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Posted at 2:15 PM ET, 01/21/2011

TEAM CUL DE SAC: Richard Thompson launches cartoon campaign to fight Parkinson's

By Michael Cavna


A new squad of cartooning forces has assembled to battle Parkinson's disease. Its name: Team Cul de Sac.

"Cul de Sac" creator Richard Thompson -- who announced in 2009 that he has Parkinson's -- says he's teaming with Andrews & McMeel and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for a book project to heighten awareness of Parkinson's.


Thompson also says his friend, the "redoubtable" Chris Sparks of Sparking Design, has launched the "Team Cul de Sac" fundraising site for Parkinson's research. The campaign is working with TeamFox, which the cartoonist says raised $4-million last year for research.

"Parkinson's was described to me as a disease that first robs you of your dignity," Thompson tells Comic Riffs. "So it's fitting to combat a slapstick disease with cartoons.

"When Chris suggested Team Cul de Sac, I was all for it," the Virginia cartoonist continues. "First, because I know the Michael J. Fox Foundation does good work. And second, because Chris really is unstoppable; once he gets an idea, it becomes reality so fast that I was afraid if I objected, I'd be flattened in a cloud of Roadrunner-like dust.

"I'm extremely fortunate to have a force of nature in my corner."

Team Cul de Sac, according to Thompson, is inviting "professional cartoonists, illustrators, artists and animators to donate original art made especially for a book," with some of the profits from book sales going to the Michael J. Fox Foundation. The deadline to submit artwork for the book is May 15, and further details can be found here.

The theme of the original artwork? Have some fun by offering your take on the "Cul de Sac" characters.

"I'm hoping that cartoonists' parody gene gets switched on by the idea of doing something with the 'Cul de Sac' characters," Thompson tells us. "I'm hoping to take them on myself, especially that Petey guy.

"And I hope that in a few years, when all the Roadrunner-like dust clears, we find we've raised $250,000 for Parkinson's research."

By Michael Cavna  | January 21, 2011; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  General, Interviews With Cartoonists, The Comic Strip  | Tags:  Cul de Sac, Michael J. Fox, Richard Thompson  
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