Blowback

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.

  • LACEY'S JOURNEY

    Graeme Roberts | Birmingham, UK | January 01, 2018

    I've seen two relatives slip into the grip of advanced Alzheimer’s; GBT’s sensitive portrayal of Lacey’s journey (the 20-years-ago-today Flashback strip) suggests he might also have had first hand experience. And Dick Davenport's warning to Lacey, in the 40-years-agostrip, confirms that unwanted sexual attention in corridors of power goes way back.

  • BETTER THINGS

    Pete | Hillsdale, NJ | December 30, 2017

    Forty Christmases ago, I was a teenage wannabe hipster, after getting Weather Report's Heavy Weather from my brother, eight years my senior. Between that and birthdays I got LPs from The Band, Peter Tosh, and Little Feat. Same brother also steered me toward Get Smart, Bullwinkle, Jean Shepherd and Firesign Theatre. The results have been irreparable and gratifying. Here's to 2018. "I hope tomorrow you'll find Better Things."

  • STILL RELEVANT

    Edward Cherlin | Columbus, IN | December 29, 2017

    Wow! What a day on the  Flashbacks page! Not the point/despising bartending, pool cue, Mrs. D. loses thread, outsourcing to Guatemala, Gary Hart volunteer, Joanie's class project/baby, Carter's twinkle, heartless air pirates. All brilliant, all still relevant.

  • FORGOTTEN

    Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | December 29, 2017

    I'd forgotten that there was ever a time when Duke behaved like a decent human being!

  • HAPPY RAMADAN

    Grant H. | Hamilton, CANADA | December 28, 2017

    Re Sunday's excellent "Happy Ramadan" cartoon: In the Arab Gulf country where I taught, the big holiday was "Eid" (technically "Eid-al-Adha") which occurs 4-5 weeks after the end of Ramadan. We say "Eid Mubarak" or "Eid Said." (Blessed Eid or Happy Eid). And our students and colleagues always wished us non-Moslem Canadians "Merry Christmas."("Christmas Said," in my bad Arabic). Most people know of Ramadan, so the reasons for your choice were plain. We admired our Moslem colleagues and students for their resilience in getting through their daylight hours without food or drink.

  • SO SUBTLE

    Shooshie Roberts | Dallas, TX | December 26, 2017

    The Sunday, December 24th comic was so subtle that it took me a second reading to "get" it. I actually found myself saying aloud, "But there was never a war on Ramadan, or birthdays... " etc. to provide the actual punch line: "There was never a war on Christmas." Trudeau has usually taken the side of undeniable truths in his cartoons, and this was certainly one. In this strip he never contradicted anyone, never said a word of controversy. In the most delightful way possible, he wished everyone a season's greeting in their own culture, while making clear that there is no "war on Christmas," a phrase whose exact words never even appear in the strip. That makes it pretty hard to argue with it.

    I don't know if there are people who study cartooning the way scholars study Shakespeare or Hemingway, but if there are, they should give Sunday's strip a prize and hold it up like a diamond, perfectly cut and polished by a master. How do you neuter an entire movement and silence bullish and noisy people about a matter of great import to them, a matter that to most observers never existed, but whose flames were fanned from the coals of pure paranoia? And can you do it without uttering an offensive word? In that strip you will find the answer. Beautiful! I'm a fan since the first newspaper strip, back in the 1970s, and I thought I had seen everything, but Trudeau always finds a way to top himself. He has truly been a bringer of light in our lives. Merry Christmas.

  • MERRY CHRISTMAS

    Andy Cornevin | Arlington, TX | December 25, 2017

    Congratulations on a remarkable career. I have been with you from the beginning, and am enjoying the reprints during the week and of course the originals on Sunday. I consider myself a Reagan conservative and I do support President Trump, so we obviously disagree on a bunch.That doesn't stop me from respecting your opinions. I rarely find them mean spirited, which makes me wish we had someone as clever as you. Today's comic was splendid, and should be appreciated by all. Merry Christmas to you and your family.

  • HONEY

    Dane Winberg | Pueblo, CO | December 22, 2017

    Today's strip, panel three. I think that's the first time I've seen Honey portrayed as more than a two-dimensional character. Almost brings me to tears.

