Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | September 29, 2014
I wonder why we got a Classic yesterday instead of a new Sunday comic...
Even while writing the political sitcom "Alpha House" GBT occasionally needs a vacation. (Filming on Season Two of the show wrapped recently, and all ten episodes will be released on October 24th.) When such vacations occur (as was the case this past Sunday, and will be again next Sunday) the syndicate sends out a fairlly-recently-published "Flashback" strip -- as it has for decades. To clarify, the daily "Classic" series, is an ongoing tour through Doonesbury's past, featuring four weeks of daily strips from each year of the strip's run. The series began in March with the first strips, from 1970, and as of today we are up to 1978.
BRING ME BACK
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | September 29, 2014
GBT is a half-generation older than me, but close enough to really bring me back. Arafat was not merely a bad dresser -- a detail which escaped me when, as a 15-yr-old in current affairs class, I read in Time that he had addressed the UN General Assembly wearing an empty holster.
Tiger 69 | Silverton, CO | September 26, 2014
"To do is to be."
"To be is to do."
"Do be do be do."
John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | September 26, 2014
Only today did I learn that Old Blue Eyes had a hit with "Strangers." I "blame" my mom who played (and played and played) a John Davidson album on which he covered that song.
A SECOND TRY
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | September 26, 2014
I remember the "Strangers in the Night" strip vividly -- I was surprised that Boopsie thought quickly enough, and then grasped the importance of not "enlightening" the other pilgrim. And that made me spend some time kicking myself about superficial judgment of Boopsie, and realizing that I generally leapfrog all the steps that make it possible to keep my mouth shut at the right time. And I regret to say the strip has exactly the same effect on me today. Well, a second try may be more effective. Thanks!
Rev. Dr. Bob Faser | Hobart, AUSTRALIA | September 26, 2014
I'm glad that Boopsie showed compassion to the lady from Perth who showed some confusion over the identities of "The King" and "The Chairman of the Board." But, after all, there were some uncanny similarities, including the fact that Elvis did an absolutely killer cover version of "My Way."
Mary McKim | Portugal Cove, CANADA | September 26, 2014
Thanks for running the "Strangers in the Night" strip. It has always been a sentimental favourite of mine. It really embodies the concept that music is very personal. No one, not even the person who wrote the song, can give a definitive statement of what that song means. What is trivial and laughable to you might be life-changing to me. Such is the power and truth of music.
John Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | September 23, 2014
Boopsie draws the line on swatches of Elvis' sweat-stained stage scarves. Glad to see our gal has standards. Wonder what Tom Jones did with all of his sweaty stage "souvenirs"?
Jason Thorn | Phoenix, AZ | September 22, 2014
Time to brush up on your intel, Rascal. The Taliban were pussycats compared to ISIS, and even Hamas thinks they are too extreme. Get your head back in the game.
J.B. | ABQ, NEW MEXICO | September 21, 2014
The highest point in the Maldives is +2.4 m AMSL. Either the mountains are hallucinations, or our hero is really in Papeete... or Diego Garcia undergoing drug-based debriefing.
Donanon | Sausalito, CA | September 17, 2014
Time shift disorientation! The seeming random synchronicities among the Flashbacks page and current Classics -- Joanie, Lacey and George all currently making double appearances, from then and later (or before!) -- are making me dizzy. Loving it!
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | September 15, 2014
Part of what makes Doonesbury so fun is that GBT eschews subtlety for his objects-of-satire. Even so, he mostly seems to avoid playing the scold – except when it comes to tobacco. There he mostly pillories tobacco’s attempts to lure kids, so perhaps to scold is suitable. But tobacco scolds largely trot out the “addiction model” of tobacco use. Tobacco is likely the most addictive commonly-available pleasure drug – 30% of all who smoke become addicted. This leaves the remaining 70%, who can “take it or leave it” and smoke simply because they like it.
