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.
As I imagine life without new daily Doonesbury I recall the progression of the strip, from difficult-to-find through the rising-star phase and the "Ahem, controversial -- Is it more properly placed on the editorial pages?" issue into the superstar-of-the-zeitgeist status it has so richly earned as the world's best comic strip with its own multimedia editorial content website: Mudline, Say What?, The Sandbox, Blowback, Daily Briefing, et al... Oh how I wish GBT will find it in his purview to extend Doonesbury's life.
I'm an Alpha House junkie already, and I understand working at something different after, what, 43 years? So...good call. We who are about to adjust salute you.
Like the writer of a previous post, I too am a Vietnam Vet. We buy VWs and Toyotas, among other things, despite WWII. Don't hate the people. It was our politicians vs their politicians, as with Iraq, a horrible and terrible waste of individual patriotism, blood, and treasure. Blame the politicians. We should waterboard Bush and Cheney with the tears of the widows and orphans they created here and in Iraq.
I'm wishing GBT the best in his new creative endeavors, and will definitely be back every Sunday to see the new strip. I think we're all hoping that this hiatus is not a permanent one. Reading Doonesbury is the way I start my day.
I want to thank Mr. Trudeau for the years of supporting The Sandbox, veterans and their families. Reading The Sandbox has been my way of staying informed about the situation and connected to those who came after me, and I will miss it when you sign off. I'm a veteran of the Balkans, and all my deployment stories are fun and surreal compared to post-9/11 stories, so I never contributed to The Sandbox. My memories are goofy things like running down a mountain road chasing a backward-rolling SUV that someone forgot to set the emergency brake on, hoping the thing wasn't going to go off a cliff before someone who was faster than me made it to the vehicle, because I was the one who had signed for it. I know I was lucky; Balkan roads were paved, safe and happy by the year 2000. Every time I read the Sandbox, I only wish for paved, safe and happy roads for every soldier. Seems like we can put up with a lot of other crap if the roads are right.
Although I loved my years of military service, and I'm proud of what I accomplished, I feel guilty thinking of myself as a veteran when so many others have sacrificed so much more. After years of reading The Sandbox, I have a better understand of what others sacrificed, and that all of us feel someone gave more. So at least I have found that universal connection, and I will miss it when the site is no longer updated.
Mr. Trudeau's strip and books also pointed me toward The Fisher House Foundation, and I've been inspired to become a supporter because of him. I'm a published romance author, and families of my characters stay in Fisher Houses and I let readers know about the charity's real-life mission at the end of my books. Mr. Trudeau's support for veterans on The Sandbox and his efforts to use his work to inform readers about real-life issues inspired me to try, in a much smaller way, to spread the word about the Fisher House Foundation through my romance novels. I became a better writer, and a better person, because of what I have read here for years. Thank you.
I've been following Doonesbury a long time -- long enough to recall Mr Trudeau's previous long-term hiatus. I'll miss it, indeed. It was a great day when the strip returned. I wish GBT every success in his other ventures, and hope, gently, that one day he will find sufficient time and energy to produce the strip as well. Hail and farewell -- but not, I hope, adieu.
Everyone in our household sends GT positive energy. The coming months/years will offer a great opportunity to revisit, experience and reflect on Doonesbury adventures from the past. I hope GT's new adventures invigorate his spirit and sense of discovery. Things may never be "perfect" (whatever that is), but always remember that humanity benefits from your loving but wicked sense of humor.
As a Vietnam War veteran, I had the same feeling as B.D. when I got home on last year's Black Friday and pulled my new wireless printer/copier/scanner from its packaging. It was being sold at a very, very low price and I was delighted -- until I read "Made in Vietnam" on its side. For this, more than 50,000 American soldiers died!
Growing up in Fairfield, CT back in the seventies, my uncle, who worked at Yale, turned me and my cousin on to this odd strip in the Yale Daily News. I have been reading it ever since. I am not going to sprinkle holy water upon your entire oeuvre because that is tedious (though you may not agree). And, when you get down to it, any idiot who hasn't even read the shit can do that. But I write for a living and I know that good writing -- which Doonesbury is, believe it -- is always specific. I want to thank you for two things in particular.
First, thank you for the dignity and humor you have used to portray Iraq war and Afghanistan war vets. Every one of them chose to go over there because they thought it was the right thing to do, and I am not going to second guess their decision to do so, no matter how tempting that may be. For that reason, and for the way they conducted themselves in our names under hideously difficult circumstances, they deserve to be recognized as the best of us. Not cardboard characters; flesh and blood (?!) characters trying to get through with some dignity.
