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Parkinson's forces 'Cul de Sac' creator to call it quits

Deseret News

Published: Friday, Aug. 17 2012 9:12 p.m. MDT

The popular family comic strip "Cul de Sac" will be published for the final time on Sept. 23, 2012. Creator Richard Thompson has decided to end the comic due to his ongoing battle with Parkinson's disease.

The announcement was made in a letter to subscribers from Universal Uclick President Lee Salem.

"Parkinson's disease, first diagnosed in 2009, has so weakened (Richard) that he is unable to meet the demands of a daily comic strip," the letter read. "For a time, he worked with another artist, but the deadlines have become too much of a task. So it is with personal and professional sadness that I inform you Richard has decided to end 'Cul de Sac.'"

The comic debuted Sept. 9, 2007. The Deseret News features "Cul de Sac" in both its daily and Sunday comics.

Thompson provided more details about his situation in an interview at www.gocomics.com/richardthompsonqa. The artist said Parkinson's has gradually affected his drawing and he's "gotten too unreliable to produce a daily strip," even with enlisting the help of another cartoonist.

"I considered everything: hiring an artist, going Sunday-only, trying to do the whole thing with Photoshop, leaving blank pages on my drawing board overnight and hoping elves would show up and draw some strips," Thompson said. "But none of the solutions I came up with satisfied me. They all seemed to suck the fun of the job. And really, if you're going to have a job as intensive as drawing a comic strip, it'd better be fun."

Thompson was honored as Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonists Society in May 2011.

"Richard's vision is special and rare," Salem continued. "We hope he will be able to return to newspapers, but in the interim, he will be sorely missed."

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