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.

HAPPY AND AWARE
Alain Gares | Toulouse, FRANCE | August 05, 2012

Thank you for your whole work, which has been keeping me happy and aware of the inner life of America for 30 years.

DAYDREAM
Helen Chicoine | Westwood, MA | August 05, 2012

Thank God this week's storyline was only a daydream. The thought of you turning the strip over to Alex or anybody else was giving me nightmares. Stay the course!

ALEX AND HER HUSBAND
K.N. | CALIFORNIA | August 04, 2012

I just want to thank you for your portrayal of Alex and her husband. I don't know who you are basing these characters on, but you've got some stuff right on. For my partner, four years out of the military, the war goes on. Just because he isn't in it anymore doesn't mean that it's stopped for him. And because it's always here with him, it's always here for me. Every night he returns to a battlefield in his dreams. Things that are normal and ordinary for me, like planes and helicopters, send him inexorably into a heightened state of anxiety. So much of the rhetoric around the war and the military reduces people to numbers, to abstracts. The people serving are "troops." There are "casualties." Thank you for continuing to show a character that is a former soldier as a human being. It seems to me that if the military acknowledged that the pressures of war and conflict were recognized as fundamentally damaging to humans, then no one would be able to make policy that sends humans into war. It's a big thing, I think, when the soldiers recognize that the system they are contracted to is insane. It's a difficult task to spotlight the insanity, and an even harder one to try to heal it. How we move forward from here, I don't know. But thank you for keeping it real. Yours is the only portrayal of vets and their communities that feels authentic.

NEW TERRITORY
Thomas Taggart | Asheville, NC | August 04, 2012

You are taking us into new territory. Very intriguing.

THE FOURTH WALL
Medicvet | Tulsa, OK | August 03, 2012

I just want to say I love the entire "dropping the fourth wall," as they say in TV phraseleogy, and I'm only using that expression because I have no idea what you would call it in the comic strip world.

PHASING OUT
Anna | Vancouver, CANADA | August 03, 2012

Wait... You aren't really phasing out all the characters over 40, are you? I learned late 20th century American history through them! Seriously, I'll beg if necessary.

KINDRED SPIRIT
Sue | Oakland, CA | August 02, 2012

I saw Zipper earlier in the week, so I'm really-really hoping that Zonker is still going to be showing up from time to time. As an "green-thumbed aging hippie chick" I would miss my kindred spirit in the strip.

THE ANGLE
Brummbaer | Independence, MO | August 02, 2012

I'm not sure what the angle is with this Alex "takeover," but I find it less than amusing. I keep telling myself that it is just some not so funny exercise, the artist taking liberties with his work, but should this not be the case and the new Alex strip is to be the norm, I won't be around much longer. If this is what the "peeps" want, don't count me as a peep.

PROJECTIONS
David Cooke | Issaquah, WA | August 02, 2012

if young Mrs. DeLuca actually can take over the script and nix characters at will, is it possible that all the characters in the strip are actually projections of Mike? Perhaps the entire strip has been a giant puff of Mike's imagination, like Mr. Butts. So my question is -- what was Mike smoking back in college that set him on this 40 year trip, and where can I get some?

DAYDREAM
R.B.S. | San Francisco, CA | August 01, 2012

I thought this must be Mike's summer daydream. Then I realized it's Alex's summer daydream. A mindbender.

THAT GOOD NIGHT
Dr. Jimmy and Mr. Jim | Whitmore Lake, MI | August 01, 2012

Drew and other children of Baby Boomers, know that we will not go quietly into that good night, and you can not yet take over our world. Keep up the good fight, Mike D. You are an original and cannot be replaced.

CARTOON NATURE
Pat Goudey O'Brien | Warren, VT | August 01, 2012

I am so missing the steady hand of the duty officer. Alex is running amok! I love the girl, but she needs someone to rein her in, and her Daddy -- the rational parent -- was never all that good at it. I hope GBT can successfully pull this back to a reasonable place after messing with our heads this way. It's not nice to fool with cartoon nature...

BACKBONE
Isabel | Edling, GERMANY | August 01, 2012

Please, please let the Alex takeover be a Summer Dream! And may we wake up soon... it's more like a nightmare. Mike, show some backbone already!

GEN-X DUDE
J.W.H. | Springfield, VA | July 31, 2012

I'm a Gen-X dude -- midway between Mike's age and Alex's age. But I'm seriously laughing at this week's "handing over the strip to Alex" conceit. But it also makes me a little sad. I can't help comparing Mike to my own Baby Boomer parents, and I wonder what it feels like for them as their children (now in their 30s) are hitting their stride personally and professionally.

OLD CHARACTERS
D.J. | COLORADO | July 31, 2012

So which of the old characters will still be reading the strip? Not this one. I hope the goose tastes good.

SOUNDS SIMPLE
Sparky | AMERICA | July 31, 2012

Although picture ID sounds simple, I recently moved to a new state and had to make three trips and pore through boxes and boxes of old files to get all the documentation I needed. The reason? The state would not accept my valid ID from another state as proof of anything. I had to go back to my original birth certificate and also produce proof of divorces and marriages to validate my current name. All this even though I had previously resided more than 20 years in the state into which I was moving.

This was a time-consuming and expensive chore for me -- to get new drivers licenses and tags for myself and my husband cost us more than $400, and this was with a discount for having previously had tags in this state. It was also somewhat anxiety provoking. And we are peaceful seniors who are very law abiding. Our skin color is white. We have college educations. We keep boxes of records which we lug around with us when we move.

If we are serious about preserving a democracy, and we want picture IDs for everyone, why doesn't the government pay all the costs, including the costs of researching birth certificates and other documentation for those who find it a burden to do it for themselves? The framers of the constitution did not necessarily want everyone to vote. The government they envisioned was pretty much run by free, white, male landowners. What do we want?

ALL IN ONE
Jane G. | Philadelphia, PA | July 31, 2012

Are you seriously considering retiring from writing/drawing what I have for years now been seriously insisting to my friends is the great American novel of our lifetime? I hope not. Doonesbury is our Dickens, Trollope, and George Eliot -- all in one. Keep it going. Please!

SAY IT AIN'T SO!
Samuel M. Ofsevit | New York, NY | July 31, 2012

You can't possibly be getting rid of Mike, B.D., Mark and Zonker after 42 years. Say it ain't so! I have been a fan since Newsday published Doonesbury in the early 70s. Too much change is not good, although Leo is certainly one of the best, most sympathetic characters you have created.

TOO YOUNG
Janet Cassidy | Patterson, NY | July 31, 2012

No!!!! Hey, Alex, sorry girl, but it is not all about you. You're just too young to be all that interesting. GBT, please just keep on doing what you've been doing all these years.

FAVE
Babette d'Yveine | Fairfield, CT | July 31, 2012

I understand the desire to make the strip current, but please, don't get rid of Zonker. He's my fave of all the Doonesbury characters.