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.

THIS ROTH GUY
Tammi J. | Lexington, KY | December 04, 2010

I have been reading Doonesbury since my early college days in 1976. At present, it is the only one I endeavor to read every day, and you are bookmarked in my favorites. I have visited Wesleyan's campus, having been involved on a brief basis with them years ago, so I am somewhat familiar. The current series is awesome, and I hope this Roth guy comes to his senses. Of all the horrific things in this world to be concerned about, he's afraid of a way the students and faculty blow off steam and have fun. Geez Louise, get over it! Rock on, Trudeau!

MEMORIES
Stafford Smith | Grand Rapids, MI | December 03, 2010

Some of my best memories at Wesleyan are from Zonker Harris Day back in the 80s. Thanks for hilarious strip. I hope it strikes the appropriate nerves.

RIDING TO THE RESCUE
Julie Shapiro | Seattle, WA | December 03, 2010

I'm yet another proud Wesleyan alum delighted to see you riding to the rescue of the sorts of traditions that make Wesleyan so special. Thanks for lending you talents. And the 40 year book is terrific.

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT
Stephen Morison | Amman, Jordan | December 03, 2010

Thanks for the support of Zonker Harris Day and Uncle Duke Day. Wesleyan, a place that makes more teachers and aid workers than investment analysts, has always been more important than its reputation or ranking.

SUNSHINE
Kat | Baltimore, MD | December 03, 2010

As a freshly minted Wes alum, this strip brings sunshine to my heart! Despite the administration-forced name change, students still call the holidays by their rightful names. Zonker lives on!

PRESIDENT ROTH
David Block | Brooklyn, NY | December 03, 2010

President Roth was actually a Senior when I was a Freshman at Wesleyan and we inaugurated Zonker Harris Day back in the spring of 1978. I don't remember him complaining about it then. I wrote you to invite you to come to campus to celebrate with us. For weeks I waited for a reply. The joke in my dorm was that I was "Waiting for Trudeau." Finally, a handwritten letter arrived on fancy Doonesbury stationary: "Sorry I can't make it to your Zonker Day. Both Z and I are flattered by your choice of theme." Sorry you couldn't join us then. Thanks for the note, and thanks for taking this on.

VERY FINE YEARS
Christopher Lane | Eden Prairie, MN | December 03, 2010

I want to congratulate you on 40 very fine years.  I have an autographed print of the first Sunday strip after you returned during the Reagan Years. We met c. 1992 at the Great Doonesbury Sell-Out in the Bay Area. I still have the Club Scud ashtray (a bit worn I am afraid to say). Here's to 40 more!

TOGGLE
Wesfac | Middletown, CT | December 02, 2010

I am a Wesleyan faculty member and have found the recent strips hilarious. Maybe Toggle (the best new character in years) can apply via the Military Veterans Endowed Scholarship Fund at Wesleyan University.

WESLEYAN ALUM
Jeff Wong | Cambridge, MA | December 02, 2010

As a Wesleyan alum, I just want to say great work Mr. Trudeau! I was at Wesleyan when the administration censored the names of Zonker Harris Day and Duke Day. This response has been hilarious and greatly needed. I can't wait to read tomorrow's strip.

LOVING THE COVERAGE
Maren Roush | Pinckney, MI | December 02, 2010

I'm loving the coverage of Zonker Day and Duke Day. I attended Wesleyan in the late 80s/early 90s and lived in West College (sponsor of the events) my first two years. Oh, the memories... Thanks!

PUTTING THE HEAT ON
Roberta Gold | New York, NY | December 02, 2010

Thank you, thank you, for putting the heat on Wesleyan's administrators and their neo-Comstockian campaign to eradicate the great Zonker and Duke Day celebrations. As a Wes alum I've always been proud of those sacred traditions (even though I did not partake of all the associated condiments when I was a student). President Roth's attack on the days' names out of concern for the "image" they promote is an embarrassment to all of us. Who is he trying to impress -- the graduate admissions committee at Brigham Young? Thank you again and keep up the great and timely series.

