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.

JEFF
Jason Thorn | Phoenix, AZ | February 13, 2013

Really, Jeff? DARPA doesn't ring a bell? Turn in your CIA credentials. You have finally proved beyond any doubt that you have no business in the CIA.

FAMILY
Nikki Longaker | Binghamton, NY | February 12, 2013

With Alex and Toggle expecting, GBT has a great chance to create another new kind of family. I hope he addresses issues like finances and the developmental needs of babies and young children. Given that most parents must both work long hours today, good child care is a huge expense, and in our culture of videos, texting, and tweets today's kids often go without the time and attention they need. Rick and Joanie had it easy, in comparison, back in the day. Then again, I seem to remember Rick (whom I adored when I was a young parent) dodging his share of Jeff-care, to Joanie's annoyance.

BOOK
John R. | St. Paul, MN | February 12, 2013

When speaking, how does one distinguish between a book and a "book" ?

WOW!
Bob | Minnesota | February 12, 2013

Wow! Audible quotation marks! Where can I get some?

TROUBLED
Joan | Ithaca, NY | February 07, 2013

I adore Joanie, and considering that J.J. is my name too for the very same reason, I have felt a kinship with the strip ever since I began reading my brother's collections when I was but seven. I am 46 so I've been with you a while, thankfully. My comment has to do with Joan's actions. I can understand that she is irked by the young woman, but I am troubled that she is so disrespectful, using her device rather than continuing eye contact. I feel this perpetuates one of the more rude aspects of our culture. If Joanie maintained solid eye contact she'd be in a stronger position of maturity and authority.

PASSIVE AGGRESSION
Dan Duffy | Durham, NC | February 07, 2013

Well, if you text while a worker greets you at the entrance to her place of work, a little passive aggression is to be expected. If it had been a large middle-aged man rather than an elderly woman, she might reasonably be deciding to call security.

DISMAYED
Pat Ruggiero | Palmyra, VA | February 07, 2013

I'm dismayed at the way the strip is treating Joanie as an "elderly" person, on Warren's staff merely to increase its "diversity." That young woman surely can't have overlooked the fact that Hilary Clinton, as well as many male polticians and appointees, are in later middle age, and that this country is not being run entirely by the under-30 generation.

THRILLED
Seven | Alexandria, VA | February 07, 2013

I am thrilled that Joanie is on the Senator's staff. What a welcome back from the young staffer! I read Doonesbury on the internet in the morning, and again in the evening when I take my WaPo with the nasty newsprint and ink to my chair and read it cover to cover. I too tear comics from the newspaper for use at work or posting on the fridge! It will be a sad commentary when the hard copy editions of newspapers are gone.

STEPPING IN IT
Allie | Gettysburg, PA | February 07, 2013

Wow, that kid is stepping in it. I'm reminded of the time I was invited to attend a local church of a liberal stripe because, and I quote, "We need more pagans!" So well-meaning, and so wrong, on so very many levels; among them that I'm Christian.

PRINT AND INTERNET
Mary Parmenter | Bremerton, WA | February 05, 2013

I love and use both print and Internet. I read the NYTimes Seattle print edition every day wearing my special t-shirt that becomes black with ink as I read. Then I change my shirt and check out Doonesbury on the net where my hands and clothes stay clean and I can e-mail particularly funny strips to my son in San Francisco. Both media types have their uses. You can't wrap cat litter in a monitor.

THE ELDERLY
Pat Goudey O'Brien | Warren, VT | February 05, 2013

Egad! Just the other day, I heard that flu vaccinations are recommended for "the elderly," and it seems that I qualify for elderly, too! Hey, I'm only 66 years old. A spring chicken. Barely middle-aged. Elderly, indeed! (I love how, when something matters in my life, I often see it pop up in a Doonesbury strip. He reads people's minds...)

PRINT COMICS
Don Albertson | Spring Mills, PA | February 05, 2013

The nice thing about print comics (and the Houston Chronicle used to have several pages of them every day) is that without them, it's unlikely that the comics would be on the web because someone has to pay for all that. The sad thing about print comics is that newspaper delivery service is increasingly unreliable as newspapers turn delivery over to "contractors" to save money. Newspapers also cut the comics to accommodate smaller page sizes -- I didn't know that Doonesbury was an eight-panel Sunday strip until I saw it online.

