  | Tags:  Cul de Sac; Richard Thompson; Michael Cavna  
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Next: The 'Riffs Interview: WES ANDERSON introduces his fantastic 'Mr. Fox'


It's hard to enter the contest without an uncolored original to work from. Since the print (a.k.a. fishwrap) edition of the Post is not available where I live, and the Post's website still offers September as its most "current" CdS strip, I looked around, and found this:
... but THOSE comics ARE in color, of course!

The moral of the story is that the Washington Post appears to be actively chasing Cul de Sac fans away. Once all they are all gone (or reading CdS elsewhere), then the Post will simply stop printing it, and claim that it was the fault of the readers for not sticking with the Post.

As for the contest, I have a program that can decolorize the downloaded JPG. Not exactly what the doctor ordered, but it will work.

Posted by: kilby | November 23, 2009 12:26 PM | Report abuse

>> kilby:

Thanks. Later today, I'll post a handful of black-and-white "Cul de Sac" strips that you can work from, as well.


Posted by: cavnam | November 23, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

It seems they have already listened. The strip has been in color for the last two weeks. Don't we have enough issues here without beating a dead horse?

Now if only they will listen to us when we say kill the reruns and give us large enough comics so we can read them. There will be fewer strips, but the lower levels of eye-strain might be worth it. I'd gladly trade Family Circus and old Peanuts for a Mutts I can read without a magnifying glass.

Posted by: junque2 | November 23, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

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