Beta-fresh answers, uploaded occasionally
Lets face it, our favorite comic strip is often obscure or inconsistent, and key characters are sometimes left stranded for years. Long-suffering readers are within their rights to demand some clarification. Use the "Ask GBT" form to email us your questions, and we will answer those we can on the Blowback page, and also archive the answers here.
How are you celebrating Doonesbury's 40th?
With as much gusto, tome-ocity, hullabaloo and pomp as circumstances will allow. For starters, as we hope you’ve noticed, the Doonesbury.com website has been completely re-designed (after 15 years, it seemed time). For two weeks we’re opening up the entire Doonesbury archive – every strip from October 26, 1970 up through today. And our host-pals at Slate are offering a bevy of anniversary features – their 200 Doonesbury's Greatest Moments links will help you explore that deep archive; a pithy interview with David Plotz gives GBT the chance to explain a few things; and they are posting illuminating essays about the strip by Tom Ricks, Gail Collins, Jeffrey Toobin, Gene Weingarten, Walter Isaacson, and Nicholas von Hoffman.
Then there’s 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, a unique and ambitious tome that dares to take a mere 700-page, 1,800-strip shot at tracking the utterly interconnected lives of the strip’s multitude of characters – with 18 in-depth essays by creator G.B. Trudeau and a four-page 70-character foldout Guide to Interconnectedness map (way more complex that that which explains the New York City subway system). As if that weren’t enough (apparently it’s not), we would also like direct your attention to Brian Walker’s mind-boggling book Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau, which sheds serious new light on GBT’s work (see slide show here). If you also consider the gallery show in New Haven, the interviews on Charlie Rose, NPR, in Costco’s magazine, hither, and yon -- hey, it’s a party. And as key members of the family, you are warmly invited.
In support of this worthy venture, we?ve decided to limit the archive on the free Town Hall to one year of strips, plus a link to the six strips that ran on the current date 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, and 30 years ago. Everything else will soon be moving onto MyComicsPage, so you'll need to sign up there to continue to enjoy unfettered access to the entire Doonesbury run. We apologize to those disappointed by this adjustment. From our point of view it?s for a good cause -- trying to find a viable biz plan that will make comics on the Net a long-term reality.
Microsoft is the evil empire. Have you sold your soul to the devil?
-- H. Waya, Philadelphia, PA
Does the word 'ethics' mean anything to GBT? Or does it just get in the way of $?
-- M. Green
I'd rather chew off my testicles than have anything other than the barest minimum to do with that sneaky, ugly-minded bunch of misanthropes at MSN.
-- John B., United Kingdom
Those not yet familiar with Slate might enjoy THIS RECENT INTERVIEW with its editor, Jacob Weisberg (who also creates Slate's popular 'Bushisms' feature). In the piece he discusses the DTH&WP-Slate relationship and hints at special projects now still in the brain-jamming stage.
For the Sundance Channel broadcast, each of the 11 episodes will be introduced by recently-filmed interviews with the characters, who look back on their experiences in campaign '88 from the vantage point of campaign '04. You can read more about Tanner '88 in this Boston Globe article, or this CNN piece.
This week?s schedule: Tuesday, 9 pm; Friday 11:30 pm; Sunday 5:30 pm.