A Doonesbury Retrospective
By G. B. Trudeau
(Andrews McMeel Publishing, Hardcover, 9780740797354, 696pp.)
Publication Date: October 26, 2010
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Long regarded as THE political touchstone cartoon of its era, Garry Trudeauâ€™s Doonesbury celebrates its fortieth anniversary in this beautifully produced retrospective.On October 26, 1970, the first Doonesbury comic strip appeared, as college jock B.D. met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike Doonesbury. Over the months that followed, they were joined by campus radical â€œMegaphone Mark,â€ Boopsie, Zonker, and on and on. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has become a unique and remarkable creation, sustained by a vast and intricately woven web of relationships among 40 major characters, spanning three generations. While chronicling his charactersâ€™ entanglements and intimacies, G. B. Trudeau developed a keen satirical commentary that has ambitiously and relentlessly carved out an indelible record of four decades of American social and political history. The comic strip, like jazz and rock and roll, is an American form, and Trudeau has expanded it boldly and fearlessly, taking it into new realms. An epic unfolding, the Doonesbury saga constantly entices readers to keep up with its ever-evolving cast and endlessly inventive story lines. Trudeau remains fully engaged in the creation of his far-from-complete magnum opus. This massive yet elegant anniversary volume marks the stripâ€™s fourth decade by examining in depth the characters and relationships that have given Doonesbury such vitality and resilience, and allowed it to constantly reinvigorate itself. The book opens with an in-depth introductory essay by G. B. Trudeau in which he surveys his sprawling creation as only he could, followed by brief word-and-picture portraits of all the principle players. The collectionâ€™s core consists of more than 1,800 beautifully displayed stripsâ€”dailies and Sundaysâ€”that chart key adventures and cast connections over the last four decades. Dropped in throughout this rolling narrative are 20 detailed essays in which Trudeau contemplates individual characters or bonded groups of characters, including portraits of ur-folk such as Duke and Honey, Zonker, Joanie, and Rev. Sloan, as well as those who have joined the cast more recently, such as Zipper, Alex, and Toggle. The centerpiece of the volume is a four-page foldout diagram that maps in great and annotated colorful detail the mind-boggling matrix of character relationships. A feast of storytelling and a clarifying overview, this celebratory tome offers a unique way to experience one of the greatest comic strips ever.
Created by the team that brought you The Complete Far Side and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, this massive-yet-elegant celebratory anthology marks Doonesbury's 40th anniversary by examining in depth the characters that have given the strip such vitality.
On October 26, 1970, college jock B.D. met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has grown uniquely vast, sustained by an intricately woven web of relationships--over 40 major characters spanning three generations. This book opens with an in-depth essay in which G. B. Trudeau surveys his sprawling creation as only he could. The volume's 1,800 beautifully displayed strips chronicle the key adventures and path crossings of the ever-evolving cast, from ur-characters such as Zonker, Joanie, Duke, and Honey, to relative newcomers such as Zipper, Alex, and Toggle. Dropped in throughout are 18 detailed essays in which Trudeau contemplates individual characters and groups of characters.
The book's literal centerpiece is a four-page foldout that maps in annotated detail the mind-boggling matrix of relationships. A feast of storytelling and a clarifying overview, 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective offers a unique way to experience one of the greatest comic strips ever.
Trudeau maintains a vivid online presence at www.doonesbury.com and offers deployed troops a forum via his milblog The Sandbox.
Forty years ago, freshman Mike Doonesbury met his roommate at Walden College, and since then, the funny pages haven't been the same. Cartoonist Garry Trudeau reflects on the beloved, irreverent strip, which he first sketched as a Yale undergrad in 1970. More at NPR.org
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