In Memoriam: Richard Thompson, 'Cul de Sac' Creator and Artist

Richard Thompson, a critically acclaimed cartoonist and multiple-time cover art contributor for ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR, died Wednesday, July 27, 2016, after an eight-year battle with Parkinson's disease. He was 58.

Thompson illustrated some of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR's most iconic covers, including the May 2004 issue with Wile E. Coyote. He also illustrated the April 2007 issue and the 2008 March Residential Special Report.

"He was remarkable for his ability to totally—and in an award-winning, wry, yet accurate style—capture and communicate the essence of the issue," said John Maisel, former publisher of ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR.

When Richard wasn't creating incredible covers for our fair magazine, he was one of the most regarded comic strip artists of his time. He was the creator of the Reuben-Award-winning "Cul de Sac," which began in 2004 as a weekly feature in the Washington Post Magazine and was then syndicated by Universal Press Syndicate/Universal Uclick, delivering the comic strip to hundreds of newspapers.

Thompson also drew the weekly feature “Richard’s Poor Almanac” for The Washington Post’s Style section. In 2011, Thompson won the National Cartoonist Society’s Reuben Award. The following year, a charity named for his comic published the art book “Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s,” which, working in tandem with the Michael J. Fox Foundation, has helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for its cause.

Richard Church Thompson was born Oct. 8, 1957, in Baltimore, spent much of his childhood in Gaithersburg, Md., and studied art at Montgomery College in Rockville, Md.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, a donation be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, either directly or through Team Cul de Sac.

For more on Richard Thompson, visit the Washington Post's dedication page.

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