It's also responsible for bizarre but brilliant fan art like this:
Thompson recently announced that he has Parkinson's, and a whole band of cartoonists has rallied to his cause, setting up a fundraiser for Parkinson's research in his name. Well, his strip's name. It'll be in the form of a tribute book. If you look down a bit on Thompson's blog, you'll see Bill Watterson's contribution. If that man can come out of his voluntary seclusion to help out, you know Thompson does extraordinary work.
To be honest, that kind of support from one's peers shows me an amazing amount of love and respect. It's far greater than giving him a Reuben Award... which coincidentally he's up for this year in two categories. He's up against Glen Keane and Stephen Pastis for Cartoonist of the Year. He's also in the Newspaper Strip category which I hope he wins, because his competition there is Red & Rover, which is innocuous enough, and a mean-spirited, misogynistic strip so brimming with spite it takes two people, one of which is a bitter right-wing editorial cartoonist, to make it.
And if you want to start reading the strip on a great story, start with last summer's tale where Petey went to Cartoon Camp. Alice goes to camp at her preschool and it's quite adorable, but Petey's adventures with his newfound cartoonist friends are absolutely brilliant.