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.

THE GOOD OLD USA
Jeremy Poynton | Frome, UK | November 28, 2010

God I love Doonesbury -- and every time I think I have had enough of the good old USA, I return to the site and remind myself I haven't! It's my route into an insight of the American psyche, and I love it. Long Live Doonesbury!

THE SENSUAL THRILL
Irving Weiss | Dix Hills, NY | November 27, 2010

I'm 89, and as a writer i've loved comic strips as movie shots from childhood, (damned tiny-size now) and have read Doonesbury from the beginning. My agemates don't read it, but neither do my grandchildren. I'm a WW2 combat vet (3rd Army) and served with Willie and Joe. I'm too mentally slow now -- no quickfingers for videogames. But the sensual thrill of spotting, triggering, and virtual danger never left me.

A SANE LOOK
Disbled Vet From a Previous Century | Tucson, AZ | November 27, 2010

I recall how venomous people were back in the early days of the strip when B.D. befriended Phred. At the time, people were foaming at the mouth about this "unpatriotic, vile, treasonous" comic strip. It was so bad many papers either dropped Doonesbury or moved it to the editorial page. Funny thing though, my paper at the time, Stars and Stripes, kept the strip going. So much for "unpatriotic, vile, treasonous." Laugh or don't laugh, but keep on reading for a sane look at an insane situation.

DISAGREEING WITH YOU
Paul Stath | Floral Park, NY | November 26, 2010

I can't remember ever disagreeing with you. We may be long lost twins.

LAUGHING
David Prokop | USA | November 26, 2010

Every time I read the strip I start laughing, because I have the same conversations with my Soldiers. Love the work you doing representing our Soldiers, especially those who have been wounded and are adjusting. The Iraqi student not knowing who AC/DC was made me cry, I was laughing so hard. I think you get it. I roll my eyes on the Palin stuff (yes I like her, but that can be discussed over several Black and Tans at your convenience...) Did a tour in 2005, and I swear to God, your characters are my Soldiers. Because of this, I have become a daily reader and look forward to each and every daily strip. Red Arrow!

SO RIGHT
Des | Ennis, IRELAND | November 26, 2010

I just got the chance to read the full week on Black Ops. The strip is always good, but this is just so right and so funny on so many levels. Art imitating life imitating art imitating life. Laugh. Out. Loud.

BOTHERS ME
Tony Vant Leven | Columbia, MO | November 25, 2010

Your strip today bothers me on two levels. 1) I sincerely doubt any military unit would shut down for a week for a damn video game, no matter how good. 2) Women play WoW, Black Ops, and many other combat-style games. Also, those in the military that my girlfriend and I have encountered on various combat game servers only play the games on their own time, never while on duty. I've been a fan since the 1970's, but...

LEFT 4 DEAD
Martin Evans | New Vegas, NEVADA | November 25, 2010

Re today's strip: I used to have a girlfriend who really hated it when I spent my weekends playing the game Left 4 Dead. But we finally broke up because she spent all her weekends playing Halo.

GREAT HOMEWORK
Seven | Alexandria, VA | November 25, 2010

Love the Black Ops parody -- so true! I remember when Doom came out, most everyone played but then most of the women dropped out. I do not believe today's strip is sexist; obviously you do great homework, prep and back-checking, otherwise you would not know! Congrats on 4-0. Love the book and all your good works!

A GOOD BREAK
Stargazer0413 | Tucson, AZ | November 25, 2010

This 68 y/o found Doonesbury waaaay back last century, somewhere in the mid 1960s. I was in the army at the time and not only felt kinship w/B.D. and Phred and the guys, but kind of emulated some of the behaviors in a passive-aggressive sort of way. I have been an ardent follower ever since, and appreciate the little differences -- read: talking bed bugs -- from the reality of the difficulties of the current times. Keep the talking bugs, and anything else your wild but wonderful imagination can think of, coming. They are a good break from the war strips. BTW, as a licensed professional, I've used your PTSD strips as training aids when I work with clients having the same issue. You'd be surprised at how effective a good laugh at reality is toward better mental health. It would be great if you could put together in one book, all of B.D.'s, Mel's, and other Doonesbury characters' experiences in their travels from travail to acceptance and healing. I would really love to have such a volume.

