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.

SELF-ABSORBED?
John Whalen | Indianapolis, IN | January 22, 2011

Give Alex a break. Self-absorbed? Sure, but who in their early 20s isn't. Also, Alex is self aware. She catches her own excesses and at least tries to correct them and that's more than you can say about her mother.

RE "BENEFITS"
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | January 22, 2011

Leo (like all other qualified vets) should definitely have access to all the benefits to which he is entitled, but I have the impression that he is also attempting to support his mother. That comes right back to having to work his way through school, even if it's not to pay for the schooling.

ABOUT ALEX
Ype Timmer | Eglinton, AUSTRALIA | January 22, 2011

About Alex, she's bloody awful but I love her.

HERE'S TO ALEX
Laureen Marchand | Val Marie, CANADA | January 22, 2011

Here's to Alex and everyone like her whose feet will never completely touch the ground. Alex honey, long may you fly.

RE "WRONG"
Beth | Syracuse, NY | January 22, 2011

I disagree with the suggestion that Alex wouldn't be attracted to Leo. As a female math nerd myself, I dated a soldier or two in my youth. Non-nerds have the appeal of a fresh perspective. There's only so many times you can hear that pun about the poles on the left half of ze plane before you start looking for someone who likes paintball and camping. And don't underestimate the appeal of discussing the best tactical formation for your cadre of half-orc berserkers before assaulting that desert canyon protected by 20th-level elven wizards together. My point is that there's more to life than Fourier transforms and bluestockings, and people can have some common values, interests, and hobbies without having the same background or "IQ", and without having all of the same values, interests, and hobbies.

A BREAK
Glenn Ford | Albuquerque NM | January 22, 2011

Hey gang, please give Leo a break! People keep talking about him as "a disabled veteran." He is a person first and a Veteran living with disabilities: he lives with brain injury (a lifetime of change), struggles with PTSD, but he is doing the very best that he can. He is our hero!

TODAY'S FLASHBACK
Bob | St. Augustine, FL | January 22, 2011

I love today's "35 YEARS AGO" Flashback -- the first strip with Honey! It's also apropos to the times, seeing as  she is not doing a true translation. When I saw the clip from the Limbaugh show questioning whether Hu's comment were being translated, this is what popped into my head!

DOONESBURYLAND
Catherine Dempsey | Flatrock, CANADA | January 21, 2011

I love everybody in Doonesburyland, including the annoying people. Alex is wonderfully complex, Toggle is growing exponentially, and if we just give them time they will work their relationship out (one way or another). I appreciate the live and let live attitude of the whole column and feel we can all learn from it. Que sera sera. I just want to be able to read it every day and learn what will be. Thank you, Garry Trudeau.

ENOUGH ON HIS PLATE
Richard | Olympia, WA | January 21, 2011

The number of Post-Vietnam-Era suicides has exceeded the wartime KIA numbers. Treating Leo as damaged goods because he is suffering from PTSD, a valid war-time injury, and from other wounds, cheapens his sacrifice. I'm pretty sure there is enough dysfunctionality in this comic strip family to make anything worse. Fantasy planning is a good thing because it lets you take a mental vacation somewhere else, but Toggle has enough on his plate without loved-ones' projections, expectations and judgments.

BENEFITS
Merri Busch | Detroit, MI | January 21, 2011

Re: Kim's comment in today's strip. Leo, a disabled veteran should not have to work his way through college. He qualifies for Chapter 31, Voc Rehab and Employment benefits which pay for his college tuition, fees, books, supplies, a laptop computer and a subsistence allowance as well as dental, optical, medical and psychgological treatment. If he hasn't already done so, all he has to do is to go to the VA site www.vetsuccess.gov to apply for benefits.

A PLEASURE
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | January 21, 2011

It has been a pleasure this week to see Mike and Kim working together as a couple to keep Alex grounded. Kim has been strangely silent in Alex's life. Kim graduated from MIT, but I don't think that Alex has turned to Kim for advice even once. And almost all of the parenting advice has come from Mike. So it's good to see Kim taking a more active role with Alex, and especially to witness Mike and Kim working as a team.

THOSE NOT SO CHARMED BY ALEX
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | January 21, 2011

Those not so charmed by Alex fail to see that her narcissism is rather limited to some childish outbursts of grandiose fantasy. She's smart; sooner or later she comes to realization. When push comes to shove she is sensitive, giving and considerate of others. Her mother is another story. Real narcissists never let up; they live, eat and breathe only for themselves. Alex is the child of such. Her story is a classic right out of Alice Miller's Drama of the Gifted Child.

GRIEVING
Daeve | Gloucester, UK | January 20, 2011

Alex is grieving, isn't she. The conversation about her forthcoming wedding is taking place immediately after her grandmother's funeral. In her grief she's articulating, as a grandiose fantasy, her own sweetest dream. Just cos the bad bad thing has happened doesn't mean that good things aren't still to come, is what I read her as saying. In her narcissistic way she's offering comfort to her father. Does anyone know how to lobby the Nobel Committee? Shall we promote GBT for the Literature Prize or the Peace Prize? Genius, man. And a million thanks...

MORE SOPHISTICATED
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | January 20, 2011

The artwork in Doonesbury is becoming more sophisticated all the time. The first three panels in today's strip have a lot of movement in them, especially Alex pulling on her coat. I've never seen that angle/action in the strip before.

ENDEARING
Ann | New York, NY | January 20, 2011

I can't say that Alex is my most beloved character, though she is great. And Toggle really tugs at my heart; the two of them together, though totally mismatched and probably ill-fated, are so endearing. Give me B.D. any day. Insufferable as he is, he has, in my opinion, grown the most over the years. When he removed his helmet I nearly fainted -- a classic moment. Brian Dowling must be proud.

NOT CHARMED
Jody | Vancouver, CANADA | January 20, 2011

I, for one, am not charmed by Alex. I know people like her -- narcissistic, entitled, grandiose -- and they're not funny. I wouldn't mind if Leo turned her down. Maybe she and Jeff should get together.

WRONG
Margaret L. | Santa Cruz, CA | January 20, 2011

I hate to bring this up, but am I the only one that doesn't buy the Alex/Leo storyline? First off, I think GBT is wrong about his own character. She's not narcissistic, just a bit Aspergers-y, like so many brilliant nerds. But also, I just don't buy it that she would be interested in Leo in the first place. I feel like GBT gave her to Leo as a kind of a prize, because he deserves an awesome girlfriend. But Alex deserves an awesome relationship too, which means someone she can talk to about the stuff that really interests her. Please, GBT, don't falisify the storyline of the math/science/computer genius, just because you are presently more interested in war veterans.

EMPATHY
Rev. RPB | Ridgefield, CT | January 20, 2011

I feel great empathy for what Toggle (Leo) is about to go through. After 25 years, I'm still not sure I know how I happened to be married yet. Crafty creatures, these women. Crafty.

ANTAGONISTIC ATTITUDE
Robert F. Kent | New Orleans, LA | January 20, 2011

This week's storyline is a riot. I always love Mike's antagonistic attitude toward his ex, but today's "Are you on drugs?" retort has to be the best yet! Then to have Alex raise the snark further by suggesting J.J. could use the money just stamped this one an indelible classic. The strip can poke fun at politics with the best of them, but it's multi-level character interactions like these that places Trudeau on a plateau all his own.

T-SHIRT
Pete | Hillsdale, NJ | January 19, 2011

Thank you for today's Flashback strip. I want a t-shirt that reads, "My Chinese hosts can go suck eggs."