  • ROLAND'S TWEETS

    Laureen Marchand | Val Marie, CANADA | December 21, 2017

    I used to check in on the Doonesbury strip every day, for both the Classic strips and the new ones on Sundays. No matter what their vintage, they're funny and always timely. But now I check in not only for the cartoons but for Roland's tweets. Keep 'em coming, eh? (That's Canadian for "Keep them coming.")

  • HONEY

    Laurette Tuckerman | Paris, FRANCE | December 20, 2017

    Oh, how I love Honey. Her competence and her command of English. And her hopeless crush on the vastly undeserving Duke. What an ambiguous character!

  • LIKE A MAP

    David | Poppi, ITALY | December 19, 2017

    Gerry Mander looks, to the eyes of this English expat, suspiciously like a map of the mainland of Great Britain. I thought you guys invented gerrymandering in New England. What gives?

  • PROPHETIC

    Bob Laughton | Ukiah, CA | December 19, 2017

    MORE ON JERRY (AND GERRY) MANDER: Around 1980 my wife and I read Jerry Mander's Four Arguments and decided to ditch TV and raise our children by reading books out loud. In 1994 I started a computer call-in show on KZYX community radio. Because of his contrarian views on technology, I invited Jerry to be my first radio guest and he agreed to a live phone interview. I remember a profound point he made on the new role personal computers were having then -- basically whatever advantage computer technology gave to the individual would be rather small compared to what advantages were to be gained by corporations and the commercial sector. It was prophetic, witness Amazon, Wal-Mart, and what happened to Wall Street since the 1990s.

    For more on the other Mander -- Gerry -- I recommend David Daley's book Ratf**ked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America's Democracy.

  • A REAL PERSON

    Brian Harvey | Berkeley, CA | December 18, 2017

    Re Sunday's "Gerry Mander" strip: There's also a real person named Jerry Mander, a former advertising writer who had an epiphany and turned against advertising, then (many forms of) technology, then capitalism. His best-known book is Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television, published in 1978. So, you know, a good guy, unlike the character in the cartoon.

  • CARTOON COUNTY

    Tom O'Neill | Pennington, NJ | December 18, 2017

    As an avid follower of Prince Valiant since before I could read, I enjoyed your NYTBR appreciation of "Cartoon County." And, of course, your work. Thanks.

  • WELCOME

    Adele | Nova Scotia, CANADA | December 17, 2017

    A new character! Welcome, Jerry Mander -- I can't wait to see you in action. Don't trip over all your arms and legs and fingers and toes! (And, as a Canadian, I am so happy to be unmemorable...)

  • JIMMY CROW

    Kathy Koci | Ridley Park, PA | December 17, 2017

    Hubby and I so enjoy and appreciate the Sunday funnies these days! We are quite fortunate to be the birth recipients of white privilege and cognizant enough to recognize it. Today's Jimmy Crow cartoon is our favorite/most hated. As Pennylvanians living in the 7th Congressional district -- you nailed it. Resist!

  • UMBRAGE

    Sparky Hudson | Toronto, CANADA | December 17, 2017

    To those Canadian readers who took umbrage at our characterization as "unmemorable" in last Sunday's strip, I believe it was Zipper and Jeff who were the butt of GBT's humor, not Canadians. In fact, the cartoonist is descended from a French Canadian, Etienne Truteau, who also happens to be an ancestor of our current PM.

  • MARCIA

    Richard Hart | Luton, ENGLAND | December 16, 2017

    This weeks Marcia story is one of the saddest things I have read in Doonesbury in a long time. She is so deluded about her "prestigious" purchase, which has brought nothing but misery upon everything connected with it including, of course, her. Which reminds me of the way many men treat women. It's the same stupid and pointless dynamic. They think it's in some way impressive to treat women as if they are a product that will look good on their arm and they just end up hating themselves and being (rightly) vilified by society. Methinks it's time for change.

  • HORRIBLE

    Freda L. | Toronto, CANADA | December 14, 2017

    Blatant American envy is a horrible thing to see.

  • STEREOTYPES

    Margaret Delgatty | Vancouver, CANADA | December 12, 2017

    Sunday's strip gave me the best LOL I've had in a week. Some of us Canadians appreciate droll irony. And aren't most stereotypes based in some measure of truth?