When Bill Watterson ended Calvin and Hobbes in 1995, I felt as though I had lost a family member. It was as much of a gut punch when, this morning, I read the news that Richard Thompson is ending his daily comic strip Cul de Sac.
Readers of this blog will know of my deep and abiding love of Thompson’s work. It is exactly the kind of effortlessly funny, quick-witted, and fun-to-look-at strip that got me into comics in the first place. It is no hyperbole to say that it was the best new strip of the millennium, the next in that prestigious line that began with Krazy Kat and went through Pogo and Calvin and Hobbes.
I can’t help but think Richard’s mysterious character Ernesto Lacuna had something to do with this. The possibly imaginary Ernesto caught my attention right away as a standout character, partly due to his overly mannered attitude and partly because he happens to share a first name with my own character Ernesto the lizard.
I’ve long wondered what the two Ernestos would have to say to each other if they happened to meet. I wanted to take this opportunity to draw it out. This comic is dedicated to Richard for all his hard work and for showing the world that comic strips can still be essential.