on 29 June 2014
I’ve been reading Doonesbury for over 30 years, and in that time have become so involved in the lives of all the characters that I feel as though they are my friends. It’s the only ‘cartoon strip’ that that has made me – on one occasion – burst into tears, and – often – roar with laughter at the sheer cheek and cleverness of Gary Trudeau. It’s the first thing that I turn to in the Guardian each day – and was the cause of my threatening to stop taking that paper when they redesigned it some years ago, and dropped Doonesbury ‘because we didn’t think many people read it’... They were wrong, and after 500 or so letters, emails and phonecalls, they admitted this, climbed down and reinstated the strip – to the joy of all its fans.
The twists and turns in the lives of the central characters – some funny, some sad and some just bizarre – have been documented over the years in such detail that now, as they (and I) move into grandparenthood, reading this selection of strips is like looking back at the high points of an epic saga – evoking lots of memories of the times, the people and the places when they were created and first read. It’s as much a historical record of America in the late 20th century as anything else that I can think of, and shows how the big issues – wars, AIDS, the shifts in the political landscape – affected people’s lives.
A wonderful book, and a fitting tribute to its creator.
on 17 February 2011
As a fan of Doonesbury, this is a must have. It provides essays and carefully selected strips, depicting the evolution of the cartoon. It's truly a valuable journey, narrated by the author himself. Trudeau shares considerations and dilemmas behind the many turns in the storyline.
on 14 February 2011
Absolutely stunning! Just in terms of pound for pound, this book weighs 20lbs and has over 600 pages. With its' heavy duty slip case and quality paper, it really is a thing of beauty. It is really good being able to trace the development of the characters with whom you have become familiar over the years, and discover facets you weren't aware of.
Omissions? well, you get to see very little of the interior (and the exterior) of the white house, which is a shame, and I have to say I've enjoyed Zonker's career in fast food, which is sadly lacking. I'm sure others will have particular favourite moments which aren't here, but overall the selection is a good one.
I heartily recommend this book
on 16 January 2011
As someone who has enjoyed Doonesbury since the early eighties, this was a delight to read. Especially the early storylines to fill some of the various backstories. Also a delight were the illuminating character essays from GBT. Easily the best Christmas present I received this year. Only has ~13% of all the strips produced, but more than enough to follow the characters through the 40 years.