Recent FAQS

FAQs

Beta-fresh answers, uploaded occasionally

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 answer those we can on the Blowback page, and also archive the answers here.

Q: The web addresses in this week's Honest Voter Reading List strips are so small that they're practically unreadable, both in the actual strip and on your web page. I tried zooming in, but it barely helps. Is it too late for you to do something so that the rest of the week's web addresses are more readable?
-- Bob Reminick, Ithaca, NY | October 19, 2004
A:It's never too late to answer a timely FAQ. We'll be posting a link to each day's URL here, loud and clear. Traffic has been heavy, so if you don't get through just keep trying:

Monday 10/11/04:

Tuesday 10/12/04:

Wednesday 10/13/04:

Thursday 10/14/04:

Friday 10/15/2004

Saturday 10/16/2004

Q: I appreciated all the "Honest Voices" stories that were listed in the strip last week, but I suspect you've barely scratched the surface in citing criticism of the Bush Administration from unexpected conservative sources. Do you have some more leads? How about a supplemental Honest Voices Reading List?
-- Janice C., San Anselmo, CA | November 10, 2004
A:Great suggestion. We are happy to provide links to additional readings, many of which were sent in by Doonesbury Town Hall visitors.

SUPPLEMENTAL HONEST VOICES READING LIST

"John Kerry: The right man in the right place at the right time." Tim Ashby, a Commerce Department official under Reagan and Bush, tells how Kerry fought the corrupt BCCI which, along with serving as banker for bin Laden, Noriega, and Hussein, loaned $25M to W for one of his oil businesses. Seattle Times.

"Why this Republican ex-governor will be voting for Kerry." 95-year-old Republican Elmer L. Anderson's eloquent op-ed piece. Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"The Conservative Case Against George W. Bush." William Bryk argues that true conservatives should take back their party. New York Press.

"Aftermath of Last Week's Editorial Endorsement". Bush's hometown paper describes the flak it's taken for backing Kerry. The Lone Star Iconoclast.

"Conscientious Objector: Why I Can't Vote For Bush." Robert A. George critiques the Bush Administration's rejection of conservative principles. The New Republic Online - *registration required

THE HONEST VOICES READING LIST (original links)

Monday 10/11/04:

Tuesday 10/12/04:

Wednesday 10/13/04:

Thursday 10/14/04:

Friday 10/15/2004

Saturday 10/16/2004

Q: Who provides the voice of Uncle Duke on your Home Page?
-- L. Jones, LA, CA

Who created the "Dancing Duke" on the web site homepage? It's fantastic work!
-- Chuck Stephens, Tulsa, OK

Out There | December 15, 2004
A:The Home Page clip was originally created for Duke's 2000 "Whatever It Takes" presidential campaign. It was created using motion capture technology similar to that used for animating the characters in Polar Express.

The movement and voice are those of Fred Newman, a performer, composer and sound designer whose many credits include "Prairie Home Companion" and the PBS series "Between the Lions". We urge you to check out Fred's Web site, where you can read all about his new book, Mouthsounds, which provides "the complete sonic scoop for actors, musicians, puppeteers, and other show-offs". Fred will teach you how to impersonate an ice cream truck, a growling stomach, an elephant stampede, and perform "Purple Haze" using duck quacks.

Q: Some years there have been cool Christmas-themed Sunday strips. How about re-running one of those Christmas classics, like the strip where everybody is singing?
-- Charlene T., Carmichael, CA | Storyline | January 07, 2005
A:Here's a jolly old look back at some of the Yuletide strips of yore. Merry Christmas, Charlene! And Happy Holidays to all.
Q: I'm surprised the whole gay marriage debate hasn't inspired Mark and Chase to tie the knot. I figure Mark would be all for it, and Chase would hold back.
-- Thomas Moore, Long Beach, CA | Storyline | February 15, 2005
A:They're way ahead of you -- Mark and Chase celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary last summer. Their differences at the time were mostly about venue, as you'll see when you read THE WHOLE NUPTIAL SERIES.
Q: Although I'm a longtime fan of Doonesbury, I periodically lose track of it. I've been in the South Pacific for a while (don't ask) and now I'm trying to pick up the thread. What the heck happened to B.D.? And more to the point, when did it happen, and how can I read about it?
-- S. B., Walnut Creek, CA | Storyline | February 23, 2005
A:On April 19, 2004 B.D. was on patrol near Fallujah when his humvee was hit by an RPG. Since that day the strip has chronicled his treatment -- in Baghdad, then Landstuhl, Germany, then Walter Reed Medical Center -- and the ups and downs of his ongoing recovery. You can read the initial series here, and more of the storyline in the current Doonesbury collection, Talk to the Hand.

