ILLUSTRATION ART: POLITICAL CARTOONS part 8: RICHARD THOMPSON

Illustration

ILLUSTRATION ART: POLITICAL CARTOONS part 8: RICHARD THOMPSON

In my opinion, there are only two reasons why Richard Thompson isn’t celebrated as one of the greatest political cartoonists.  

The first is that he devoted most of his time and energy to other artistic pursuits–  a popular comic strip, paintings, illustration art, a weekly gag panel, etc.

The second is that Parkinson’s disease cruelly robbed him of his drawing ability while he was still young, and he tragically passed away at age 58.  

But looking back at Thompson’s political cartoons, it’s clear he was an artist of enormous gifts.  Here we see President Clinton entertaining the crowds with the game, “Soak the Rich.” Meanwhile the “Global Peril” game seems to be crawling out of its container unnoticed.   

Thompson’s child-like scrawl slyly reveals an architectural
engineer’s understanding of the forms he was drawing.

Thompson’s caricatures of presidents and presidential candidates are poetry:

Ross Perot
Richard Nixon

Hillary Clinton
Saddam Hussein
Rudi Giuliani in an earlier era

For his weekly panel, Richard’s Poor Almanac, Thompson wrote the text accompanying his drawings: 

Even his apolitical cartoons often contained clever social commentary:  

Thompson’s political cartoons amounted to only a small percentage of his total oeuvre, but based on quality of that work, Thompson is firmly among my favorite political cartoonists. 

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