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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!
The wordless strip that ran on August 22nd was a true classic. As I recall, it was at the end of a multi-day slow pan, a piece of work that was absolutely beautiful although it contained no characters until the final reveal. In my humble opinion this series was a highpoint of toondom. Any chance we could see the whole thing?R. | Storyline | Lexington, KY | August 22, 2014
Of course. The August 22nd Classic strip originally appeared on November 13, 1976, and showed Joanie and Rick in bed together (at the time neither was married). Over 30 papers dropped it, including the Boston Globe, which was picketed by M.I.T. students with signs reading, "Joanie, we forgive you." The Bangor Daily News blocked out the final frame, replacing it with the weather forecast ("Fair, cold, highs in the 30s.") "When I first saw it," the editor of the Huntington Herald-Disptach told his readers, "I thought it was two guys in bed." The three-day wordless sequence is included in its entirety in our extended look back on a night (and a strip) to remember.
Okay, my tastes may seem a little weird, but as long as the strip is wallowing in the 70s, I would love it if you would please revisit the whole Energy Czar caper, which took place during the 1973-1974 oil crisis/embargo, and gave Mark a chance to revisit his glory days as an activist. It also involved the ancient and dying art of hitchhiking. Can do?Jack | Storyline | Aptos, CA | July 23, 2014
Can and shall. Your wish is our command. Read it HERE.
I can't help noticing that there was a certain air of foreshadowing in the strip back when Ray oversaw the handing over of Iraqi security concerns to the local military. With the announcement of US troops returning to take on certain levels of security in the country, could we please take a moment to return to that first day of Iraqi security (or lack thereof)? I seem to remember it was during the World Cup as well...Schuyler | Storyline | Ames, IA | June 20, 2014
The Ray Hightower sequence your excellent memory has referenced appeared in the summer of 2010, and was followed by a Mel-and-Roz-packing-up-the-helos series a year and a half later. You can read both HERE.
Speaking of Time magazine (in today's Daily Briefing), it looks like you are skipping past the storyline where Roland writes about the Walden communards and puts Zonk on the cover. How about revisiting that, with the memorable "Peyote and clam dip" line?M. Dougals | Storyline | Ashland, OR | June 10, 2014
A friend of mine -- who doesn't usually read the strip and knows I'm a huge fan -- bizarrely took the September 8th Sunday as some kind of slam on the firefighters who are risking their lives out West. I told him it was just follow-through on the decades-old storyline about Zonker's dream to become a pot grower. Could you please revisit some of the backstory about Z's now-vaporized Colorado grow? I'd love to show my misguided pal that this is about the pot, not the firefighters. They were just a brave, hardworking crew that happened to be in the right place at the right time. Thanks in advance!Jeremy | Storyline | Phoenix, AZ | September 12, 2013
Indeed. Recent legal developments in California and Colorado have been promising for Mr. Harris, a longtime cannabis aficionado. His torched field in Colorado (whose state slogans include "Enter a higher state") was preceded by a test crop three years earlier in California (whose motto "Eureka! I have found it!" tags the biggest city in its billion-dollars-a-year Emerald Triangle grow zone). It's also worth noting that Colorado's official state song is "Colorado Rocky Mountain High." Enjoy these Flashbacks.
Clotheslines are a hot issue in Massachusetts these days, and it seems to me the strip had something to say on the subject a while ago. Can you refresh my memory, please?Perry | Storyline | Boston, MA | July 30, 2013
Certainly. A storyline so violently dramatic that it involves a brick being tossed through the window of Zonker's parents' house is well worth hanging out for a re-view. Enjoy.
I'm enjoying the current Walden reunion storyline, and liked seeing Zonk back in the puddle. But I'm surprised he's having trouble remembering what "the commune" was all about, because I remember him going on and on about it an an earlier reunion. Could we revisit that series please? I remember a stretch limo, so it must have been after Zonker won the lottery. Thanks!Caleb J. | Storyline | Spokane, WA | May 16, 2013
Quite. In the mid-80s, as Mike and J.J. prepared to move to Manhattan, the denizens of Walden gathered to ponder the fate of their beloved abode. The Sunday strip included in the series echoed events depicted in the 1983 Broadway show Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy, specifically the song "Just A House." Enjoy.
If I am not mistaken, Zonker has a bit of experience at striking. Didn't he assist Mark in organizing truckers back in the 70s?David Huntington | Storyline | Katy, TX | April 02, 2013
While hitchhiking in 1974, Mark Slackmeyer was picked up by trucker J.W. Snead, en route to a blockade to protest the then-outrageous gas price of 85 cents a gallon. Snead was happy to recruit the former campus radical as a confrontation consultant. Though Zonker's role was limited to that of postal liaison, the episode you recall is well worth revisiting. Enjoy.
You'll figure out how long I've been reading the strip from the fact that I'm wondering if Alex will be like her grandmother and give birth with a midwife, or if she'll let her mother talk her into having the twins on cable TV as a sequel to how she herself was born.Alberta Rose | Storyline | Calgary, CANADA | March 19, 2013
The strip has always had a good time with the conventions. How about revisiting some of the coverage of previous confabs -- like the one where Roland almost got smoked.Melvin Lee | Storyline | Sacramento, CA | August 28, 2012
Roland Burton Hedley III has had some close calls in the course of his career, perhaps none more public than his brush with death on the floor of the Democratic convention in Atlanta in 1988. Other storylines we are happy to revisit: Rick Redfern's coverage of convention coverage in The Big Apple in 1980, the tumultuous gathering of the Reform Party in Long Beach, California during the former ambassador's Duke2000 "Nothing Left To Lose" campaign, and Elmont's memorable stint as the first credentialed homeless correspondent at the 2004 GOP convention in Madison Square Garden.