Probably the most universally admired comic strip running right now is going on hiatus for a few weeks: via his blog, Richard Thompson announced a hiatus while he receives treatment for his Parkinson’s Disease.
Well, I’m taking some time off. Some more time off, three or four weeks. I’m about to start a program of physical therapy sessions designed for people with Parkinson’s. I’ve only been in for an evaluation, but the therapy largely consists of big, exaggerated movements and sweeping silly walks that will so embarrass your body that it’ll start behaving itself, I hope. Also I’ll learn ten ways to defeat a mugger by falling on him.
Garry Trudeau likened daily newspaper comics to a public utility that delivers its service so regularly that any interruption is seen as some kind of major systems failure. Though well aware of this, the kind folks at Universal Press have been greatly supportive and urged me to do whatever I needed to do. So I’m’a gonna.
The Reuben-Award winning Thompson announced he had the illness in 2009, and there have been repeat strips at times, but neither his sense of humor nor the quality of the strip has suffered despite the disease.
Last year, Thompson announced Team Cul-de-Sac, a benefit for Parkinson’s research that includes contributions by a who’s who of other cartoonists.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.