Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

TODAY'S VIDEO
Santa Frank | West Plains, MO | October 23, 2014

I've been a fan since before the twins, and I was just wondering why Today's Video does not change anymore. I still love the strip and the whole site after all these years.

Editor's Note:

 We felt it prudent to leave the Season 2 trailer for "Alpha House" up cotinuously until the shows are released (all ten episodes at once, on the 24th), just to be sure word gets out to even the occassional site visitors. New videos are standing by for your viewing pleasure. Thanks for wondering!

COLLEGE
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | October 23, 2014

My college is 3800 highway miles from home. I too would like to see my old roommates (some of them). Zonker (professional tanner, nanny, future cannabis entreprenuer) is even farther away, metaphorically, than Dad and his old roommates.

PROPHETIC
Andrew Laine | Cape Cod, MA | October 18, 2014

How prophetic that B.D. should hope for a nurse, considering how wounded he would become and how Boopsie would nurse him back to health in so many ways. And prophetic that she would become the cowgirl to rein him in!

FLASHBACKS PAGE
Donanon | Sausalito, CA | October 15, 2014

I'm loving the Flashbacks page --  characters time-tripping over each other as they come in and out of view asynchronously. But I'm not always able to check it every day. Would it be possible to add a calendar to that page, as there is with the dailies? It hurts to miss an "episode" and lose a bit of the laugh thread.

Editor's Note:

 Adding that capability is not in the cards at present, but fortunately you can fill in the gaps by self-Flashbacking in the complete Doonesbury archive at our sister site, GoComics.com. Here's a link.

SINCE THE 70S
Robert David Stanton | Flagler Beach, FL | October 15, 2014

I have read your comic strip since the 70s, and have identified with Zonk and Mike and others as my life has progressed. Keep on doing what your doing -- you do keep it real!

MINDFULNESS
Irene | Ontario, CANADA | October 14, 2014

Perhaps the "mindfulness" of the last few years is the new "mellow."

WEIRD
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | October 13, 2014

It's weird seeing Duke as the voice of reason.

THE STRIP TODAY
Maerzie | Florence, WI | October 11, 2014

Kool, sharp woman, that Joanie! I really liked the strip today. Some of the old ones are off the wall though, and I can't figure out what he was getting at. When are some fresh ones coming back? This is politics season, and G.B. Trudeau is one of the best at telling people what's really going on!

Editor's Note:

 GBT has announced that the Doonesbury dailies will continue in Classic mode throughout the run of his political sitcom Alpha House, however long a run that proves to be. Season Two of the show will be released in its entirety for binge-viewing (or more measured consumption) on October 24th. New strips continue to appear on Sundays.

MY DAD
Mary Wickens | East Lansing, MI | October 10, 2014

I am really enjoying the strips from 1979, which was the year I graduated law school. My dad ("Big Ben") and I read the strips together every day until he died in 2009. It brings back such wonderful memories; he'd call me every morning and ask, "Did you read Doonesbury today?" Mr. Trudeau graciously emailed Dad several times when he was ill late in life. Thank you.

MELLOWSPEAK
Thad Humphries | Charlottesville, VA | October 10, 2014

In today's strip from 1979, the horrors of "mellowspeak" foreshadow the outrage against the 140-character tweet. For language purists, Doonesbury documents 35 years on the highway to hell.

INTERESTING
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | October 09, 2014

What's interesting is just how it was that "mellow" ballooned out of its tiny place in the dictionary and became a cool word to use, and that was by its indelible association with mind-expanding and relaxing drugs: pot, acid, etc., the elixirs of an age. Once rendered mellow, the mind might take a fancy to Apollo, but just as well might revel with Dionysus. However, when the word thereafter became culturally generalized, it quickly dissolved from use, considered smarmy by the hip, and thereafter, in its death throws, was used sardonically to describe a "slacker" -- a Zonker, a Zipper, or a Zeke. I now can't remember when I last heard the word used in conversation. And whatever happened to "far out" ? Funny how the word "cool" manages to sustain its expanded use decade after decade.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Shooshie | Dallas, TX | October 07, 2014

Classic Doonesbury indeed. I'd nearly forgotten these eras. Fellowship at the California Institute for the Mellow? A mellow fellow? Only in California, of course. Trudeau kept his finger on the pulse of both coasts, and most of what happened in between. But anyone with a pulse at that time was aware of Esalen, Tassajara, and the many retreats, communes and institutes of California, which influenced businesses like The Whole Earth Catalog, or even Apple Computer, which started out a very barefoot organization and is now the most successful company on earth. Later, the birth of global communities such as The Well on the fledgling internet were influenced by the same concepts, places and people.

I enjoyed the various takes in the comics that were already poking fun at them. At one extreme, you had the dark view from Zap Comics, but in the newspapers there was Doonesbury, whose passing characters were always deadpan stereotypes of their respective ages. Anyone researching how the cultural revolution of the 60s led people to California in the 1970s, the Me Generation of the 1980s, and the Internet of the 1990s, would be missing a great resource if they overlooked Trudeau's grand satire. History books tell us something like press releases from the entities of the time. Doonesbury told how we thought about them. One's not complete without the other.

PUNCHLINE
Mark Miller | THE NETHERLANDS | October 07, 2014

I used to hate hate hate mellow, then I learned to relax about it. Love the series though. Once I start reading a Classic strip I can always remember the punchline. How cool is that?

AT A FOOD CO-OP
Don Albertson | Spring Mills, PA | October 07, 2014

I'm not sure I know what mellow is, but I do recall a time when I asked someone at a food co-op about some basic (to me anyway) notions of freshness and hygiene and someone said "Maybe you aren't mellow enough for this co-op." I conclude that while I may be somewhat mellow, I'll never get to be a Mellow Doctor.

MELLOW
Benjamin Smeall | WISCONSIN / BOLIVIA | October 07, 2014

I do remember "mellow." It was, and still is, a very important concept. In fact, is it a reiteration of the worship of Apollo, god of medicine and music. It's an affirmation that balance and moderation are desirable qualities in life. Nothing new. The worship of the god Apollo became the basis for Christianity. It was rediscovered in the Enlightenment of the 18th century that also provided the intellectual justification for the American Revolution, the beginnings of the United States as we now know it.

MOVED ME
Ray Lampe | Templeton, MA | October 05, 2014

Today's ten-years-ago flashback strip once again strongly moved me as part of the B.D. wounded warrior story arc. This almost documentary storytelling is unlike anything I know of in this medium. Great praise is due GBT for the artistry and compassion he exhibits in this and all the other non-comic stories he creates, which may be the best presentation of the passing scene available to the segment of world population that absorbs Doonesbury regularly. Moreover, B.D., Melissa, and Toggle are ongoing reminders that we have a continuing obligation of support for our veterans, especially the combat and abuse wounded, in hospitals and living among us.

B.D. RETROSPECTIVE
David Ferrier | Edmonton, CANADA | October 05, 2014

I love how the 10, 20, and 25-years-ago strips on today's Flashbacks page offer a B.D. retrospective. Semi-loquacious to laconic. Before/after helmetectomy. Crass to insightful. Thanks.

SUNDAY COMIC
Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | September 29, 2014

I wonder why we got a Classic yesterday instead of a new Sunday comic...

Editor's Note:

 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.

SINATRA
Tiger 69 | Silverton, CO | September 26, 2014

"To do is to be."
         -- Sartre

"To be is to do."
          -- Camus

"Do be do be do."
          -- Sinatra