YOU GO GIRL
Shelley | Meota, CANADA | September 15, 2014
Seeing joanie graduate the first time was especially moving. Seeing it again should remind us just how far we've come. You go girl...again.
Lyndon | Winnipeg, CANADA | September 15, 2014
I'm a longtime reader, and I wonder why we never see any pets.
Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | September 10, 2014
Whoa! Today's 35 year Flashback strip is a real grabber. Joanie, Jr.? I wonder where she came from, and where she went? I missed some of the early years of Doonesbury, but in hundreds and hundreds of strips I don't think I've seen this person before!
What we have here is merely a failure to recognize. The young lady dropping in on Joanie and Rick is none other than J.J. -- now Mike's ex-wife, and Alex's mom. A successful artist and the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship, J.J. lives in Seattle with her husband Zeke. You can read her bio here.
Arnaud | Paris, FRANCE | September 08, 2014
I must have missed something, as I thought that Roland was a married man. But he's never short to join the latest trend -- like adultery, for instance. Of course I'd fully understand if his wife left him. He's Roland after all.
Tom McCarter | San Jose, CA | September 06, 2014
Why am I only seeing strips from the 70s in my local paper, the San Jose Mercury News?
GBT has put the daily strip on hiatus in order to write the second season of his Amazon Studios political sitcom Alpha House, while continuing to create new Sunday strips. On March 3rd Doonesbury began a retrospective journey through the strip's history with the very first strip, originally published on October 26, 1970. Since then we have been moving forward at the rate of four weeks of strips from each year of Doonesbury's run, and as of today are up to 1977. A few papers have opted not to run these Classic dailies, but most are on board and readers seem to be enjoying the ride. GBT discusses the project on PBS Newshour here, and you can view the first episodes for free here.
Fiona M.K. | Melbourne, AUSTRALIA | September 04, 2014
I love Honey. Really. I could do with one in my life...
Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | September 03, 2014
I concur, and applaud the previous post for a very good history lesson. My memory of that era is personal. In 1974 I was working in Korea, and there was a feeling of new opportunity in the air. Newly-installed President Ford came for a state visit and was warmly welcomed, despite the almost continuous student demonstrations against US dominance. During Ford's visit, a US helicopter strayed near the Blue House presidential residence and was shot down. In that same year an assassination attempt on president Pak missed him but killed his wife. During the bicentennial the following year, I was there when President Ford helicoptered in to honor Patriots' Day at Concord's North Bridge -- "The shot heard round the world." It was a momentous couple of years.
Shooshie Roberts | Dallas, TX | September 02, 2014
The Flashbacks page today has a wordless strip from 40 years ago, showing the demolition of the wall around the White House with the sun dawning over it. Though it was metaphorical, Trudeau style, that really was what it felt like. We'd been through so much. Assassinations, Vietnam, loss of trust in our government, student riots, Kent State, an embattled president, election campaign hijinx, and, at last, a fall guy; Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974. But the fallen wall and the dawn were short lived, for at that point we were saddled with the nation's first unelected president. Jerry Ford had not been Nixon's running mate, but replaced him when it became apparent that this was how things would play out. (At least, that's how it looked to some of us.) I never knew anyone who believed that Ford was anything more than an errand boy, there to protect the party and its agendas.
That brings us to the cartoon. Usually, I'd say "Has it really been 40 years?" but in this case it seems like an eternity ago. Bad news lingers. Bad politics seems to stand still in time. You just want it to get behind you, and yet it doesn't seem to end. And the coup remains. Yes, we've had two Democrat presidents for a total of three terms since Ford, but the 60s/70s Republican legacy seems to have continued almost unabated. Many great things have happened in this country since then, and there is much to be grateful for, but almost none of it came from our government — although Al Gore really did help the public acquire the Internet, despite Dick Armey's ridicule. With leaders who make us dread the news, thank goodness for cartoonists who can turn lemons into lemonade. So, thanks for the smile.