In my last post looking at the roots of underground comix, I discussed how, in the 1950s, the moral panic resulting from psychiatrist Frederic Wertham’s campaign against comic books helped inspire the Comics Code Authority. The Code sapped much of comics’ creative energy by forcing artists and writers to work within draconian limits set by … Continue reading “Engaged Levity”: Mad and the Underground Comix
“A Bad Time to Be Weird”: Comics at the Dawn of the Comix
In September 1971, Playboy interviewed cartoonist Jules Feiffer, whose work had been a regular feature in that magazine (and the Village Voice) since the mid-1950s. While Feiffer didn’t say much about recent developments in comics, readers leafing through their copy would have encountered a trio of comic characters who were familiar to anyone reading the … Continue reading “A Bad Time to Be Weird”: Comics at the Dawn of the Comix
“Mocking Constituted Authorities with Bitterness and Fury”: The Comix and Underground Newspapers
This is the second of a series of posts where I’m digging into the history of 1960s/1970s underground comix: it’s a history I’ve always been curious about on its own terms, but I’m also exploring underground comix in order to better understand how Doonesbury reflected and drew upon critical developments in comics happening around the … Continue reading “Mocking Constituted Authorities with Bitterness and Fury”: The Comix and Underground Newspapers
Doonesbury and the Comix, Part One: “Pigs and Nixon” (The Politics of the Undergrounds)
Around the time of Doonesbury’s October 1970 debut, the Christmas edition of Playboy was on newsstands. The interview that month was with the poet Robert Graves, who predicted that a new culture of sexual liberation that “violates the moral principles on which the state is founded” would lead to “a sharp increase in homosexuality and … Continue reading Doonesbury and the Comix, Part One: “Pigs and Nixon” (The Politics of the Undergrounds)
Comic Review: Stark Plug
Here's my second attempt at writing a comics review; you can read the first, on Tailsteak's Forward, here. If you're a creator of web- or print-based comics and you'd like me to write about your work, drop a line on Twitter (@readdoonesbury) or through my contact page. *** A while back, I received a copy … Continue reading Comic Review: Stark Plug
This Week in Doonesbury: A Missed Opportunity.
On 14 January, Garry Trudeau addressed the single most important social, cultural, and political issue of our time: the movement by women to raise awareness of, and fight back against, systematic sexual abuse by men in a number of fields, including politics, the entertainment industry, the news media, sports, and the tech world. In recent … Continue reading This Week in Doonesbury: A Missed Opportunity.
A Screaming Herd of Females: Women and Misogyny in the Early Doonesbury Strips.
Until I got to graduate school, I had learned more about modern feminism from reading Doonesbury than from anywhere else. This may be an exaggeration, but there’s a truth behind it: the social and political dimensions of post-World War Two feminism are a central thematic element in GBT’s work, and he has long made it … Continue reading A Screaming Herd of Females: Women and Misogyny in the Early Doonesbury Strips.
October-December 1970: “Dispatches from the Front”
I’ve been a huge Doonesbury fan since sometime in the early 1980s. A few weeks ago I had the idea to re-read the entirety of the strip’s run 47 year run and to use the exercise as a way to learn more about comics. The plan is to read Doonesbury alongside comics scholarship and criticism … Continue reading October-December 1970: “Dispatches from the Front”