40: A Doonesbury Retrospective

Overview

Long regarded as THE political touchstone cartoon of its era, Garry Trudeau'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 "Megaphone Mark," Boopsie, Zonker, and on and on. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has become a unique and remarkable ...

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40: A Doonesbury Retrospective 2000 to 2010

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Overview

Long regarded as THE political touchstone cartoon of its era, Garry Trudeau'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 "Megaphone Mark," 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 characters' 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 strip'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 collection's core consists of more than 1,800 beautifully displayed strips—dailies and Sundays—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.

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  • 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective
    40: A Doonesbury Retrospective  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This monolithic overview of G.B. Trudeau's landmark newspaper strip is the most comprehensive book on the subject imaginable, a must-read for both fans and those interested in what amounts to a chronicle of American society over the past four decades. The book reprints virtually all of the strip's significant story arcs in sensibly abridged versions, trimming the fat for newcomers yet retaining all of the narrative qualities that have made the series a riveting but topical narrative. Despite the age of some strips, the material holds up and the then innovative wry attitude of its cast (and, by default, its creator) remains fresh, compelling and frequently hilarious. Forty years have done nothing to dull the edge of Trudeau's left-wing political stance, and his gift for blending sociopolitical commentary and multigenerational serialized narrative have only been refined over time. Mike, B.D., Zonker, J.J., Alex, and the huge cast have become like friends to faithful readers, and leafing through the pages is like taking a long look through a family scrapbook. A gorgeous tribute to a seminal comic strip. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
“The sprawling cast of G.B. Trudeau's Doonesbury comic—Mike, B.D., Boopsie, their friends and, increasingly, children—have been the pen-and-ink Zeligs of the baby-boomer era and beyond. Four decades on, this volume has the heft and warmth of a favorite family album.”
-(Time Magazine)

“For millions of readers, Trudeau's lacerating comic strip — launched in 1970 as a campus doodle called Bull Tales — has helped make tolerable some of the past four decades' most stupefying political outrages. Perhaps because it doesn't dote on Trudeau's beltway hobbyhorses, this gorgeously produced anniversary set — compiling 2,000 or so of the 14,000 strips in Doonesbury's still-thriving run — cuts closer to the core of modern American experience.”
-(John McAlley, NPR)

John Schwartz
…gives this venerable comic the luxe treatment…Trudeau's creation, which started as a jokey commentary on campus life at Yale, has evolved into a sprawling masterwork with a cast of characters big enough to make Tolstoy wonder if he was trying hard enough…Remarkably, this stuff is still funny. There are laughs through the tears, and Trudeau continues to find time to taunt George W. Bush and Barack Obama—and, as it happens, himself.
—The New York Times
Dwight Garner
The new anthology of his work, 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, is a big book and a canny one. It reboots the readers who’ve strayed, like me, and brings us back up to code. It introduces the dewy things who were born in the ’80s and ’90s to the strip’s earlier, shaggier glories. … 40 is not the collected “Doonesbury,” it’s a selected “Doonesbury.” (The Collected Doonesbury, if it existed, would be the size of a wild boar.) It is a thoughtful sampling of roughly 13 percent of Mr. Trudeau’s more than 14,000 printed strips.
—The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780740797354
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
  • Publication date: 10/26/2010
  • Series: Doonesbury Series
  • Pages: 696
  • Sales rank: 237,919
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 14.10 (h) x 2.40 (d)

Meet the Author

G. B. Trudeau has been drawing his Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip for more than forty years. In addition to cartooning, Trudeau has worked in theater, film, and television. He also has been a contributing columnist for the New York Times op-ed page and later an essayist for Time magazine. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He lives in New York City with his wife, Jane Pauley. They have three grown children.

Trudeau maintains a vivid online presence at www.doonesbury.com and offers deployed troops a forum via his milblog The Sandbox.

Online:
www.doonesbury.com

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