A special volume completely devoted to B.D.'s healing journey will be published at the request of WRAMC, the real-world facility where he has received much of his care and therapy. We'll be happy to announce it on the DTH home page when The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time is published this spring.

Q: Is it true that Duke represents Hunter S. Thompson? How long has he been appearing in the strip?
-- K. T., Baltimore, MD

Wasn't the character Duke based on the writer Hunter S. Thompson? If so, does Thompson's death mean Duke will kill himself too?
-- Paul, NY, NY

Characters | March 14, 2005
A:The late Hunter S. Thompson was indeed the initial inspiration for Doonesbury's Uncle Duke, who FIRST APPEARED IN THE STRIP in this July 1974 series. Their paths diverged as Duke took on a life of his own, and over the decades his ever-evolving career has differed dramatically from that of HST.

These links from the early years sample high and lowpoints of his stints as GOVERNOR, AMBASSADOR , PUBLIC SPEAKER and LOBBYIST.

The Town Hall respectfully raises a hefty tumbler to Hunter S. Thompson, a powerfully innovative and influential journalist and writer whose voice will be missed. Here are links to Tom Wolfe's Wall Street Journal essay on Thompson, which likens him to Mark Twain, a San Francisco Chronicle article which highlights his political acumen, and a piece by Larry Kramer on editing his column.

Q: Who is 'Andrews,' the toady who has popped up in the strip lately. The only Andrews I can find in the guv-mint is Bob Andrews, a Congressman from New Jersey. He's certainly on the toady-ish side, but doesn't seem to wield the power of the guy portrayed in the recent strips. Is this a composite character, or is he meant to be a particular toad?
-- Janet Hartwell | Characters | March 30, 2005
A:Actually the recently-appointed Secretary of Toady Affairs is a recurring character who has built up quite a dossier in the strip -- including his role as the Universal Petroleum exec who hired Duke to parachute into Iran in 1979. Both his likeness and his name (and the petroleum company's name) are tributes to GBT's first editor, the late Jim Andrews, who was co-founder, along with John McMeel, of Universal Press Syndicate. Doonesbury was their first syndicated feature.
Q: One of my favorite Doonesbury characters - and to my mind, one of the few to disappear entirely from the strip - was the Vietnamese orphan who repeated everything she heard on TV back in the early 70s. Whatever became of her?
-- Robert Hunt, St. Louis, MO | April 21, 2005
A:You will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the last orphan airlifted out of Vietnam was named a National Merit Scholar in 1988, and went on to a successful career as a brutally-cool bugchecker in the 90s. She currently resides in Seattle with her husband and stepdaughter. How do we know these things? Check out this page of highlights from the life of...Kim Rosenthal Doonesbury.
Q: What's that "Duke2000" DVD you're promoting in the lower left hand corner?
-- Stu Spencer, Portland, OR | Characters | February 09, 2009
A: DUKE2000: Whatever It Takes is both an historic document and a piece of quality entertainment. Allow us to explain: Five years ago, Former Ambassador Duke launched his maverick "Whatever It Takes" campaign for the White House with this stirring declaration: " want to be the ferret in the pants of government."E-campaigning from his headquarters at the E-Z Rest Motor Lodge in Coon Rapids, Minnesota, Duke set out to prove that an average citizen, with nothing more than a laptop, a few spam speeches, and a sack full of soft money, could make political history. His insurgent effort may one day win him a place in the history books. At this point we'll be just as happy if this freshly-minted disc wins a place on your shelf.

It captures all the buzz and all the glory that was D2K, giving you unfettered access to over 90 minutes of the innovative 3-D animation that put the outspoken candidate live on "Larry King", "Today", and dozens of other shows. In over 30 short films, including "Healer-in-Chief", "Stirred, Not Shaken", "Forgotten White Guy", "Poodles" and "Apocalypse 2000" (with a Doors soundtrack), Duke manages to confound conventional wisdom on a dazzling array of topics. Visit his richly-textured website, recreated in its entirety, right down to Duke's full FBI file, position papers, photos, weblog, Oppo reports, and the "Me & Roger" radio interviews which ran on NPR during the final months of the campaign. From frontline wordplay to backroom gunplay, from breakout public policies to colorful public breakdowns, Duke made electoral politics fun again. Relive those halcyon days.

To order DUKE2000: Whatever It Takes, CLICK HERE. To find out more about it, CLICK HERE.