Blowback_toon

Blowback

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.

MANEUVER
Trum Pet | San Juan, PR | July 24, 2016

Unless the old-media newspaper-deadline rules have changed, GBT had to have submitted today's Sunday strip well in advance of the end of the GOP National Convention -- and possibly, indeed, even prior to its start. Thus, GBT perhaps merits plaudits for cleverly finding a way to smear The Donald before having experienced a single moment of the “atrocity” he attacks. A futile few of us, however, might wax so bold as to denounce such a maneuver as pre-packaged, pathetically palpable, prejudice.

Editor's Note:

 Due to the process involved in producing and distributing color comics sections nationwide, Sunday strips must be submitted six weeks ahead of publication.

PRESCIENT
Mary Asicit | Long Creek, SC | July 24, 2016

Prescient, indeed. Nailed it!

LIFT AND HOPE
Francie Bruce | Hyattsville, MD | July 24, 2016

Thank you for today's strip. I've been reading you since you and I were college students, and your astute observations and humor have often made me feel good in particularly dark periods. Today's post-Cleveland strip captures well my own reaction to the horrors of the past week. Unfortunately, having been forced to come to terms with the hatred and vitriol in that convention hall, I'm never going to be able to unsee the behavior of what I still hope is a tiny minority of my fellow citizens. Nonetheless, having you as an observer and voice provides me a little lift and hope for the future.

SOMETHING ELSE
Terry D. McGee | Sydney, AUSTRALIA | July 24, 2016

It's good to see that Fox News reporter Roland has finally been shocked (eyes wide open) at what the Fox-led media have done. Have his eyes been opened because Roger Ailes, the head beast-man at Fox, has this week resigned and lost his power over minds? Is this just a moment of clearsight before Murdoch flies in from his holiday, negotiates with The Donald, and re-instates the Fox-style blindness to reality? Will Roland have to be terminated, or sent to Australia for re-training, to clean his mind of disbelief? The "eyes-wide-open" look has a history in Doonesbury -- of children before they become adult -- but I think/hope this might be a new stage/form of something else.

RESPONSE
James Mitchell | Everett, WA | July 24, 2016

I'm writing today from a large city in southern China, where a GBT would by jailed. I love the wide-eyed response to the RNC coronation. The same cartoon could fit this place, but rather than astonishment, the faces would express the numbing hypnotic effect of Chinese television's endless repetition of pablum and propaganda.

A SHINING EXAMPLE
Amok Fell | East Aurora, NY | July 23, 2016

In the midst of all the negativity a shining example of fun: the Today's Video offerings have been terrific this week. Thank you especially for today's goosebump-inducing performance of "Get What You Deserve" by the Tedeschi-Trucks Band, featuring the fabulous Mike Mattison and, as always, Derek's awesome guitar work.

APPALLING
Ed Buell | Mission Viejo, CA | July 23, 2016

Mr. Trudeau, I am sorry but I cannot read or stand your liberal comic strip any more, I am aware that you have the freedom of speech in this wonderful country, but the exaggerations of Trump are appalling. I always thought freedom of speech was supposed to have some truth to it! I have chosen to cancel my subscription to the L.A. Times because of the extreme liberal views that have not been fact-checked. The more people that do this, the more chance that there will be people out of a job. Consider that!

PERSPECTIVE
Randi | Auburn, CA | July 22, 2016

When we lose the ability to laugh at our politics, we've lost a lot. I'm far from tiring of political jokes when the facts they're based on are constantly replenished every day. If we can't laugh at the outrageous behavior our culture has accommodated -- and even encouraged -- we would indeed be repressed. I look forward to reading GBT and Jack Ohman on a regular basis. Bravo to both of you and all others who use humor to cast enlightening perspective on silly behavior from leaders of the free world who should know better.

IF YOU'RE COMPLAINING
Shooshie Roberts | Dallas, TX | July 20, 2016

Some of the recent BLOWBACK criticisms of GBT's Trump strips reveal subtle evidence that the writers do not know much about Doonesbury, GBT, or for that matter, Trump. It would appear that this is the year that our education system finally plays its role in the election: our failure to instill genuine curiosity in our people, and our failure to teach them how to identify fact and fiction, or how to tell them apart, will finally pay off for those who have managed to cut funding to education and to legislatively hog-tie teachers who would take a lead position in actually teaching, rather than adhering to the rules that prevent them from doing so.

