Beta-fresh answers, uploaded weekly
Lets face it, our favorite comic strip is often obscure or inconsistent, and key characters are sometimes left stranded for years. Long-suffering readers are within their rights to demand some clarification. Use the "Ask GBT" form to email us your questions, and we will frequently answer some of the best!
I'm enjoying the current Walden reunion storyline, and liked seeing Zonk back in the puddle. But I'm surprised he's having trouble remembering what "the commune" was all about, because I remember him going on and on about it an an earlier reunion. Could we revisit that series please? I remember a stretch limo, so it must have been after Zonker won the lottery. Thanks!Caleb J. | Storyline | Spokane, WA | May 16, 2013
Quite. In the mid-80s, as Mike and J.J. prepared to move to Manhattan, the denizens of Walden gathered to ponder the fate of their beloved abode. The Sunday strip included in the series echoed events depicted in the 1983 Broadway show Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy, specifically the song "Just A House." Enjoy.
I love to see Zonker and Zipper going back to the land to become "farmers." And I recall that Zonker had some great times in his "Thoreau period," and later with his horticultural buddies. Could we have another hit of some of that?David Dalton | Characters | Saratoga, CA | May 02, 2013
Zonker Harris's strong ties with the botanical world proved extremely productive during the early years at Walden Commune, and his conversational skills bloomed considerably thereafter. Unfortunately, his photosynthetic charges suffered when he left them in the care of Mike while serving as lieutenant governor of Samoa, as chronicled in this series.
Wait a minute. Zonker got busted, and he was on acid? That's a Flashback I'd like to have. Care to share?Dean M. | Characters | Ben Lomond, CA | April 26, 2013
Zonker may actually be hallucinating about having hallucinated, but he was surely in deep legal doo-doo. We are happy to re-experience his 1973 ordeal.
If I am not mistaken, Zonker has a bit of experience at striking. Didn't he assist Mark in organizing truckers back in the 70s?David Huntington | Storyline | Katy, TX | April 02, 2013
While hitchhiking in 1974, Mark Slackmeyer was picked up by trucker J.W. Snead, en route to a blockade to protest the then-outrageous gas price of 85 cents a gallon. Snead was happy to recruit the former campus radical as a confrontation consultant. Though Zonker's role was limited to that of postal liaison, the episode you recall is well worth revisiting. Enjoy.
You'll figure out how long I've been reading the strip from the fact that I'm wondering if Alex will be like her grandmother and give birth with a midwife, or if she'll let her mother talk her into having the twins on cable TV as a sequel to how she herself was born.Alberta Rose | Storyline | Calgary, CANADA | March 19, 2013
Interesting that Rick is so keen on Alex giving her grandmother a makeover. I seem to remember that the last time Joanie upgraded it blew his mind. Can we please revisit that moment?Hannah B. | Characters | Minneapolis, MN | February 07, 2013
With pleasure. Back in 1977, Joanie had just finished law school and moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Congresswoman Lacey Davenport. This time the helpful push to change is coming from her granddaughter, but back then it came from her much-older boss.
Ah, another week stuck in the hell of Zipper and Jeff's loser world. How did these two goofballs get together in the first place -- when did the nightmare begin?Aaron T. | Characters | Baltimore, MD | January 07, 2013
Fortunately the partnership has not been as unpleasant for them as it has been for you. The two cheerful and enthusiastic future pals were cast together by the Walden College room-assignment gods a mere thirteen years ago, as chronicled in this series.
In today's strip, Boopsie refers to the Harmonic Convergence as "a total bust," but I seem to recall that she was pretty into it. And I think Hunk-Ra played a part too. Can you please time-travel back and bring us those strips asap, so we can read them before end of the world? Thanks!Ginger | Characters | Coos Bay, Oregon | December 19, 2012
Yes, the 21,000-year-old warrior known as Lord Hunk-Ra was very much involved. Let us take you back...back...back to a quiet coastal village, in the summer of 1987.
I follow the strip on GoComics, but I would like to re-read the whole thing in real (paper) books. I have the first large-format anthology, The Doonesbury Chronicles. Could you please give me the names of the subsequent volumes, so I can read through the entire series?Ronny Temple | Creating the Strip | Olympia, WA | September 11, 2012
With pleasure. You can't read every single strip in book form, but you can get pretty darn close. For quite a few years the 8 1/2" x 11" anthologies combined the strips from the smaller collections, minus the 10-15% that GBT would edit out in the process. Here are the first eight anthologies:
The Doonesbury Chronicles
Doonesbury's Greatest Hits
The People's Doonesbury: Notes From Underfoot
Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years
Doonesbury Deluxe: Selected Glances Askance
Recycled Doonesbury: Second Thoughts on a Gilded Age
The Portable Doonesbury
The Bundled Doonesbury: A Pre-Millennial Anthology
After that the smaller books stopped, and 8 1/2" x 11" became the main format:
Buck Wild Doonesbury
Duke 2000: Whatever It Takes
The Revolt of the English Majors
Peace Out, Dawg!
Talk to the Hand
Heckuva Job, Bushie!
Welcome to the Nerd Farm
Tee Time in Berzerkistan
The fall 2012 book debuted a new, horizontal 8 1/2" x 9" hardcover, all-color format, which will be the norm going forward:
Red Rascal's War
Many of these volumes are available via our STORE, and all of the older titles are frequently listed on eBay. Happy hunting!
The strip has always had a good time with the conventions. How about revisiting some of the coverage of previous confabs -- like the one where Roland almost got smoked.Melvin Lee | Storyline | Sacramento, CA | August 28, 2012
Roland Burton Hedley III has had some close calls in the course of his career, perhaps none more public than his brush with death on the floor of the Democratic convention in Atlanta in 1988. Other storylines we are happy to revisit: Rick Redfern's coverage of convention coverage in The Big Apple in 1980, the tumultuous gathering of the Reform Party in Long Beach, California during the former ambassador's Duke2000 "Nothing Left To Lose" campaign, and Elmont's memorable stint as the first credentialed homeless correspondent at the 2004 GOP convention in Madison Square Garden.