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FAQs

Beta-fresh answers, uploaded weekly

Lets face it, our favorite comic strip is often obscure or inconsistent, and key characters are sometimes left stranded for years. Long-suffering readers are within their rights to demand some clarification. Use the "Ask GBT" form to email us your questions, and we will frequently answer some of the best!

 

Characters

Q.

When I saw Duke's denunciation of John Denver in the recent Classic, it reminded me that there's always been bad blood there; it's come up more than once in the strip. Care to give us the backstory?

C.B. | Characters | Anderson, CA | July 03, 2014
A.

Certainly. The conflict has its origin in the mountains of Colorado. It was born in the summer of the strip's fifth year...

Q.

A few weeks ago you featured the famous strips about Mark Slackmeyer's radio show and Watergate, but I'd love it if you would also re-spin some of the other really early "Marvelous Mark" stuff, when he was just starting out. As I recall, there were a lot of dedications, including one to Bertrand Russell.

Seamus | Characters | Mystic, CT | May 30, 2014
A.

A request we are happy to honor: The future-legendary NPR star first took to the Walden airwaves on WBBY in February, 1973.

Q.

I'm enjoying the Classic Doonesbury strips, but wish they weren't going by so fast. You are skipping all kinds of good stuff -- like Zonker getting busted, for example. Could you please revisit that? I'll ask a few more times if it helps.

Darrell | Characters | Los Angeles, CA | May 16, 2014
A.

Once is enough. You've asked; you shall receive. Just click here.

Q.

Seeing Ray in last Sunday's strip made me realize I don't really remember where he first came into the Doonesbury narrative. Probably during one of B.D.'s deployments? I'd appreciate it if you would please clarify.

Dave Howard | Characters | Sacramento, CA | February 18, 2014
A.

Ray Hightower and B.D. have spent a lot of time together, much of it in uniform. They met in 1990 while serving in Operation Desert Shield, during which deployment Ray was wounded when an artillery shell exploded in front of his Humvee. At war's end, both came home to California and had their marriages blow up.

Q.

The storyline about B.D. and Boopsie's daughter Sam thinking about college has got me nostalgic. Can we please revisit some highlights of her childhood? Thanks.

Jerome | Characters | Anderson, CA | January 15, 2014
A.

Good idea! Let's take a walk down memory lane. Enter here.

Q.

What? Zonker was jailed for possession? Can you please take us back in time?

Alnoor Ladha | Characters | Richmond, CANADA | December 30, 2013
A.

Indeed he was. And yes, we can. Bon voyage.

Q.

I don't remember Doonesbury ever including Santa Claus in the strip, or addressing Christmas at all. Is Trudeau part of the War on Christmas?

Hank Inness | Characters | Galesburg, IL | December 23, 2013
A.

If we didn't know better, we'd take this to be a thinly-veiled attempt (a successful one, we might add) to summon visitations by a few of our favorite ghosts of Doonesbury Christmases past. Merry Holidays!

Q.

It's amazing to read all the Blowback comments inspired by the recent Sunday strip about the female soldier reporting being raped. Could we please learn more about her story?

Jan | Characters | Baltimore, MD | December 13, 2013
A.

Done. Melissa Wheeler has been featured in almost 150 strips since her first appearance in March, 2007, when she came to the VA center seeking counseling for MST (Military Sexual Trauma). You can read that initial sequence here. Her relationship with fellow-vet B.D. has been particularly interesting, and is chronicled here.

 

Q.

I know Zonker was Sam's nanny until fairly recently, and pretty good at it, but he started out with Mike and J.J. when they were new parents, right? Could we please revisit that? I seem to remember it as a bumpier ride.

Jim Tole | Characters | Ames, IA | December 03, 2013
A.

Indeed, a mere generation ago Mike and J.J. were experiencing parenting moments much like those Toggle and Alex now face. We take you back to January, 1989, as the cries of an as-yet-unnamed-infant rouse her parents from their slumber -- and a career is born.

Q.

The Flashback strip from five years ago reminded me how much I miss the quirky Lacey and Dick Davenport. The classy, pragmatic, WASP Republicans they represented no longer exist. I think the week when Dick came back to escort Lacey to heaven is my all-time favorite. I made copies and shared it with several Episcopal priests as Doonesbury eschatology. Could we please revisit her final panels, and Dick's as well?

Roger Webb | Characters | Little Rock, AR | November 14, 2013
A.

With both pleasure and sadness, and we'll include their funerals as well -- since both were, to use your word, quirky. As you note, avid birdwatcher Dick predeceased congresswoman Lacey.