By Garry Trudeau
Created by way of the staff that introduced you The entire a long way Side and The whole Calvin and Hobbes, the large anthology 40 marks Doonesbury's40th anniversary by means of interpreting extensive the characters that experience given the strip such power. This moment quantity of the four-volume book version of 40 covers the years 1980 to 1989 for the prestigious caricature strip.
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Additional info for 40. A Doonesbury Retrospective 1980 to 1989
He’d spent the night burying his comrades. At one point in our discussion, my host described a bombing raid during which he suffered a shrapnel gash so wide that his guts tumbled out of his abdominal cavity. A doctor crawled to his side, and as there was no way to convey him to a field hospital, washed off the fighter’s intestines, stuffed them back into his belly, and sewed him up with a long fisherman’s needle. As he recalled this story, a flicker of skepticism must have passed over my face, for the man immediately jumped up and unbuttoned his shirt, revealing a long, jagged scar traversing the length of his torso.
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. I simply followed the characters into their quotidian lives, played out against a scrim of cultural and political context, and occasionally bumped them into that thicket of coincidence that only fictional characters must endure.
So the Reverend Scot Sloan, as well intentioned as he is, is hardly a salute to his origins. Not that you’d want him to be. 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.
40. A Doonesbury Retrospective 1980 to 1989 by Garry Trudeau