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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.

MEMORY LANE
T.J. Martin | Denver, CO | March 06, 2014

I have to agree. This walk down memory lane's becoming quite enjoyable.

FRESH INSIGHT
Khalid | Karachi, PAKISTAN | March 06, 2014

I've been following Doonesbury daily for the last ten years through "My MSN," ever since I got onto broadband. Your previous Flashbacks have usually irritated me, because I've already seen them, and I'd rather get new stuff. However, the present Flashbacks from the early days are great as the provide fresh insight for this "latecomer" to your strip. Can one find all these in an archive, from Day One?

Editor's Note:

 Indeed. The entire run of the strip is available on GoComics, beginning here.

A DEVOTED FOLLOWER
Pam Bishop | Miami, FL | March 06, 2014

My acquaintance with Doonesbury dates to the latter 70s, the Carter era, at which time the strip had already evolved from its primordial college origins and struck out into the wider world. It was the voyage into Reagan's brain that made me a devoted follower. It's a treat to see the early panels.

TRAGEDY OR OPPORTUNITY?
Brian Foley | Otego, NY | March 05, 2014

Doonesbury on hiatus: tragedy or opportunity? I love this cartoon strip. I realized how much I loved it in 1983 when Trudeau took a 20-month sabbatical, and many papers dropped him instead of using Flashbacks. I was in Europe at the time, and read the International Herald Tribune for two reasons 1) Doonesbury and 2) its excellent reporting (in that order). I can't remember if the IHT printed Flashbacks, or just put Doonesbury back in when Trudeau returned from the  sabbatical, but I started cutting out Doonesbury from whichever paper I was reading, in whatever country I was in. I followed him, overseas, for about 15 years, and have not stopped yet. I have boxes and boxes of Doonesbury strips in archival plastic bags. Since that day in 1983, I've been asked what I intend to do with them. I still have no Idea.

But I'm thankful that my local paper, The Oneonta Daily Star, is continuing the series with Flashbacks from Day One, in 1970. That was about the time I first started reading Doonesbury, and it helped change my mind. I went from being a 14-year old Vietnam War hawk (read: moron) to becoming a person who read the paper with a little more intelligence, looking for depth. I'm so glad I will be able to "flashback" to the origins of the syndicated strip. (I hate to admit that I've never read the the original "Bull Tales" in the Yale Daily News, but it's on my bucket list.) I'm going to find a way to watch "Alpha House," which Trudeau is taking this hiatus to write the second season of, although we won't be able to stream it at home, because our fine little burg is still digitally in the 20th century. I wish Garry Trudeau all the best, because he has given us nothing but the best for over 40 years.

Editor's Note:

 You can shorten your bucket list by reading the proto-Doonesbury Yale strips on this very website. Just click here.

 

THREE DAYS
Fred | Wicklow, IRELAND | March 05, 2014

So it's taken three days of first-strip-Flashbacks for me to realise that they've been coloured! Nice job.

MIKE
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | March 05, 2014

Forty-four years later, B.D. still seems very much the same sullen character he was in 1970, but my, how Mike has grown up! Not having been familiar with the Mike of so long ago, used to the present Mike -- the very sensible, attuned balancing point of the whole range bizarre characters -- I am shocked, shocked at what a callow goof he was in his youth.

DAY ONE
Tom Hundley | Mustang, OK | March 04, 2014

The Flashbacks usually kick off "a where was I" moment, but Day One really did me in. Lost half a work day while cruising memory lane. Thank you so much, as that refreshing trip was better than a three-day weekend.

ANNOYING
Jesse Baker | Pound, VA | March 04, 2014

If B.D. thinks Mike is annoying, wait until he meets Zonker.

BACK THEN
Jim O'Reilly | Hamden, CT | March 04, 2014

Wow, we're back to the time of the Katzenjammer Kids and the Yellow Kid. But weren't the strips bigger back then?

SQUEEEEEE!
Amna | MASSACHUSETTS | March 03, 2014

Squeeeeee! I was just reading this the other night with my plate of dinner cushioned on my lap with a pillow! The first Doons! Awww... 

PLAY IT AGAIN
Istaboa | Jupiter, FL | March 03, 2014

Great idea! Play it again. Those of us who became dedicated followers in the 70s can't remember back that far anyway.

OLD FRIENDS
Sandi | St. Pete Beach, FL | March 03, 2014

So happy to see our old friends! Have never missed a strip. Thank you for sharing.

THE FIRST ONE
Mike K. | Peoria, IL | March 03, 2014

Today's strip is the first one ever syndicated, now that's a flashback!

MINDS
Edward Eiland | San Antonio, TX | March 02, 2014

Great strip today about the twisted minds of the rich. Some Dude a long time ago said, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to inherit the kingdom of heaven.” That same young Dude rose from the dead later (he was just 33), visited and preached among his friends for 40 days (traveling by thought), then rose into the other dimensions, on a hillside in front of a bunch of folks, to assume His Throne -- directly before a very bright Light. These Satanic, latter day rich jerks are going to stand, alone, directly in front of Him the moment after death (as every soul must), for the precise replay of every moment of their life, but through the perspective of his inescapable, supernatural spiritual laws. Then He will assign them to an appropriate realm for a looong time (won’t be no backtalk: wait till these punks see His eyes). Lord Jesus, the soon-coming, fierce, Messiah and King: always watching/always available.

IN A NUTSHELL
T.J. Martin | Denver, CO | March 02, 2014

Toss in the automakers who are as bad if not worse (especially GM) into today's toon/conversation and you've pretty much summed up the current U.S. business zeitgeist in a nutshell. Except the automakers don't just whine; they all but control the automotive press with threats to pull advertising, etc.

KEITH MOON
Allan Smithee | Philadelphia, PA | February 28, 2014

I thought Blowback readers would enjoy reading a good blog entry on the site Dangerous Minds, called "Did Keith Moon Play Drums on a 1976 Doonesbury Novelty Record?"  The post even links to 10 songs from the legendary LP Jimmy Thudpucker's Greatest Hits, and features a video as well.

CARTOONISTS
Lynn | New York, NY | February 28, 2014

Today's video about cartoonists was really disturbing. Yes, I read my cartoons online, but I enjoy sitting with a paper in my hand. Our book club has also had  discussions about electronic devices vs an actual book. We will see just where it all heads. The times are changing and the cartoonists are needed, I repeat needed, in our world. They open up a lot of different perspectives that we may or may not agree with, but which get us thinking. Their creativity should be treasured.

CONSERVATIVES IN HOLLYWOOD
Tim Christomos | Seattle, WA | February 27, 2014

I know you are a huge Liberal, but re today's strip, you know or should know that the following are Conservatives in Hollywood: Clint Eastwood (ranked 5 in Q Score), Tom Selleck, John Voight, Adam Sandler, Gary Sinise, James Caan, Patricia Heaton, and Angie Harmon, to name just a few.

GARRISON KEILLOR
Jahn Ghalt | Anchorage, AK | February 27, 2014

It hardly seems like it, but it's been 22 years since Garrison Keillor revived "A Prairie Home Companion" in 1992 after a five-year hiatus. According to Wikipedia, he had ended the show "to focus on other projects," but he came back and PHC is still going strong. I hope that GBT will find his own non-Doonesbury projects fullfilling. And for me and other fans I selfishly hope he returns to doing 300-odd strips per year.

REGRETTING
Kevin McGee | Worcester, MA | February 27, 2014

I'm regretting the hiatus even more now, because I am sure that Duke has a new client (and housemate?) from Ukraine.