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!
I am loving Jeff's book tour, and I recall that a loooong time ago Zeke went on one as well. Could we please have a reprise of that?David Dalton | Storyline | Saratoga, CA | December 01, 2011
Duke's prolonged MIA status after parachuting into Iran on a secret mission for Universal Petroleum led to him being declared legally dead. After accidentally burning down Duke's estate and being left out of his will, caretaker Zeke Brenner was inspired to author a biography of the former Ambassador. The publication of Duke: Portrait of a Mentor was chronicled in this 1980 series.
In the 10/13/11 strip, Alex's interaction with Siri on her new iPhone reminds me of Mike's somewhat less successful experiences with his new Apple Newton. Can we see a pointer to those old strips? They were great.Bill (a former Newton user) | Storyline | Berkeley Heights, NJ | October 14, 2011
In the 9/11 anniversary Sunday strip Zonker seemed surprised to know that B.D. had been at Ground Zero. I thought he visited him there, no?Steve | Storyline | Ithaca, NY | September 26, 2011
Yes! Zonk certainly knew B.D. had been on the pile; the revelation was that he had been suffering sleepless nights over what he saw there ever since. Here are several weeks of Ground Zero strips from 2001, culminating in the memorable image that graced the cover of Peace Out, Dawg!
This week's storyline about Trff crashing with Duke for 134 days reminded me of the time Zonker, in his trippy wig, overstayed his welcome at a castle in England. Can we revisit please?S.B. | Storyline | Menlo Park, CA | August 12, 2011
Indeed, Duke is not the only Duke to have had his hospitality taken advantage of. We are pleased to revisit Lord Z's four-month residency in Scotland, as painfully chronicled in this 1988 series.
Hey, seeing Jim "Obscene Profits" Andrews sure takes me back. Can we please get a Flashback of Andrews and Duke plotting to free the Iranian hostages? I seem to remember Duke saying "I see you've got a phone and everything." Thanks!Brian Corby | Storyline | New York, NY | July 01, 2011
You're welcome. We are happy to flash you back to the summer of 1979, and the planning of the operation that led to Duke becoming known as "the 53rd hostage."
I enjoyed Zonker's line about Linus today. A long time ago there was another Schulz reference in the strip, with Snoopy's doghouse. Can you please dig that up?Camille | Storyline | LA, CA | May 21, 2011
With pleasure. The Peanuts shout-out you are thinking of appeared on January 9, 1997. Enjoy.
It's been an intense few days with so many TV flashbacks to 9/11. How about an FAQ Flashback to what was going on in the strip back then?Paul M. | Storyline | New York, NY | May 03, 2011
Good idea. Let's revisit that game-changing era with a series that begins at Ground Zero.
I'm glad to see that Lord Zonker is attending the Royal Wedding this week. If memory serves, he was also at the marriage of Lady Di and Prince Charles, right?Ben D. | Storyline | Syracuse, NY | April 25, 2011
Alas, in 1981 the Prince of Inner Space had not yet become the Viscount St. Austell-in-the-Moor Biggleswade-Brixham. But five years later he was invited to attend the marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson -- a sojourn which involved not only high-class cultural clashing, but also a breathtakingly brief brush with romance, as chronicled in this 1986 series.
The strips on politicians carrying handguns reminds me of the time Mike was involved in a subway shootout, where everybody was carrying and everybody opened up. As I recall, it was inspired by the Bernie Goetz case in New York City. How about sharing that blast from the past?H. Soto | Storyline | Brooklyn, NY | January 29, 2011
Good memory. You are thinking of the 1985 "Subway Avenger" series, in which a simple question led to an action-packed storyline. To read the sordid tale, click here.
I was enjoying the "Zonker Harris Day" storyline as a fun fantasy, but I see from the latest Blowback entries that it has a reality-based dimension. Could you please clarify a bit on what the heck is going on? Thanks!Grady S. | Storyline | Santa Cruz, CA | December 03, 2010
Zonker Harris Day and Duke Day are decades-old traditions at Wesleyan University -- hallowed occasions for celebration and music. Several months ago residents of the Westco dorm wrote GBT to make sure he knew that Wesleyan's president had called Zonker Harris Day "stupid," and banned the Z-man's name and image -- leading students to dub the festival "Ze Who Must Not Be Named Day." Understandably outraged, the Westco denizens defended the legendary slacker, telling Trudeau, "We cannot stand for an excellent babysitter, student, football player, and beach rights activist to be so dishonored." For more on the developing crisis -- and for an interesting gloss on the "Ze" aspect -- check out this Wesleyan Argus article.