Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Thompson loved to write and draw about events at county fairs.  


One of my very favorites was his blue ribbon prize for "Worst Entertainment," awarded to Squinto:

I don't know what kind of mind invents "Squinto the wandering astigmatic stiltwalker and his flaming yo-yos," but I feel certain that if the Department of Homeland Security were aware of it, Richard Thompson would not be a free man today.

The fact is, I lobbied to name the entire book Squinto the Wandering Astigmatic Stiltwalker and His Flaming Yo-yos but my co-authors thought The Art of Richard Thompson made more sense.  Just one of the ways in which their lack of vision held me back.


Anonymous said...

Wouldn't be surprised if David Lynch likes Thompson.

Al McLuckie

chris bennett said...

That would have been a great title David - if I had been on the team you would have got my vote. Regardless of arguments about it sounding like a children's story book, it just feels right. Independence in the artistic endeavour is almost essential to its chance to flower.

Take the example of Mike Leigh making relatively big money and taking big prizes with a film produced for peanuts with an aging character actor (read not handsome) as its lead playing a dirty, uncouth, self-obsessed 18th century artist who mixes spit with his paint to produce his semi-abstract, unpopulated pictures. No action, no Hollywood stars, no CGI. I bet even the most sympathetic of its backers wanted it called something like "Ugly Beauty" or "Awkward Angel" to hype it up a bit. But "Mr Turner" nails it beautifully.

Anonymous said...

Does he write his own words? He writes even better than he draws.


Mike Rhode said...

Yes, Richard writes all his own material. Follow his blog at where he's still doing some writing. In the Art of book, there's a page he wrote for the Washington Post magazine which is hilarious.