My last three “Long Strange Trip” posts have looked at how Doonesbury treated the Vietnam War during the first few years of its run, starting with B.D’s experience in ROTC through his decision to enlist and his encounter with Phred the Vietcong terrorist. Though B.D. was sent home as part of Richard Nixon’s policy of … Continue reading He’s Black, He’s Beautiful, and by Gosh, He’s Angry: Race in the Early Doonesbury Strips, Part I.
This week’s Doonesbury is a powerful comment on a contemporary political movement, the emergence of which over the last few weeks was both long overdue and largely unexpected. Gun-control activism has attracted the energy and attention of America’s youth in the wake of the Parkland shootings. This movement was long overdue because the stakes are … Continue reading This Week in Doonesbury: “We’re Not Going Anywhere.”
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.
On Sunday, Garry Trudeau published a strip that I’ve seen coming since Donald Trump won the election. But even though I knew this gag was on its way, actually seeing it in print cracked me up, because it’s a great joke, and because, by recycling a strip from 44 years ago, Trudeau demonstrated his ability to … Continue reading This Week In Doonesbury: GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY!!!
(Note to readers: Hi Mom! … I intended to post at least once a week as a way to keep my writing chops up, but the past couple of weeks haven’t been great. I’ve been working on something about how GBT wrote about Vietnam during the first few years of Doonesbury, but it’s really not … Continue reading This Week in Doonesbury: Mental Health, Health Care, Homelessness and Trump.
When Garry Trudeau introduced readers to Nichole in September 1971, he seems to have largely shed the frat-boy misogyny that had dominated his writing about women and relationships between women and men in his early strips.  The introduction of a character who actively criticized and protested sexism and patriarchy not only marked a key … Continue reading “Even Revolutionaries Love Chocolate Chip Cookies”: Mark Slackmeyer and Radical Campus Politics.
July 2nd’s Doonesbury strip ran as Image Comics pulled a cover image drawn by Howard Chaykin that was widely perceived as being violent and racist (a perception I share). The image and the ultimate call to pull it fuelled debate about hate speech, the limits of free speech, and the responsibility of artists to consider … Continue reading This Week in Doonesbury: “The Safest Space on the Comics Page”