A clean, well-lit place to vent
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I love Doonesbury, but "stick with print!" is a fail. You can't seriously expect people to stop unsubscribing to newspapers for the simple reason that the comics might fade away. I don't even read this strip in my local paper, but get it online! This is exactly what the music and movie industry has been failing at; attempting to halt the progress of consumers, rather than changing the industry. What's next? Digital artists should stop using Photopaint and go back to traditional media? People should stop buying DVDs because the theaters are hurting? This isn't how the world works, nor has it ever worked like this. You need to change the comic strip. (Hell, I'd pay a subscription fee for it online. I love it that much!) Don't publish it online and then tell me to subscribe to my crappy local paper.
I subscribe to and read my local newspaper for news, reviews and just something to read, but not for Doonesbury. My paper, in the hometown of Andrews McMeel Publishing, runs the daily strip at the bottom of the page, in black and white, in type that gets smaller as I get older, and only runs six panels of the Sunday strip. There is no comparison to the feature-rich online edition, which I think is great by the way. I appreciate that you are honoring your roots, but I see no reciprocal support -- if anything just the opposite.
Print? I only read the print version when I visit my elderly parents. Doonesbury is usually the fifth webcomic that I read every day.
Um. I read this strip online.
Mike tells us to stick to print, but my local newspaper has moved farther and farther to the right in recent years. I'm not willing to pay for the paper simply to read Doonesbury in print (very small print on the editorial page) and the grocery ads. I subscribe to the online version of the New York Times instead, and I'd subscribe to Doonesbury too if it came down to it.
Actually, you already are. Little-known but fun fact: Doonesbury has been on the New York Times web site for years. You can find it under "cartoons" or click here.
Power to the press. I loved today's strip. People just don't get it. I hope they wake up before there are no more ink smudges with morning coffee.
Today's strip raises the ancient question of the glass -- is it half full or half empty? -- and of life itself. We have to keep our priorities; laughter mixed with wisdom first, everything else second or third.
What happens to comics if newspapers go away is that the successful ones become less like Doonesbury and more like The Oatmeal, XKCD, and all the other thriving web comics whose creators are earning a living from new media, rather than the archaic, tree-destroying newspaper model.
Your strip was interesting today, exhorting your readers to "stick with print." There is a reason that print is dying. It's the same reason that the Wall Street Journal is, and will be, the top print news for as long as print news stays around, and it's the same reason that Fox is the top broadcast station.
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. Why shouldn't life happen to Toggle and Alex? Sure, GB could have given them a magical, obstacle-free storyline, but doesn't the recent development make them more real? While I love Zonker talking to plants, and Jeff's Red Rascal persona, what grounds the strip is the real things, the actual complicated daily-life things, big and small.
I hate to use such strong language, but... AAACCKKK!! You can't tell your audience you're taking feedback via Tweet and not give them real accounts! Ravenous Twits are highly self-trained to snap to and respond when they see one of those things. You must be wreaking havoc on poor @Zipper (a defunct game designer) and @Redrascal (a parked account?).
Ah, it was ever thus. Culturally destabilising characters are best played by British actors -- Charles van Doren, Nixon, Sgt. Brody... Zipper.
Interactions via Twitter? Does this mean Doonesbury is getting a new account? Oh man. Last time, when Roland Hedley was tweeting like crazy, was the best! (So sad that it's all gone now.)* Today's strip even lists an actual Twitter name! Let me try it: @zipper is... a defunct video game company? *sigh* I knew it was too good to be true.
* Editor's note: Roland's prodigious output of 140-character reportage has been preserved in old-media format. Click here to order "MY SHORTS R BUNCHING. THOUGHTS?" : The Tweets of Roland Hedley.
4 GBT frames beats 140 chr twitter snark.
Today's mailbox-week interruption of Drew's big news? Not cool GBT, not cool. (But well played, kind sir.)
What a shame the mailbag interrupted today's strip. I've been wondering where the Drew character was going. She is the only recurring character in the Doonesbury world who has no story or social commentary associated with her and her actions. She has been used solely to articulate Alex's insecurities and give an insight to her relationship to Toggle. My guess is that her big news is related to the lack of guys in her life. Maybe a coming out, or a hookup with another character.
Thanks for linking to the Sandbox post NIGHTMARE in Blowback yesterday. When I got to the phrase "Suck it up..." I broke out in a cold sweat. My husband, a Vietnam vet, has used that expression periodically over the years. I did not know that it probably came from his military experience. This explains a lot. He is now suffering from Parkinson's Disease as a result of Agent Orange exposure, and every day is a battle of wits between the two of us. I know that his best physical defense is our twice-daily walk in the countryside near our home. He fights it. Every day. He wants to sit in his chair watching television. Every day. All day. He was offered depression meds and refused them. He said he doesn't want to be spaced out or dulled to the world. I shouted "DO I SEEM F***** 'SPACED OUT' AND 'DULLED TO THE WORLD' GOD DAMMIT??" (I take a low-dose depression med.) I think he's been "sucking it up."
I just finished reading Doonesbury from the very first comic up to the present. It's an incredible journey and wonderfully educational. As a child of the 80s I didn't learn much about the 70s or 80s in school and the 90s was when I was just starting to pay attention. Thanks for the hilarious, moving, human journey.
I've had some ideas for budget cuts for a very long time now:
1. TSA is to be eliminated.
2. War on Drugs is to be eliminated.
3. Eliminate plea bargains. All the plea bargain does is to hide how many people are being shoved into prison on trivial cases. If someone's done something severe enough to warrant arrest, then it warrants trial. Such a change would force the police to stop arresting people on nothing charges because juries would simply be far too needed for real crime cases. It would also reduce expenses for courts.
4. The U.S. military is to be reduced in size and budget by 90 percent. As we saw with 9/11, modern warfare is asymmetrical, and cheap for the smaller side to wage. All we do with a giant military apparatus is help the other side wear us down faster.
5. All military/penal/government suppliers will be required by law to make no profit. That's right. And all salaries (including benefits) are to be capped at twice the minimum wage. You want to supply toothpaste to the military? Then you'd better be doing it because you want to help the soldiers, not because you want to make some money.
6. The big cost saver: All elected officials are to lose their pensions and life-time health care upon completion of public service. They will simply have to make do with what all of us get: a lecture on how we should have saved more and pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps.
I've had a budget-balancing plan figured out for years: For each of his or her constituents, every representative should be required to specify $10,000 of cuts in his or her own district. I'm sure they'll be lining up on both sides of the aisle to embrace this eminently practical plan.