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.

BREATH
Virginia | Kalispell, MT | January 06, 2013

Re LAST PAIR: Don't hold your breath. Eighteen years ago my husband said, "This is the last car we'll buy." We're on our third since then.

NEW IDEAS
Benjamin Smeall | Green Bay, WI | January 06, 2013

I believe that the motion, and the search for new ideas, is more important than the clothes. In this Mike Doonesbury is still ahead. For shoes, I would recommend buying Redwing boots and shoes, made in Redwing, Minnesota. The footwear is so comfortable it will make you pray to God. For clothes, I recommend WalMart.

CONVENIENCE STORE
Deb McAllister | Rochester, NY | January 06, 2013

My husband liked shopping at truck stops. Great Hawaiian shirts and fishing tackle in the same aisle. Also some Indian reservation tobacco stores in upstate NY are now carrying clothes in age-appropriate colors and sizes, along with gifts for the wife and kids. That was his idea of a convenience store.

LAST PAIR
Ann Birdsall | Bedford, CANADA | January 06, 2013

Gas station underwear! I thought my husband, buying a $4.99 sweatshirt at the local drug store, was the only non-clothing-store shopper. And I wonder when Mike will reach the point my I-hate-shopping-for-clothes husband has as he settles into his 'sunset' years: "This is the last pair of shoes I'll have to buy."

JEFF'S BIRTHDAY
Alex | Brooklyn, NY | January 04, 2013

And we appear to have missed Jeff's birthday. The Red Rascal turned 30. I look forward to the downward spiral continuing.

SUITABLY FLEXIBLE
Amna Greaves | Andover MA | December 31, 2012

It’s 1983 and I’m a high school art student with one more project to complete a portfolio for honors. My teacher, being the lenient sort, allowed me an absurd amount of leeway and I, being young and eccentric (as opposed to old and eccentric which I am now) decided that a set of life-sized Doonesbury characters would be the perfect capstone. I created these figures out of 3’x3’ sheets of corrugated cardboard and painted them brightly with tempera. The Doonesbury clique included Zonker, Zeke, Mike, Mark, B.D., and (coming in last but not least at 5’ thanks to remaining cardboard scrap) Duke. Over the three weeks I had them on display they appeared in various nooks and ways -- the library, the halls, behind doors -- and much to my surprise they did not take any damage. In fact I was shocked that my peers, the well known and well liked, came to me, the art student outcast, asking for my creations at the end of the exhibit. I did give them all away, all except for Zeke, who I kept fondly for many years on the back of my bedroom door. Many decades have passed, but I owe a ‘thank you’ to GBT for the use of his characters. Also for the random and surprising discovery of The Doonesbury Chronicles in my public library in 1980 (next to Amphigorey, and collections by Charles Adams.) I repeatedly checked this volume out and mystified my friends with exclamations of “Heeeewack!” from time to time. Doonesbury was a formative part of my youth, and continues to help keep my mind suitably flexible as I meander on into old age. Keep ‘em coming, bro. I’m counting on you.

THE CHALLENGES
Adele | OREGON | December 30, 2012

I am the mother of a disabled veteran of OIF. On behalf of thousands of military families, I want to thank you for never forgetting us. You keep our stories in the eyes and minds of a nation that would rather sweep us under the rug, or glorify what our loved ones have been through in order to perpetuate the same lies that led us into Iraq in the first place. You walk the walk, in the way suited to you. In doing so, you do us all a great service. I only wish even more people would read your strip. Perhaps it would help them to understand the challenges we face every day.

CELEBRATOR-IN-CHIEF
Marcia | Longmont, CO | December 28, 2012

As an atheist who is also my family's celebrator-in-chief of Christmas (and the other holidays of our family's protestant/colonial tradition), I relish the irony of the current War on Christmas series. Most of my family are ecumenical Christians, and I see no reason to deprive them of the comfort, or myself of the joy, of Christmas. Having reached the status (somewhat uncomfortably, to be sure) of materfamilias, I will gladly hang the lights, decorate the tree, cook the turkey, and automate my aged mother's Christmas card list. Whyever not? If this is hypocrisy, then I accept the label. It seems to me that it would be ungenerous to force my unbelief on my family. I'm pretty sure that I'm in the majority here.

PITCH
Jan | New Haven, CT | December 27, 2012

"Have you ever had to kill one?" Pitch perfect.

A ZONKER
Smithers Bob | Smithers, CANADA | December 27, 2012

One of my lifetime best friends is a "Zonker." Laid back, the antithesis of mercenary, quick to help anyone in need, and not the least bit concerned about accumulating money. Like Zonker, he takes what life offers, smiles and moves on.

PICTURE IN THE ATTIC
Joshua Rey | London, UK | December 27, 2012

Roland's like Dorian Gray -- but every now and then we get a look at the picture in the attic.

CONTEXT
Niki | Montreal, CANADA | December 27, 2012

"Have you ever had to kill one?" I drew in my breath at the genius of that line in its particular context. You're the best critic of our time.

DEFICIENT
Earl Wirth | Appomattox, VA | December 27, 2012

I've enjoyed you strip for years, but todays subject matter -- Christians killing atheists -- was in such poor taste; the kind of deficient intellect that would dream that one up is not one I care to read anymore.

MAKEUP PEOPLE
Luthier Lew | Oakland, CA | December 26, 2012

Not only is Roland married but unlike (most noticeably) Joanie and Mark and Bernie, in 35 years he has not aged a minute. That or the makeup people at Fox are doing a terrific job.

WHO KNEW?
Joshua Rey | London | December 26, 2012

Well I'll be darned, who knew Roland Hedley was married?

PRESENT
Pete | Hillsdale, NJ | December 25, 2012

A Christmas present! The return of the baby Jesus as played by a 40-watt light bulb!

HONEST MAN
Ed Cherlin | Columbus, IN | December 23, 2012

It seems that the Honest Man is just discovering that if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.

THE MAYANS
Jules | Toronto, CANADA | December 23, 2012

The Mayans are still very much here, in the millions. They've survived the catastrophes of colonization, disease and genocide and they've survived the hijacking of their calendar and spiritual traditions with good grace and minimal eye rolling. Now can we have a celebratory toast and commit to the next 5,000 years being better than the previous 500 here in the Indigenous lands of the Americas?

STILL SPEAKING
Ed Cherlin | Columbus, INDIANA | December 22, 2012

Not only are there millions of Mayans still speaking several kinds of Mayan, but One Laptop Per Child, Sugar Labs, and Rotary International are providing educational software to them in their own languages.

POINT OF INFORMATION
Robert Service | Acton, MA | December 21, 2012

As a point of information for good old B.D., the Mayans are thriving today in large numbers in the Yucatan. They speak Mayan, not Spanish, and watch TV in their native language. Maybe they're not an empire anymore, but they are still with us, in the open, on their own terms. And Mayan is definitely not a dead language. I've read your strip for 41 years and love it more now.