And more specifically, I would like to thank you for a fairly recent strip where B.D. ponders whether he is a worthy husband and is reminded he probably is not, but there he is. I have struggled with depression and addiction for years, but every morning I get to wake up next to grace made flesh in the person of Adriana. I am not worthy. It is not even a close call. But there I am. You spoke the truth, and it still grips me when I think about it. It makes me want to get through another day and wake up next to her again tomorrow. Thanks.
So GBT is forsaking the daily strip for Alpha House, and the strip is being reduced to Sundays-only, like Prince Valiant. Another one jumping off the print journalism platform... If this proves to be an easing into the retirement years, good for him. He's earned it. As the great-grandson of someone famous, he could have coasted his whole life, and he didn't.
Another Brit wanting to say a very large thanks for Mr Trudeau's opus, which has seen me through four decades and has been the only comic strip worth reading since I was 12 and reading Mad Magazine.
Thanks so much for today's video! After seeing too many Russian dashboard cam videos showing horrifically bad driving, it was a welcome change. Forwarding the link to friends, I titled the e-mail "From Russia with love."
Ok, let's get the details out of the way first: 1) I really do like Alpha House. 2) I'm sad, borderline morose, that the daily Doonesbury has come to an end for now. 3) I wish there could be two Garry Trudeaus, or at least an immortal one (...yet I'm very appreciative that there was even one). But...if taking off from the daily strips means that we get smashing strips like today's ("He would've related; we turned the city into a parking lot."), then I say it's a fine day, Mr. Trudeau, and take all the time you want! That's as good as anything you've done since "Guilty, guilty, guilty!" And while maybe it's more subtle, less slapstick than the early days, it hits harder than ever. Once again, thank you.
Sorry to hear about the extended break in new strips. I hope GBT returns with fresh, witty strips soon, but I do understand the need to do something different occasionally and, of course, to juggle responsibilities. In the meantime I think I will enjoy a trip in the Wayback Machine to refresh my memory on how everyone got to where they are now. It will be good for new followers, too. As long as this strip has been around, there's a lot of material.
We have to say that, having been dedicated Doonesbury addicts since it first appeared in the Guardian in 1982 (or thereabouts), and having bought every collection, old and new, which we can get our hands on, we are very sad to be losing our daily "fix." Plaudits for Alpha House are all very well, but what about those of us Brits who do not have an iPad to stream it onto, and now have the choice between acquiring yet more unwanted technology or hoping against hope that Garry will suffer withdrawal effects himself and make the hiatus a short one? We suspect he will not, and should be glad that at least we still have the Sunday strips. Forty-three years is no short period to be grateful for anyway, even if the hiatus has no end, and though there have been longer-lived strips, I do not know of any which have maintained the variation and freshness which Garry has achieved -- most simply repeat previous strips with (very) minor variations.
For those who are complaining about GBT's move into new areas and the open-ended break for the daily strip, creative people having been doing this throughout history -- accepting new challenges and (at times) ceasing to do things they're still doing very well. I'm actually looking forward to seeing some vintage Doonesbury strips on the website.
As a Brit in the UK working for American companies over many years, Doonesbury has been the little link to America that provided a common base for conversation with my American colleagues. Where am I going to find such pithy, informed comment neatly wrapped up in four frames a day?
The daily Doonesbury has been my smile de jour since the beginning (well, not the Yale years) and I will miss it. But, I'll continue to read on Sundays and I wish Garry Trudeau all the best for whatever way he wants to use his wonderful brain. Thanks for all the years.
As a lifelong fan, I would much rather have daily Doonesbury strips than Alpha House episodes, but now that I've got that out of the way... Thank you, Garry, from the bottom of my heart, for a lifetime of laughs and thoughtful commentary. One could make a convincing case that the Doonesbury corpus is the Great American Novel. I will miss the dailies terribly, but life will go on -- at least I hope so. Go where your heart calls you, and may you be successful in all your endeavors. Thank you, for everything.
I have been a fan of Doonesbury since it started, and while I will miss the daily strip I couldn't be more happy for GBT. How many of us get the chance to take our talents in a different direction at this stage in life? I am so glad Alpha House did well. It is hilarious, and I look forward to a new season of it.
You and the cartoon gang have been a part of my entire life. Thank you for all the days you turned tears into laughter, sometimes vice versa. I will remain faithful in looking forward to reading the Flashback dailies and the new Sunday toons -- and will salivate over the prospect of a new season of Alpha House.