SWITCHED
Reg Rumney | Johannesburg, SOUTH AFRICA | February 05, 2013

I switched to reading Doonesbury online many years ago when my favourite weekly newspaper, the Mail & Guardian (formerly Weekly Mail) stopped running the strip to save money. I have gone to the site almost every day since. It is my window on the world of US politics and much else besides.

DOWNSIDE
McAlvie | Washington, D.C. | February 05, 2013

The digital age is marvelous and I do my share of reading that way; but I would still mourn the loss of newsprint. The downside of the electronic age is that it is too easy and too cheap for anyone to say anything, and often without having to own it. Thus we have a lot of websites masquerading as legitimate news media, but without the ethics and obligations that should go with it.

DAILY CONTENT
R. Cox | Houston, TX | February 05, 2013

I miss newspapers comics in that they encouraged daily content, and I was more likely to read a selection of 'toons rather than just the three or four I have bookmarked in my browsers -- many of which only publish a few times a week. Reading a few good newspapers every day truly provided a level of diversity that the web tends to minimize, unless one makes an real effort. The significant impact the web has made in my Doonesbury life is that I am not buying the books. With newspaper reading, you wanted the books in order to have quality images of the 'toons. With the web this is no longer such a need.

WONDERFUL
J.B.P. | Silverton, CO | February 04, 2013

The wonderful thing about print is that I can tear favorite strips from the paper and stick them on the refrigerator along with other vital reminders.

REAL-LIFE RICK
Martin Snapp | Berkeley, CA | February 03, 2013

Speaking as a real-life Rick Redfern, I must say my feelings are hurt by the comments from younger readers calling us old-fashioned print types "selfish" because we have the temerity to mourn our lost jobs. It feels like they're dancing on the grave of my career.

STORYLINE
Hal | Portland, OR | February 03, 2013

If you go back and reread the whole week’s storyline, Trudeau, as usual, is throwing us a whammy of social satire, this one so subtle that it seems to have gone over the heads of just about everyone in here -- and elsewhere. (Yeah, I’ve clicked on some of the links.) Look at the first panel. What is Zonk holding in his hands? And why? Mailbag has gone paperless! Does this mean the Millennials have taken over the strip? Not while the older generation is around. Ahem, or so they think. “Stick with print, folks,” say Zonk and Mike -- while abandoning print for tweets in Mailbag! This is the perfect punchline for a bunch of related satirical sub-points in every frame of every panel during the whole week. Brilliant! I burst out laughing so hard my vision started to blur.

WEB COMIC READERS
Cory | Seattle, WA | February 02, 2013

Apparently today's strip pissed off a bunch of web comic creators. Check out this amazing meme.

Editor's Note:

 Sometimes things really are what they seem. I checked with the home office, and the strip is nothing more than a simple gag about the state of newspapers. It was intended for the readers of the 1,100 daily and Sunday print editions that publish the strip. While understandably sentimental about his roots in print media, GBT was an enthusiastic, early adapter to digital platforms, creating three different CD-ROMS (1995), a web-based motion-capture video project (Duke2000), a milblog (2006), e-book editions of his anthologies, and of course, this website, launched in 1995, long before most webcomics were created. He first wrote about the social impact of computers, a favorite topic, in 1972.

DISAGREE
Robert Kerr | Everett, WA | February 02, 2013

I completely disagree with today's strip. I’ve been a reader for about four years now and I have never once read Doonesbury in a newspaper. I have always read it online, and most of my friends (most around my age of 25) have only read it online as well. The online medium is great for comics. I can easily just press a button to go back and read previous strips without having to dig through a pile of papers to find the exact page. Doonesbury shares a spot in my morning routine with other great comics such as xkcd and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Many artists have made a living by writing comics for the web, and there are thousands of web-only comics that will make sure that that there will never be that little bit of emptiness in our day.