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Posted at 10:05 AM ET, 11/13/2009

You want 'CUL DE SAC' in color? Well. 'You've got to get mad'

By Michael Cavna

When Richard Thompson's warm and whimsical strip "CUL DE SAC" moved into a new neighborhood recently -- migrating from its native Post Magazine to take up residence in Sunday's Arts&Style -- we were mildly shocked. Like some sort of cartoon version of the Tobey Maguire film "Pleasantville," everything once in color was suddenly rendered in black-and-white.

What hot, fresh monochromatic hell was this?

Not to worry, Comic Riffs and its readers were assured. On weeks when the Sunday pages allowed for a color "Cul de Sac," it would be forthcoming. Petey would again, for instance, get back his pumpkin-colored hair.

Well, it's been -- what? -- some six weeks or so now, and our Sunday "Cul de Sac" is still devoid of Technicolor?

There's only one course of action, O 'Riffs readers. To quoth Howard Beale in the great satirical film "Network": "All I know is that first, you've got to get mad." Or if not mad, necessarily, at least moved and engaged enough to write here, write today (in the "Comments" field below), IF you feel passionate about this matter. (And yes, this blog full well recognizes that some of you have only stated your opinion about this, in this forum. Well you can summon the gumption and re-tap that passion, your RE-comments are more than welcome.)

Comic Riffs, we should note, feels particularly strongly about reinstating the strip's color
after a recent visit to Thompson's "CUL DE SAC" blog..
Particularly cool in color was Richard's post of various fan art -- the images are a joy and a testament.

So if you're with us, make some noise. And if you need a rousing kick in the keister to care again, you're invited to watch that ol' "Network" clip. For what is comics fandom without a little tongue-in-cheekiness while we're at it?

By Michael Cavna  | November 13, 2009; 10:05 AM ET
Categories:  The Comic Strip, The Rants  
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If you give me Cul De Sac in color on Sundays, I won't grow awkward facial hair.

See. Negotiation can be easy.

Posted by: greasypores | November 13, 2009 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Definitely bring it back in color. It's bad enough we can't get the daily strips online. Can we at least get our Sunday strip back in color?

Posted by: tourtle78 | November 13, 2009 11:51 AM | Report abuse

In addition to Cul De Sac in color on Sundays, why can't up to date strips (including weekdays) be linked from the WAPO website? When I'm out of town, the only way I get to read WAPO comics is on line, and Cul De Sac is one of my favorites.

And while I'm here, let me say I'm upset that I can't read Frazz on days that Kid's Post doesn't run. Find another home for it that will be accessible in print every day.

Posted by: ramgut | November 13, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Reading the Sunday comics in color is a joy and a delight going back to childhood. The Washington Post is squandering one of it's home grown resources and treating "Cul de Sac" as a second rate comic. Many posters here have pondered why a newspaper that is losing readers would treat comic lovers so poorly and here is another example of it. Why? When comics are one thing that most people do agree are better in print would a paper known for it's comic section decide to bleach out one of the best comics around bar none.

Bring back "Cul de Sac" in color!

Posted by: elyrest | November 13, 2009 12:33 PM | Report abuse


Is that mad enough for you?

Posted by: CafeBeouf | November 13, 2009 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Here's a litmus test to check the quality of your anger: (step one) package that "Grrrrrrrr!!!!" into a letter (on real paper), and (step two) send it to "The Comics Editor" at the Washington Post.

If Cul de Sac appears in color on the following Sunday, then the "mad" was sufficient. If not, get madder, then repeat steps one and two.

Posted by: kilby | November 13, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Comics Editor:

Not only should Cul de Sac be in color, you are burying one of your best comics, and a Post employee, where nobody ever sees it. It was perfect having it in the magazine- relegating it to a random page in Style in black and white is a shame.

I also second all the comments about Frazz. Bring it back to the comics section. You can't honestly believe that children reading kidspost really understand all of the jokes in that comic. Give the kids something they can understand.

Posted by: smo06 | November 13, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

Or maybe the Post could provide a small, restaurant-size box of crayons and each subscriber could color their CdS to suit their own taste.

Posted by: rhompson | November 13, 2009 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Not to worry, Comic Riffs and its readers were assured. On weeks when the Sunday pages allowed for a color "Cul de Sac," it would be forthcoming."

So, if there is colored content on the same page as CdS, then the strip would appear in color too, right? Apparently not. I am angry about not seeing the beautifully colored comic, and I am especially angry about being misled (or outright lied to).

Will no one at WaPo step forward and say, "I'm in charge of the comics here, and this is why we run Frazz on the Kids' Post, and this is why we print CdS in b/w, and this is why we don't run the daily CdS online (even though it's our "local" strip), and here's why we do [host of other dumb things]."

It's the anonymity of the source of our mistreatment that really gets to me. WaPo editors are blogging and holding Q/A online sessions on all featured except the comics. Of course, no one at WaPo management gives a hoot about that part of the paper, it seems, and that REALLY makes me angry.

Posted by: seismic-2 | November 13, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

>> rhompson:

love the way you think, good sir. so: would you be willing to judge the Crayola'd entries?...


Posted by: cavnam | November 13, 2009 10:29 PM | Report abuse

Ya know, I think I've only read the Sunday Cul de Sac once since it moved to the Style section. I tend not to read the Style section on Sundays unless I think about reading Ask Amy or Carolyn Hax. Kinda sad that I've missed those weeks of Cul de Sac. Oh well. Plus, that silly cartoon thing they put in the Wash Post Magazine means that I look at even less of that.

At least it's all saving the Post money. Right? That's the point, isn't it?

Posted by: LiberalCat13 | November 13, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

for the last 6 weeks the same cul de sac episode has been repeated over and over by the singularly incompetent wapo online edition comics folks. also, about half the strips don't load completely - this is something affecting dialup customers. i have found that nobody cares to fix this, they just do not care how shoddy their work is. so, yes, i am mad but those jerks don't care...

Posted by: arvo1 | November 14, 2009 10:31 AM | Report abuse

WaPo, bring back Cul de Sac in color. It's got genius art. Bill Watterson didn't blurb the book collection including the art because he just loves to write blurbs - hah! I always felt we were so cool because we had Cul de Sac early. And it's so bright as well as so spot on and original. Must have color...!

Posted by: alicezzon | November 14, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Sure, Mr. Cavna, I'd do that!

Posted by: rhompson | November 15, 2009 4:08 AM | Report abuse

Okay - now I want a crayola coloring contest too! Petey's bright orange hair is just beckoning to me.

Posted by: elyrest | November 15, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

I want Cul de Sac back in the funnies in color. I've BEEN mad as hell about Frazz in Kids Post only some days and that's done no good. I can be mad as hell about Cul de Sac but will it do any good? I don't think so. The best part about the Post is the funnies. I understand you have to grow to survive, but there must be another way other than alienating your base and future readers.

Posted by: mksfromvienna | November 19, 2009 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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