A clean, well-lit place to vent
Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.
Egad! Just the other day, I heard that flu vaccinations are recommended for "the elderly," and it seems that I qualify for elderly, too! Hey, I'm only 66 years old. A spring chicken. Barely middle-aged. Elderly, indeed! (I love how, when something matters in my life, I often see it pop up in a Doonesbury strip. He reads people's minds...)
The nice thing about print comics (and the Houston Chronicle used to have several pages of them every day) is that without them, it's unlikely that the comics would be on the web because someone has to pay for all that. The sad thing about print comics is that newspaper delivery service is increasingly unreliable as newspapers turn delivery over to "contractors" to save money. Newspapers also cut the comics to accommodate smaller page sizes -- I didn't know that Doonesbury was an eight-panel Sunday strip until I saw it online.
I switched to reading Doonesbury online many years ago when my favourite weekly newspaper, the Mail & Guardian (formerly Weekly Mail) stopped running the strip to save money. I have gone to the site almost every day since. It is my window on the world of US politics and much else besides.
The digital age is marvelous and I do my share of reading that way; but I would still mourn the loss of newsprint. The downside of the electronic age is that it is too easy and too cheap for anyone to say anything, and often without having to own it. Thus we have a lot of websites masquerading as legitimate news media, but without the ethics and obligations that should go with it.
I miss newspapers comics in that they encouraged daily content, and I was more likely to read a selection of 'toons rather than just the three or four I have bookmarked in my browsers -- many of which only publish a few times a week. Reading a few good newspapers every day truly provided a level of diversity that the web tends to minimize, unless one makes an real effort. The significant impact the web has made in my Doonesbury life is that I am not buying the books. With newspaper reading, you wanted the books in order to have quality images of the 'toons. With the web this is no longer such a need.
The wonderful thing about print is that I can tear favorite strips from the paper and stick them on the refrigerator along with other vital reminders.
Speaking as a real-life Rick Redfern, I must say my feelings are hurt by the comments from younger readers calling us old-fashioned print types "selfish" because we have the temerity to mourn our lost jobs. It feels like they're dancing on the grave of my career.
If you go back and reread the whole week’s storyline, Trudeau, as usual, is throwing us a whammy of social satire, this one so subtle that it seems to have gone over the heads of just about everyone in here -- and elsewhere. (Yeah, I’ve clicked on some of the links.) Look at the first panel. What is Zonk holding in his hands? And why? Mailbag has gone paperless! Does this mean the Millennials have taken over the strip? Not while the older generation is around. Ahem, or so they think. “Stick with print, folks,” say Zonk and Mike -- while abandoning print for tweets in Mailbag! This is the perfect punchline for a bunch of related satirical sub-points in every frame of every panel during the whole week. Brilliant! I burst out laughing so hard my vision started to blur.
Sometimes things really are what they seem. I checked with the home office, and the strip is nothing more than a simple gag about the state of newspapers. It was intended for the readers of the 1,100 daily and Sunday print editions that publish the strip. While understandably sentimental about his roots in print media, GBT was an enthusiastic, early adapter to digital platforms, creating three different CD-ROMS (1995), a web-based motion-capture video project (Duke2000), a milblog (2006), e-book editions of his anthologies, and of course, this website, launched in 1995, long before most webcomics were created. He first wrote about the social impact of computers, a favorite topic, in 1972.
I completely disagree with today's strip. I’ve been a reader for about four years now and I have never once read Doonesbury in a newspaper. I have always read it online, and most of my friends (most around my age of 25) have only read it online as well. The online medium is great for comics. I can easily just press a button to go back and read previous strips without having to dig through a pile of papers to find the exact page. Doonesbury shares a spot in my morning routine with other great comics such as xkcd and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal. Many artists have made a living by writing comics for the web, and there are thousands of web-only comics that will make sure that that there will never be that little bit of emptiness in our day.
"Stick to print"? It's been years since I read Doonesbury in a newspaper. I read the comic online almost daily, and I'm submitting this feedback through a web-based form.
Ironically, I read Doonesbury electronically because I won't pay for a whole paper to get it, and the Post Express won't include it in their selection of three comics.
Today's strip betrays either a huge ignorance of the reality of modern comics or just plain selfishness. While I like Doonesbury's politics, the format is hopelessly outdated in light of the online world. Writers need no longer worry about cramming their message into three or four small panels, nor artists about keeping to the strict mandates of the newspaper. The Internet is chock-full of high-quality comics of every persuasion, pushing well beyond the boundaries established by traditional print media. If Doonesbury wants to survive the downfall of the local paper, it needs to fundamentally renew itself.
I enjoy your strip. Disagree with your politics, but that's okay. I contemplated the blank panel in today's cartoon. I would hate to think of not having a paper in which to read the comics, my very favorite section. No Doonesbury, terrible. No Garfield, Blondie, Beetle Bailey, Curtis, Family Circus, Hagar, etc. -- my day would never be the same! I only continue to subscribe to our local paper for the comics and the puzzles, seriously.
Today's strip about what happens to comics if newspapers die out cracked me up, but I think not in the way you intended. I've been reading Doonesbury every day for years now -- but I don't think I've ever regularly read it in the paper. As far as I'm concerned, it's a web comic, bookmarked right between xkcd and Skin Horse in the list of ones I check regularly.
We will stick with print unless or until Rupert Murdoch buys the LA Times.
I was quite surprised by today's strip. GT has always seemed to embrace modern technology and changes quite well, and this sudden plea to stick with print just seems, well, odd. Things are changing, and online comics are actually a very vibrant and rapidly growing area right now. It's just another thing that GT should embrace whole-heartedly, or else the new crowd will just scorn him and lump him in with all the other tired old print fogeys -- which would be a crying shame since GT is most certainly not like the rest.
My parents used to criticize my generation for reading comic books instead of the classics. Guess what? We grew up and became a generation that learned how to read (and as well or better than our parents, thank you) with comic books. I am 61 years old, so this all took place in the middle of the last century. For those of you who mourn the loss of newspapers, make sure that you don't make the same mistake our parents did. And let me point out that Bill Moyers is doing just as well as Fox -- both the news and entertainment departments.
I am bemused and amused by today's Blowback. First, that the conversation about print media is taking place on my computer screen. I haven't actually seen Doonesbury on paper for such a long time that I can't remember. And as one commentor said, I would be willing to pay to subscribe to Doonesbury online. Second, I'm in some agreement with the comments about the movement to the right among publishers of print media. The post about the ascendancy of the Wall Street Journal and FOX News seems to be suggesting that most Americans are turning to the right. I am very worried if that is the trend. I just watched a documentary about the Texas school Board rulings on curriculum, and I shudder.
My local newspaper is printed three times a week, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday, and only includes Doonesbury in the Sunday Comics. I get my Doonesbury fix on Slate (like must others who contribute to Blowback). The Grand Rapids Press is part of a statewide, right-leaning newspaper conglomerate, and I subscribe mainly for local news and the Sunday advertisements and coupons.