"Well, Great. A Massive Coronary": Death and Dying in Doonesbury

There have been, by my reckoning, five significant Doonesbury characters who have died (not counting Duke, who has “died” twice, once when he was mistakenly declared dead after being taken hostage in Iran in 1979, and once when he spent some time as a zombie in the employ of Haitian strongman Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier). … Continue reading "Well, Great. A Massive Coronary": Death and Dying in Doonesbury

"Even Richard Nixon Has Got Soul": Comparing Watergate and the Trump Impeachment in Doonesbury

The most popular post I have written for this project – by far – addresses how Garry Trudeau updated his famous Watergate-era “Guilty! Guilty! Guilty!” strip to comment on the parallels between Richard Nixon’s corruption and that of the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Every revelation of Donald Trump’s wrongdoing, from Robert Mueller’s inability … Continue reading "Even Richard Nixon Has Got Soul": Comparing Watergate and the Trump Impeachment in Doonesbury

“I Bring You Greetings from President McKinley”: Duke in American Samoa

In my introduction to this series of posts about Uncle Duke, I argued that Garry Trudeau’s caricature of Hunter S. Thompson revealed the “excess, racism, greed, self-interest, and ground ethos of amorality” that defined much of American culture as the nation emerged from the failed revolutions of the 1960s.In these next two posts, I’m going … Continue reading “I Bring You Greetings from President McKinley”: Duke in American Samoa

How Do You Smoke A Weed?: A Review of a Comics Guide to a Responsible High.

My last three Doonesbury-related posts examined Garry Trudeau’s chronicle of the legal, economic and social changes surrounding marijuana in the United States over the last fifty years, mostly told through the experiences of veteran stoner Zonker Harris. In the 1970s, Zonker faced the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence over a trumped-up possession charge; in … Continue reading How Do You Smoke A Weed?: A Review of a Comics Guide to a Responsible High.

The American Dream in Action: Zonker and the Business of Legal Weed

(This is the third of a three-part series on marijuana in Doonesbury. Part One, which includes a review of Box Brown’s Cannabis: The Illegalization of Weed in America focuses mostly on marijuana prohibition; Part Two looks at medical marijuana in the era of the AIDS epidemic.) Zonker Harris pointed out a huge irony on the … Continue reading The American Dream in Action: Zonker and the Business of Legal Weed

Marijuana in Doonesbury, Part II: Medical Cannabis, AIDS and the Law

In my last post, I looked at how Garry Trudeau wrote about marijuana in the 1970s and reviewed Box Brown’s comics history of marijuana prohibition, ending with Brown’s chronicle of the gradual legalization of cannabis in some American states as activists promoting the medical benefits of cannabis used the courts to undermine the state’s attempts … Continue reading Marijuana in Doonesbury, Part II: Medical Cannabis, AIDS and the Law

“It Sure Is Against the Law.” Marijuana, Part One: Zonker’s Bust and Box Brown’s Cannabis.

On 23 June 2019, Garry Trudeau returned to a topic that has woven its way through Doonesbury since the earliest days of the strip: marijuana. Zonker asks Zipper to sweep out the drying shed at their (now quasi-legal) marijuana grow-op, Z&Z Bud. Zipper resents having to do menial work when he could be focusing on … Continue reading “It Sure Is Against the Law.” Marijuana, Part One: Zonker’s Bust and Box Brown’s Cannabis.