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Tracking the D'bury Universe

We won't post new stories on this page every day, but when we do put something up you have our word: It will be about the strip. Guaranteed.

Doonesbury Granny Joanie Caucus "Writes" Elizabeth Warren's Democratic National Convention Speech
Maine GOP Chairman Appears In Doonesbury
Steve Mistler, The Portland Press Herald | Maine GOP Chairman Appears in Doonesbury | July 27, 2012

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster says he doesn't know "who" Doonesbury is. However, Doonesbury, or at least its author, Garry Trudeau, knows about Webster and his attempt to tighten voter registration laws.

Trudeau, who has recently waded into the ongoing debate over voter ID laws, mentioned Webster Friday in the second frame of his national comic strip, along with the chairman's infamous quote that Democrats had long used Maine's 39-year-old election day voter registration law to "steal elections." ...

Doonesbury's Cinderella Story: Protest Stamps And Comic Timing
Ashley Bowen-Murphy, Smithsonian National Postal Museum Blog | Doonesbury's Cinderella Story: Protest Stamps And Comic Timing | July 24, 2012

In May 1990, former (temporary) postal service employee Zonker Harris bemoaned an upcoming postage rate increase.  Zonker knew that, even after the five-cent rate increase, “US postal rates would still be among the lowest in the world” [1]. Still, he felt frustrated and “fed up” with the postal service’s rate hikes.

Unlike other frustrated United States Postal Service (USPS) customers, though, Zonker had a ready platform to protest this rate hike.  As a fictional character in Gary Trudeau’s long-running comic strip Doonesbury, Zonker commanded the attention of hundreds of thousands of newspaper readers every day.

Where other comic strips may have used the rate hike for an in-strip gag, Doonesbury asked readers to take the gag to the USPS itself!  The May 20, 1990 strip included two designs in a sheet of nine “negative 5-cent” imaginary stamps...

Weird Medical History, Ripped From The Archives Of Doonesbury
Maggie Koerth-Baker, Boingboing | Weird Medical History, Ripped From The Archives Of Doonesbury | July 19, 2012

My introduction to Gary Trudeau's Doonesbury happened around the age of 8, when I discovered my father's anthology collections. (I was extraordinarily up on early 1970s pop culture for a late 1980s grade schooler.) Reading the new strip and the daily archives is still part of my morning routine. But, given that I was born in 1981, I don't always get all the references. Sometimes, that leads me to discover weird bits pop history. For instance, the strip above ran on July 19, 1977. My first response this morning, "What the hell is Laetrile?"...

Garry Trudeau On The 'Invisible War' Within The Military
Liza Donnelly, Forbes | Garry Trdueau On The 'Invisible War' Within The Military | July 6, 2012

...Since its beginning in 1970, Trudeau’s comic strip has repeatedly been groundbreaking, covering controversial issues in the news.  A screening [of 'The Invisible War"]was arranged for Trudeau and his wife Jane Pauley by their friend General Loree Sutton, who is interviewed in the film.  I was fortunate to interview Trudeau last week via email. The strips about which we spoke are below (don’t miss them).

LD: What brought you to want to write about the military in Doonesbury?

GT: I’ve written about our various military conflicts more or less continuously since Vietnam, but it was during the Gulf War that I first started studying military culture in any detail. I was invited by the commander of a tank brigade outside of Kuwait City to embed in his brigade, and it was that experience that set me on my current path...

Breaking The Cycle Of Sexual Assault In The Military
Garry Trudeau and Loree Sutton, The Washington Post | 'Invisible War' Tactics | July 5, 2012

"The officer bragged to his fellow officer friends that he had 'bagged' me. I got called up to a major's office, and he charged me with fraternization and adultery." — An active-duty Marine, speaking of her rape, in "The Invisible War"

If there is a defining theme in all of the testimony in "The Invisible War," the searing documentary film released last month about military sexual assault, it's betrayal. An estimated 19,000 rapes and sexual assaults took place in the military last year. Every one of them represents a monstrous crime made much worse by the sense of betrayal that accompanied it. That so few victims — just one in seven — report these crimes underscores the utter lack of trust that pervades military culture.

This should be deeply alarming to the armed services, which have professed a "zero-tolerance" policy for years — but have little to show for it...

Learn More About Garry Trudeau Plan -- Homeward Bound Adirondacks -- To Help Veterans

Had someone told me that I'd attend an event featuring a liberal cartoonist and a retired brigadier general who was the recent head psychiatrist in the Army, I'd have said, "No way!" But that's what happened the other night as I attended a get-together with Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame and Brig. Gen. Loree Sutton as they talked about a project they're working on called Homeward Bound Adirondacks, which is designed for veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan...

Romney In Doonesbury: Reader Preview: Next Week's Strips Based on Post Article
Michael Cavna, The Washington Post | Romney in Doonesbury: Reader Preview: Next Week's Strips Based on Post Article | May 18, 2012

doesn’t think news outlets spent enough time covering Mitt Romney’s prep-school past in the wake of The Post’s article last week about the presidential candidate’s adolescent “pranks.”

“The media dropped the story too quickly,” Trudeau tells Comic Riffs.

So in his Pulitzer-winning comic “Doonesbury,” Trudeau himself has decided to pick the story back up again. Next week’s strips will satirize Romney’s current recollections of his teen years — specifically his part in pinning down a schoolmate and cutting the boy’s hair...

Profiles in Cartooning Courage: How Artists in Syria, Iran and India Wield Their Free-Speech Pens Against Powerful Forces

Speaking Thursday at the Library of Congress, “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau highlighted an intriguing dynamic of satire: The more the intended target reacts, he said, the more its practitioner gains the advantage. If the victim flinches or returns fire at a cartoon, the illustration only gains in power.

If you consider that cause-and-effect, then three editorial cartoonists around the map — in Syria, India and Iran — are presently among the most powerful practitioners in the world.

And this week, news involving that trio reminds just how perilous the act of satire can be in some countries...

Herblock Prize Ceremony: Garry Trudeau and Matt Bors, Masters of Poignant Comic Timing

On Thursday night at the Library of Congress, political satirists Garry Trudeau and Matt Bors each offered just the solution for navigating the current perilous shoals of their chosen profession. As in “The Graduate,” advice boiled down to one word — just one word:



Sci-fi was deftly mined for such prime humor at the Herblock Prize ceremony, in fact, you’d have thought the two featured cartoonists had been chaffeured to the event in Doc Brown’s DeLorean.

Bors, the night’s prize-winner, joked that as a political cartoonist lacking a staff job, the best way to get a newspaper to hire the 28-year-old would be for him to leap into a time machine and dial it backward...