2023 drink and draw


Team Cul de Sac Beginnings

When Richard Thompson, creator of the cartoon strip Cul de Sac, learned that he had Parkinson’s disease, the entire cartoon community was moved. From other cartoonists to fans, the urge to “do something” was overwhelming. Enter Chris Sparks, a friend of Richard, who came up with the idea of joining the Team Fox effort, the fundraising arm of the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Having read two of Michael J. Fox’s books, he knew about the foundation, which made him think of creating a Team Cul de Sac to honor Richard and to raise money for and awareness about PD. He set up the team with the foundation and began the quest to create a book that contributors would donate their original art to be included in the book and to be auctioned off later. All of the auction’s and a portion of the book’s profits will be donated to Team Fox.

Each year since 2010, minus the covid break in 2020 and 2021, TCDS along with Heroescon, has a drink and draw on the night of the Friday after the show.

Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson, illustrator and creator of the syndicated comic strip Cul de Sac, passed away in northern Virginia on Wednesday, July 27, 2016 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 58 years old.

Cul de Sac’s reputation and circulation grew steadily since its first appearance on September 9, 2007, eventually appearing in more than 150 newspapers. At the peak of the strip’s popularity, Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a chronic and progressive disorder of the nervous system that affects movement.

Thompson continued to produce new Cul de Sac strips throughout his treatment for Parkinson’s disease, and in 2011, he received the National Cartoonists Society’s highest honor, the Reuben Award, as 2010’s Outstanding Cartoonist of the Year. He received a standing ovation at the award ceremony at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in Boston, and Thompson humbly thanked his friends and family in his brief, self-effacing acceptance speech.

The Team

Chris Sparks


Chris is a lifelong fan of the comic medium and the driving force and cofounder of Team Cul de Sac. He was the editor behind Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s, a book nominated for an Eisner and multiple Harvey awards. Chris was honored to receive the 2013 Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award for his work on Team Cul de Sac project which raises money for Parkinson’s Disease research for the Michael J Fox Foundation. Since its inception in 2010, TCDS has raised over $250,000 for the MJFF.

An Asheville, NC native, his favorite outdoor activities include tennis, hiking, photography, and traveling. Otherwise, you’ll find him reading (comics, sci-fi, autobiographies, outdoor adventure, and history books). He loves a wide range of movies, or just enjoying the fine craft brew and amazing food that Asheville has to offer.

In his spare time, he enjoys time with his wife, daughter, and friends.

Mike Rhode

TCDS Sensibily Leader

Mike met Richard at an exhibit opening at the Library of Congress and they hit it off. Mike started hanging around with Richard and his other cartoonist and illustrator friends in a circle that revolved around Richard. Mike jokingly referred to himself as Richard’s “#1 stalker” because he would be the person who would drive Richard to events and cons. In 2014, Mike co-edited The Art of Richard Thompson and The Incomplete Art of “Why Things Are” in 2017. In 2022, he edited and published Compleating Cul de Sac, 2nd edition focused on Richard Thompson’s comic strip which raises funds for TCDS. Mike hopes to get more of Richard’s work republished to keep his memory and talent alive.

Seth Peagler

Drink and Draw leader

Seth Peagler helped Chris start the Drink and Draw at Heroescon and is instrumental in the Drink and Draw’s success.  Seth is also the Operations Manager at Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find. He does everything including taking care of supplies, shipping and processing new acquisitions. (He is a comics sorting machine!) On top of that, Seth assists with new monthly orders. When he isn’t at the shop he is helping Shelton Drum at conventions.

When he DOES take a moment to himself, he is a gifted writer of prose, poetry and, music! You can occasionally find him playing guitar and music at local haunts, or catch his work on display at the GoodYear Arts! Seth also loves his animals.

Emily Sparks

Promotions Assistant

Emily attended her first HeroesCon at eight weeks old, and met Richard at nine months old. She was exposed to many amazing artists and storytellers from the beginning and immediately loved Cul De Sac. It was one of the first comic strips she learned to read. Over the years Emily has become increasingly involved in TCDS and looks forward to continuing to expand its impact. Emily sorts and sells art at the Drink and Draw, sets up and works the TCDS table at HeroesCon, and collects art donations. Emily is an Asheville, NC native and enjoys playing the trumpet, reading, jazz, and spending time with friends.

Make A Difference

Join our fight to find a cure for this debilitating disease. All proceeds benefit The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

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