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A-B Tech graduate rallies cartoonists for a cause
July 10, 2012
Team Cul de Sac, created by 2010 A-B Tech graduate Chris Sparks, has raised nearly $50,000 so far for the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the world’s largest private funder of Parkinson’s research.
Chris organized Team Cul de Sac when he found out his friend Richard Thompson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Thompson is an award-winning cartoonist whose syndicated strip “Cul de Sac” follows the life of a preschool girl named Alice Otterloop, her family and friends.
In the summer of 2010, Sparks came up with the idea to get other illustrators to donate artwork to auction for the foundation. After contacting cartoonists from around the country, about 150 pieces were donated for the auction, including an oil painting by Bill Watterson, the reclusive creator of “Calvin and Hobbes,” who came out of retirement and made his first piece of public art in 16 years. That piece sold for $13,000 in the auction held this June. The auction brought in a total of $47,000
Chris and his business partner in Sparking Design, Jamie King, a 2009 A-B Tech graduate, worked with Andrews McMeel in Kansas City to publish a book with the artwork which was released in June. “I am very happy with the project and the pre-orders we received,” said Chris.
Proceeds from the book, when purchased through Sparking Design, benefit the foundation. “Team Cul de Sac: Cartoonists Draw the Line at Parkinson’s” raised an additional $1,305 through those sales just through the January through March presales. Chris is still tallying up the orders from April to June and hopes to have doubled that figure.
Michael J. Fox released the following statement about the book through his foundation. “Richard Thompson is lucky to have a friend like Chris Sparks. With this amazing collection, Chris is raising significant dollars and awareness for Parkinson’s – while proving comedy can speed a cure. We’re grateful to have both Chris and Richard on our team.”
“Jamie and I did help design the look of the book on the interior. We came up with the concept design,” said Chris. Thompson himself designed the cover. “I am not doing this for the money, but for Richard. He is such a great guy and to have a disease that could rob you from what you love most is horrible. I hope this makes a difference and make people more aware.”
The book is available for purchase http://sparkingdesign.com/order-team-cul-de-sac-book/. Follow Team Cul de Sac on Facebook and at http://teamculdesac.blogspot.com/