40. A Doonesbury Retrospective 1980 to 1989 by Garry Trudeau

By Garry Trudeau

Created by way of the workforce that introduced you The whole some distance Side and The whole Calvin and Hobbes, the large anthology 40 marks Doonesbury's40th anniversary via interpreting intensive the characters that experience given the strip such power. This moment quantity of the four-volume booklet variation of 40 covers the years 1980 to 1989 for the distinguished caricature strip.

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Children. A profusion of new supporting characters popped up everywhere. Most humor strips do just fine with a half-dozen or so players. Calvin and Hobbes had only two essential characters, and one of them was imaginary. By the late ’80s, Doonesbury had almost forty. The clutter became challenging for longtime readers, intimidating for latecomers—like opening a Russian novel in the middle. But the matrix of relationships at the heart of Doonesbury yielded endless narrative possibilities. I didn’t have to find a new twist on old themes as most legacy strips do—or rethread the needle every day like a gag cartoonist.

The narrow focus had worked fine for a local sports strip, but to court the attention of a national audience, a more diverse cast had to be assembled. D. as the strip’s tent-pole characters. It was my first and last concession to editorial balance, and I quickly subverted it. As Doonesbury opened wide and gained momentum, a supporting cast converged from all directions: Zonker, avatar of high hippie slackness; Joanie, accidental feminist; Ginny, post–civil rights era black striver; and Rev. Scot Sloan, social justice warrior.

It’s our flaws that instruct—and entertain. Whenever a writer creates a character who appears to be beyond reproach, it’s almost always for the purpose of setting him up. The Bible is filled with such characters, and without their pratfalls and shortcomings, the good book wouldn’t just be unteachable—it’d be unreadable. As long as Scot holds on to his core decency (a good bet), we need him to be as ungodly as the rest of us. 4/19/88 4/25/88 4/27/88 4/28/88 4/30/88 5/4/88 5/6/88 5/10/88 5/23/88 5/25/88 5/27/88 5/28/88 4/17/88 12/12/88 12/13/88 12/14/88 12/16/88 5/30/88 5/31/88 6/1/88 6/4/88 6/5/88 7/25/88 7/26/88 7/28/88 8/11/88 10/3/88 10/4/88 10/5/88 10/6/88 5/22/88 3/15/88 3/16/88 3/17/88 3/19/88 11/29/88 11/30/88 12/1/88 12/2/88 1/10/88 1/2/89 1/4/89 1/5/89 1/6/89 1/10/89 1/11/89 1/13/89 1/14/89 2/19/89 3/13/89 3/16/89 3/17/89 3/18/89 3/19/89 1/23/89 1/26/89 1/27/89 1/28/89 4/3/89 4/4/89 4/5/89 4/7/89 4/30/89 5/30/89 5/31/89 6/1/89 6/2/89 7/13/89 7/17/89 7/24/89 7/26/89 4/19/89 4/20/89 4/21/89 4/22/89 5/21/89 8/14/89 8/15/89 8/16/89 8/19/89 8/28/89 8/29/89 8/31/89 9/1/89 12/11/89 12/14/89 12/15/89 12/16/89 12/31/89 To understand just how much I owe the folks I work with, you need only learn how long each of them has put up with me.

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