SO MANY LEVELS
Anne Given | Belfast, N. IRELAND | November 25, 2010

To fight zombies or sexism? Today's strip is priceless, and works on so many levels! It has men who are fighting a real war obsessed with a war game, no doubt providing them with a welcome escape from reality and reminding us that most of the troops are very young. The strip also manages to cast an eye towards gender differences and, I think, pokes a little gentle fun at both genders. Either fewer women play war games or, if they do, they must be multi-tasking, since they are carrying on with their jobs, while men are single-task achievers? However, the guy accepts Mel's criticism of the situation, immediately labels it sexism and thus something he will deal with, but, hey, one thing at a time - he's already got to sort out those zombies. Thanks for a really good laugh! I'm going back to re-read the strip for the umpteenth time.

PLAYING BLACK OPS
Sarah Kirkpatrick | Portland, OR | November 25, 2010

Today's strip has Melissa claiming sexism because the female soldiers are working while the males are playing Black Ops. With all due respect, this premise itself is sexist. Why are the males the only ones interested in playing the game? There are female gamers, and some are in the military! I am a female veteran and a gamer. To have only the males gamers, and only the males slacking, isn't fair to either gender. I certainly appreciate the humor, but if you're supposed to be making a point about sexism, the joke's on you.

TRAIN THE ZOMBIES
Daz Voz | SINGAPORE | November 25, 2010

First Sergeant: "I can either battle zombies or sexism." I think we should train the zombies to battle the sexist idea that only men are gamers.

GREATEST FEAT
A.H. | Colchester, U.K. | November 24, 2010

Maybe the Red Rascal's greatest feat was slipping out of the comics into the real world.

SAME AS THE OLD WAR
John Bergschneider | Fort Walton Beach, FL | November 24, 2010

I started reading with B.D. and Phred as I was preparing to go to Nam in the later part. Listening to stories of grunts returning from over there let me see the parallels between what B.D. and they did. We again see the new war same as the old war with the same problems. Names and faces change but voices remain the same. The hypocrisy of Osama bin Laden saying too much money is wasted on standing armies, when he and his terrorist movement is the cause of the need for armies and security. In a modern world he is a relic, so the cycle continues until the exhaustion of men and material is complete. Sorkl Razil is art imitating life. Thanks for 40 years.

THE GAME
Sam | Baltimore, MD | November 24, 2010

I don't know which is worse. All the GI's (mostly guys but not all) or the Federal civilians playing the game this week. The week before Thanksgiving is usually light work, or urgent stuff since the manning dwindles the closer to T-day it gets. I can totally relate to Mel in today's strip!

THE VIETNAM ERA
Ina Lee | Leesville, LA | November 23, 2010

During the Vietnam era, GIs would go to bars and drink beer and play pinball games to "get away from it all." Now the infinite ways you can access video games results in a virtual non-stop "get away from it all" playing field. I continue to be amazed at the gamers who put these "video games" a priority in their everyday lives! I call them "game zombies." They choose to close out real life and live in that "play" world. Video games are a good healthy pastime, but, as other things in life, do not over-do it!

THE GI PSYCHE
Jane Neuharth | Olympia, WA | November 22, 2010

I couldn't believe the strip today. Hilarious. I am just back from National Guard training in Yakima, Washington where the Soldiers were all playing Black Ops with the hot Nazi Zombie action in the MWR lounge, while I tried to keep up with homework on the barely functioning wifi connection. You must have a direct line into the GI psyche.

ABOUT THE U.S.
Bill McCarthy | Dublin, IRELAND | November 22, 2010

All I need to know about the U.S. in a daily strip. Pure magic.

THE HUMBLE BEDBUG
Bob Faser | Victoria, AUSTRALIA | November 19, 2010

Here in Oz, we're also dealing with the humble bedbug (also with ants, cockroaches, and the occasional plague of locusts). Like everyone else, we're about evenly divided between those who (like Mrs. Doonesbury the elder) regard insect and rodent pests, as a sign of poor domestic hygiene, and those more sensible types who see these uninvited visitors as a necessary fact of life for many people, depending on the climate and geography of the place where you happen to live. Very perceptive, GBT, as always!