WES
William Johnston | Middletown, CT | December 02, 2010

Congratulations indeed on your 40 years. I've been starting my day with Doonesbury since I was a kid in Wyoming, and always look forward to where the story line is going next. So I was greatly amused to find Wes this week's subject. But this isn't the first time for Wesleyan to appear by name. If my memory serves me correctly, about ten or twelve years ago in a Sunday strip, a psychotropically adjusted partier at a Yale graduation event was told he was actually looking for the Wesleyan fete, just up the road. In any event, bravo for all the fun. I wondered how Mr. Trudeau would skewer President Obama, and thought he has done a great job. I never dreamed he also would skewer President Roth!

FROM THE BEGINNING
B.J. Witkin | Morrisville, NC | December 01, 2010

Congratulations on 40 years of wonderful entertainment, commentary, and insight. I'm "only" 42 years old and thus couldn't have read the strip from the beginning. But years ago I discovered your site and the archives and during my boring days at work I set out to read every single strip. I haven't made it yet, but I still make the site a daily stop and every once in a while I'll pick up where I left off last time. Thanks for making my work day a little more bearable!

WHEN YOU STARTED THE STRIP
Lee Mays | Madrid, SPAIN | December 01, 2010

When you started the strip, I was 14. My older sister was staying with us while her husband was stationed in Vietnam. My family couldn´t understand why I laughed hysterically at Doonesbury and insisted on reading it out loud to them. They didn't get it. Looking back, that daily encounter over many years with the "right" molded me into the liberal (American definition) I am. Thanks for 40 years of work. I hope you have a plan to keep this alive another 40 years.

BUMMED
Mark Brickley | Carpinteria, CA | December 01, 2010

Doonesbury is the "psychedelic frosting" on my daily LA Times breakfast. Since Prop 19 (pot) failed here in CA, I bet Zonker's bummed...

A FINE DAY
D2 | Haverford, PA | December 01, 2010

It's a fine day in America when the most trusted news source for the under-35 generation is "The Daily Show," and the most trusted news source for old eggheads is "Doonesbury." A fine day indeed.

RE "A SANE LOOK"
Maryhelen Posey | Alberta, CANADA | December 01, 2010

The 11/27 Blowback from Disabled Vet from a Previous Century reminded me how much Stars and Stripes has grown up since the 1950s. When my brother was in Korea (just after the armistice), my mother sent him all the "funny strips" from four newspapers (Iowa City Press Citizen, Davenport Democrat, Des Moines Register, and Chicago Tribune) every week. This made him the only one on the post who had Beetle Bailey, which Stars and Stripes refused to carry as "subversive"! A long drop from the Bill Maulden days, that was.

RE "A UNIVERSITY"
Katherine Yagle | Middletown, CT | December 01, 2010

There's also another Wesleyan College.

A RECENT DUST-UP
Roger Fox | Richmond, CA | November 30, 2010

The current Zonker storyline ties in perfectly with a recent dust-up over the founding of "Dolphy Day" at little LeMoyne College in Syracuse, New York. In 1971 a ragtag group of what ultimately would be referred to as slacker types started "Eric Dolphy Day." Dolphy Day was to be celebrated on the first pleasant day of Spring by declaration (in Syracuse: no mean trick) by the cutting of all classes and engaging in one's favorite consciousness expanding, um, pasttime. The day was originally named after "The Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue" on Side Two ("Side Two?" Ah, vinyl!) of Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh. The LeMoyne mascot was The Dolphin. Eric Dolphy, the great jazz player, was irrelevant but for his euphonious name.

The floating holiday continues to this day. Sadly it has been co-opted by The Administration. Every student is now given The Day off and most people just get drunk. And then, in an amazing misunderstanding of their own cultural history, the school recently commissioned and then dedicated a sculpture on campus of the still dead Eric Dolphy who, wonderfully and ironically, had nothing to do with this little bit of anarchy. Zonker is lucky his legacy at Wesleyan has remained untarnished.

A UNIVERSITY
Justin Raymond | Middletown, CT | November 30, 2010

As much as I appreciate the national recognition your recent shoutouts have gained Wesleyan, I am inclined to point out that Wesleyan is a University, not a college. Being elitist left-wing nutjobs, the distinction means a lot to us students.

Editor's Note:

Wesleyan is indeed a university, but it also has a college -- whose undergraduates are the ones responsible for celebrating Zonker Harris Day.