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.

LIGHT PRINT
Susie | Kailua Kona, HAWAII | March 17, 2014

Thanks for putting out there about the small light print on Apple products now! I hate that change.

APPLE
Benjamin Smeall | Green Bay, WI and Cochabamba, BOLIVIA | March 17, 2014

Sorry, but I can't commiserate with your criticisms of the Apple Computer Company. I've used my Contacts app every day constantly. This App is one that is totally integral to my life. And I find that the Apple computer company still responds to any question that I have, very directly. For me this is the Small Town Ideal, but on a global scale.

EGOS AND CAREER AMBITIONS
Miles Hopkins | Redwood City, CA | March 16, 2014

It's a sad truth that most interface design changes are driven by the egos and career ambitions of people on the project teams who want to make their mark. The operational needs, consensus preferences, and ergonomic priorities of millions are generally ignored in favor of the personal whims of a few very-out-of-touch producers and engineers. Hence the steady deterioration in the usability and aesthetics of almost all user interfaces, as these self-oriented teams methodically "fix" everything that isn't broken, adding useless controls and features that are current fads within the academic and engineering worlds, but are actually counter-productive for the end user. Egregious example: the new control tab on the right-hand margin of many web pages, which can obscure the scrollbar button, rendering it inaccessible -- a disastrous design fad that's infected many products in the p ast two years.

HOORAY
Jan Cunningham | New Haven, CT | March 16, 2014

Hooray hooray hooray! Thank you, GBT, for calling out the banal new iOS interface. It gives one hope. I haven't upgraded, either, hoping that Apple will realize its mistake by the time the next update is available.

A FUNNY TAKE
Wes Smith | Lapeer, MI | March 16, 2014

Considering I just yesterday finally gave in to the new iOS update, today's strip was right in my wheelhouse. Thanks, GBT, for a funny take. Thanks, fellow readers, for taking Apple design decisions so seriously. You make me laugh, too, at you and me.

WHY
Steve Russillo | High Point, NC | March 16, 2014

Preach! Why did Apple screw with a perfectly fine look? No good reason, is why. And what's with all the g*****ned gray? The camera? The calculator? The settings? And especially the folder background. (Not to mention the Contacts app which I long ago buried with other superfluous-yet-undeletable apps in a folder called WPOS.)

IOS 7
Boise Ed | Atascadero, CA | March 16, 2014

I can only wish that I hadn't downgraded to iOS 7. But, as the old Kingston Trio lyric says, "Once you go, you can't come back." Thank you, Mr. Trudeau, for expressing my view of iOS 7 so perfectly.

GACK!
Charles Bing | Edmonton, CANADA | March 16, 2014

Gack! Mike decries the new look of the iPhone, and immediately people are tossing around all the old tropes about no innovation, missing Steve J., and so on. Please spare me. Having a beef about the iPhone's new look and feel is one thing, but translating that into "the end of innovation" is silly. The new Power Mac? The fingerprint scanner on the iPhone 5S? The absurdly light MacBook Air, or for that matter, the iPad mini? Like Phil Schiller said: "Can't innovate any more, my ass." It's only been three years since the iPad changed how millions of people use email and the web, and...such ennui! Grumble, grumble.

NOT UPGRADING
Dennis B. Swaney | Oroville, CA | March 16, 2014

You nailed it, Garry! Mike's reasons are the same as mine for not upgrading. I fault Jony Ive. He is an excellent hardware designer, but a very poor software interface designer.

CHANGE
Charles Gaylord | Arbor Vitae, WI | March 16, 2014

Speaking of change for change's sake, innovation ends when a once state-of-the-art product comes out in various colors.

DETERIORATION
Howard Scott Wallin | Evanston, IL | March 16, 2014

I still love my 3G; the feel of quality and durability. The deterioration of Apple as an institution started with the Apple store and its pursuit of change for profit -- above the Apple core values of taste and substance. Can they adapt to the criticism of this tasteless change?

THE INTUITIVENESS THAT ONCE WAS
Robin S. | Concord, NH | March 16, 2014

Today's strip on the iPhone is brilliant! The changes in iOS have been truly disconcerting to me, but I thought I was alone. Thank you , GBT, for giving a voice to those of us who miss the rounded corners, the shadows that gave the icons a 3-D look, and the intuitiveness that once was. I can't even figure out how to use the Calendar on the new iOS. I miss Steve Jobs.

HERO
Russ Hunt | Keswick Ridge, CANADA | March 16, 2014

In the early fifties I was a Pogo fan and wrote Walt Kelly a letter in '52, I think, and got an answer along with a copy of Uncle Pogo So-So Stories. Kelly (along with three other cartoonists -- GBT, JF, and BW) has been a hero most of my life.

NOT UPDATED
Logan's Mom | St. Paul, MN | March 16, 2014

As I was sipping my coffee today's strip made my morning. Thank you! Why would Apple get rid of their stellar interface and icon design? I have not updated my IOS, either. Apple has always strived to innovate. What happened?

IN TRANSLATION
Jakob Dragsdal Soerensen | Aarhyus, DANMARK | March 15, 2014

I started reading Doonesbury in the early eighties -- in Danish translation. The strips were from late seventies. Initially I read them mainly for the jokes, but increasingly for the insights into American politics. I've stuck with Doonesbury for thirty years now and think of Doonespeople as old friends and neighbors, whose lives I follow from afar. I still find myself reading something on American politics and suddenly understanding an old Doonesbury strip, that at the time seemed obscure. Each year around October it's time for yet another journey into Doonesland, when a new translated book is released. Thank you for old friends and hilarious insights!

HISTORY
Elijah Lachance | Ouagadouogou, BURKINA FASO | March 15, 2014

As someone born in 1987, I am yet a younger generation. I think I learned just about all my history from reading Doonesbury and Pogo and then asking questions and looking things up. When I went abroad with the Peace Corps, I brought all the books and comics from Pogo and GBT I could find with me, and my friends think I'm some sort of genius history buff as a result. I can't wait to start watching Alpha House and getting caught up on what's been happening while I've been away from the Internet for two years. To GBT and Walt Kelly, a million thanks from this millennial.

FAVORITE
John Halbert | Los Angeles, CA | March 14, 2014

The "25 Years Ago" strip on the Flashbacks page today is one of my favorite mistakes in the history of Doonesbury. When Honey hires J.J. as an artist to do murals on Donald Trump's yacht, they act like they've never met -- despite the fact that they were college roommates.

A YOUNGER GENERATION
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | March 14, 2014

Wonderful to see that Pogo got to yet a younger generation than mine! I was born in 1942, hence too young to appreciate Pogo when it came out. But my brother collected all the comics, and later the collections of the strips, so when I got old enough to re-read Pogo as not just a bunch of neat animals talking gibberish but hilarious political and social satire, there they were. My brother still has them -- I'm working on him to leave them to my son!

WALT KELLY
David Hallett | St John's, CANADA | March 14, 2014

Apart from being slightly older (b. 1959), I had the absolutely identical experience with my father's Pogo books. GBT has ably carried on Walt Kelly's keen and hilarious analysis of the U.S. I think of both GBT and Kelly as great American patriots because they refuse to whitewash their nation and its foibles, idiosyncracies, and inconsistencies while still believing in its founding principles.

POGO
Mark Miller | Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS | March 14, 2014

Born in 1960, I learned things from my father's old Pogo books. It was the Doonesbury of its time. I understood nothing but the jokes.