If you haven’t already discovered this year’s Reuben Award winner Richard Thompson’s comic strip, Cul de Sac, then I can’t even begin to tell you what you’ve been missing. It’s the one comic that gives me hope for the future of the medium. Richard dares to let the art be as important as the writing and the writing in itself is simply genius. It has often been compared to Calvin and Hobbes and I don’t think the comparison is exaggerated at all. One of the clearest symptoms of newspaper syndication’s decline is that a comic as good as Cul de Sac isn’t as well known as it is.

Cul de Sac is clearly my family’s favorite comic strip and you can regularly hear my daughter Ginny burst into laughter while reading through the online archives or her copy of the Cul de Sac Golden Treasury. We are even trying to teach our toddler Teagan to say “Uh-oh” and if you don’t know what that means, you need to get busy!

A while back Richard was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the same disorder that is now closely associated with actor Micheal J. Fox and boxing legend Muhammad Ali. One of the most commonly associated symptoms is uncontrolled shaking or body tremors and, for an artist, this must hit right at the core of being. But Richard continues to move forward with his amazing work and it’s better than it has ever been.

Enter Team Cul de Sac, a project spearheaded by designer Chris Sparks to raise money for Parkinson’s research. Chris has solicited support from cartoonists around the world to donate artwork for a book and auction, the proceeds of which will go to help the cause. The results of Chris’ hard work have been very impressive and have even included some big surprises. You can view much of the work at the Team Cul de Sac blog.

Above is my humble contribution to the cause. Please visit the Team Cul de Sac site to see how you can help!