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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!

 

Recent FAQS

Q.

Newt Gingrich talking about the child labor laws and proposing that kids work as janitors in their schools struck a Doonesbury chord with me. Didn't Newt have some role in helping Duke set up his orphanage?

R.S.K. | Storyline | Santa Cruz, CA | December 07, 2011
A.

How quickly we remember. Then-Speaker Gingrich was indeed instrumental in supplying the initial funding for the former Ambassador's "Nothin' But Orphans" project, as chronicled in this 1995 series of strips.

Q.

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
A.

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.

Q.

With all the sexual harassment allegations fired at Herman Cain, can we please revisit GBT's awesome send-up of an actual elected official dogged by harassment allegations -- Herr Gropenfuhrer?

Alan | Characters | Melbourne, FL | November 20, 2011
A.

A timely request indeed. The elected official you refer to was, of course, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and we are happy to feature this series from 2003.

Q.

Roland occupies the same universe as Mike, Mark, B.D., and Zonker. But was he ever part of the Walden crowd?

Mike Irwin | Characters | Maumelle, AR | October 31, 2011
A.

While never a member of the legendary Walden Commune, Roland has interacted with various of its denizens in the past -- most notably while researching a notorious cover story for Time magazine, an episode chronicled in this 1974 sequence.

Q.

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
A.

In the wake of Steve Jobs' passing it's a pleasure to revisit the strip's 1993 "egg freckles" series, as well as a 1995 New York Times follow-up story which explains how "what was once intended as nonsense became a bit of computer history."

Q.

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
A.

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!

Q.

Roland getting his hands on the new Palin book reminds of of the time the strip leaked a bio of Nancy Reagan. Can we please revisit?

S.D. | Creating the Strip | New Rochelle, NY | September 14, 2011
A.

The episode you recall was not actually a "leak." GBT obtained first serial rights to Kitty Kelley's unauthorized biography of Nancy Reagan, and in a series that began on the book's pub date Mark and Zonk read excerpts and discussed it on "All Things Reconsidered." You can tune in here.

Q.

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
A.

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.

Q.

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
A.

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."

Q.

Despite the insecurities Alex has displayed in the current storyline, didn't she and Drew generally get along as roomies?

Kris K. | Characters | San Jose, CA | June 09, 2011
A.

Indeed they did. Alex's first months at MIT were pretty rough academically, and her friendship with Drew was instrumental to her survival in Nerdville.