The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


March 13, 2014

In Your Opinion: Flashback strips a welcome opportunity

Doonesbury on hiatus. Tragedy or opportunity? I love this cartoon strip. I realized how much I loved it in 1983 when Trudeau took a 20-month sabbatical, and many papers dropped him, instead of using flashbacks.

Luckily, I was in Europe at the time, and read the International Herald Tribune for two reasons 1) Doonesbury and 2) its excellent reporting (in that order.)

So to make sure I’d never want for Doonesbury again. On the first day of that sabbatical, I started cutting out Doonesbury from whichever paper I was reading, in whatever country I was in. I followed him, overseas, for about 15 years.

I have not stopped, yet. I have baskets of Doonesbury strips in archival plastic bags. Since that day in 1983, I’ve been asked what I intend to do with them. Still no idea. But I’m thankful that The Daily Star is continuing the series with flashbacks from Day 1, in 1970. That was about the time I first started reading Doonesbury, and it helped change my mind from being a 14-year old Vietnam war hawk (read: moron) to becoming a person who read the paper looking for more depth.

I’m so glad I will be able to “flash back” to the origins of the syndicated strip. (I hate to admit that I’ve never read the the original “Bull Tales” in the Yale Daily News, but it’s on my bucket list.)

I’m going to find a way to watch “Alpha House” (Trudeau is writing the second season during this hiatus) although we won’t be able to stream it at home, because our fine little burg is still digitally in the 20th century.

I wish Garry Trudeau all the best, because he has given us nothing but the best for over 40 years.

Brian Foley


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