Of course, I can't blame people for not knowing about Doonesbury. If you weren't reading it 40 years ago, you wouldn't know the amazing history of GBT beating news to the punch over and over again. You probably wouldn't have read the words of bureaucrats who checked Doonesbury first to catch the pulse of the nation, before facing the Beltway drama another day. More than a few just needed to know if their names appeared in Doonesbury, so they'd know how to spin their words. And the strip hasn't always appeared in the newspaper comics, but often appeared on the editorial page, where many editors felt it was more suited, for its powerful ironies that kept us all glued to it for decades.

There was Doonesbury in the morning, Johnny Carson in the evening, and in between was a potluck barrage of newscasts. Today's DB is no less accurate or funny than before, it's just that hard truths penned in sarcasm have never been easily swallowed by those they skewer. If you're complaining about GBT, chances are you're one of the folks who most need to hear him. We're on a dangerous precipice at this moment in time, and anyone who can make a difference needs to try while it is still possible to stop what feels like a train rushing toward a bridge out over a canyon. We have not recovered from the Bush administration's reckless adventures into Constitution-wrecking and war. I doubt that we will survive what Trump has in store without severe reconstruction of America.

IN THE UK
Linda R. | Colchester, UK | July 20, 2016

I'm a bit surprised at the number of people that think a cartoon strip shouldn't be political. In the UK, Doonesbury appears in the Guardian alongside Steve Bell's If..., which in its treatment of our politicians makes this strip like a love-in! Please carry on, Mr Trudeau.

TAKING POTSHOTS
Melinda Capozza | Augusta, GA | July 19, 2016

I can sympathize with those who have had it up to here with pundits, and cartoonists, taking potshots at Trump. But the fact remains that GBT does it so well.

NOT FUNNY
Stephanie Gencheff | Marquette, MI | July 19, 2016

I am canceling my subscription of 20 years to my newspaper because of your rabid and unrelenting criticism of Donald Trump. Your strip is not funny at all. Shame on you for using your bully pulpit to influence people's opinions.

TOUCHED A NERVE
Rom | New Britain, CT | July 19, 2016

Wow! You must have really touched a nerve with Sunday's "I'm not a racist" wristband. All these Trump supporters complaining about you should read Yuge! 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump, to realize that there is a long history to Trump being Trump.

IRONIC
McAlvie | Baltimore, MD | July 18, 2016

I was all set to comment this morning that even I am getting tired of the Trump bashing -- and I think the man's an idiot. It's so easy to take shots at his flaws that it's no longer fun. Then I popped into the Blowback section here, and realized that people are angrier at GBT for being critical of Trump than they are with Trump for being such an easy target. Basically, people are criticizing GBT for criticizing Trump, but are fine with Trump criticizing everyone else. Ain't that ironic? Well, it takes courage to stand against a mob mentality, so even though I'm weary unto death of the whole thing, GBT I support you. If you are getting people this worked up, you must be saying something they don't want to hear. Carry on. Not that you need my permission.

SCALPEL
John Michel | Charleston, SC | July 18, 2016

Some people just don't get it; that delicate scalpel so artfully applied and always right where it needs to be. I've been with you since the beginning, and plan on staying. Two thumbs up!

CONFUSED
Witewater | Brick, NJ | July 17, 2016

I am confused by the negative feedback regarding today's strip. There seem to be a great many people who are not happy about having a mechanism to indicate that they are not racist.

IRRESPONSIBLE
Nafiege | Houston, TX | July 17, 2016

I believe it is very irresponsible for a comic strip to become political. I am greatly offended by the word "racist," regardless of how it is used. As a person of color -- and guess what, we are all of color -- I believe we are all part of the human race. Boo on you.

BULLY CLUB
Sue S. | Norman, OK | July 17, 2016

Calling someone racist is just a liberal bully club. It is getting old and is not very effective.

RACISM
Edward Cherlin | Columbus, IN | July 17, 2016

Science, as explained in Robert Altemeyer's book The Authoritarians (free PDF here) tells us that most of racism and several other hatreds can be identified using the Right-Wing Authoritarianism (RWA) and Social Dominance Orientation (SDO) tests, and that no other scales are as accurate for the purpose. RWA measures the propensity to follow leaders uncritically, and SDO measures the belief that inequality is a positive good. It turns out that both scales also measure hypocrisy, dogmatism, and an inability to understand oneself, among other cognitive and moral faults. Thus your Not A Racist wristbands should actually do well in the Republican market. May I also suggest another: Angry White Lives Matter.

TRUMP
Chris W. | US of A | July 17, 2016

Is it difficult to make everything about Trump? Do you ever find it difficult to ignore everything else that's going on and write a simplistic joke about him? The word "Trump" appears 12 times on your main page, not counting today's strip. Just how much advertising do you think he needs?