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 ashamed to say that I don't remember how newlyweds Alex and Toggle found one another. Could you please point us toward the strips that chronicle their meeting and courtship?Noelle Shipley | Storyline | New Haven, CT | July 26, 2012
Of course. How better to celebrate their union? In early 2009 when Iraq vet B.D. heard that a young soldier in his unit had been blown up and was being flown back to the states, he headed immediately for Walter Reed Army Medical Center -- and was a steady presence during the initial stages of treatment for Toggle's external wounds and TBI. We pick up the story after Toggle and his mother have returned home, during one of B.D.'s visits.
I applaud the return of Honey, who as I recall was last seen riding a float in the Mardi Gras parade after dumping Duke. Has she been in China all this time?Chris C. | Characters | Washington, D.C. | July 03, 2012
Actually the indefatigable Ms. Huan was in China when we last saw her, precisely four years ago during the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics. For Duke, re-encountering Honey unexpectedly in a professional capacity was traumatic, but we assume readers will find revisiting the episode both timely and enjoyable.
Would you please post a Flashback of the event Scot and Joanie keep talking about, so that those of us who weren't there or don't remember can judge for ourselves if the Jeb Magruder lecture they attended together constituted a "date" ?Maureen | Storyline | Florence, ITALY | June 12, 2012
We are happy to flash you back to late November, 1973. Whatever the technical nomenclature may be for the excursion in question, both participants clearly had a good time.
Did Alex ever graduate from MIT, or did this ultrasmart young woman drop out of college in order to make a happy home for the man she loves? That would be too retro for me. Please tell me I missed a graduation panel somewhere!Liam | Characters | Brooklyn, NY | May 07, 2012
You did indeed. Although Alex is still at MIT, as a grad student, a June 2010 Sunday strip featured her cap-and-gown day -- and foreshadowed the wedding storyline that is currently unfolding. Enjoy!
It's depressing to see Rick getting no respect as a journalist. I mean this guy was profiled by David Halberstam, for crying out loud. Right? How about we revisit some of Mr. Redfern's glory days?Dean Mitchell | Characters | Sacramento, CA | April 10, 2012
We're happy to summon up the August 1979 series you refer to, though at the time Rick failed to see much glory in the interview experience.
What was it that happened to Toggle -- wasn't he wounded in an errant drone attack?D.F. | Characters | Seattle, WA | April 03, 2012
You may be thinking of Jeff "Red Rascal" Redfern who, as a CIA intern, accidentlaly launched a drone and took out a Taliban ammo dump. Although Leo "Toggle" DeLuca was also wounded during an earlier deployment to Afghanistan, he lost his eye and suffered a TBI when his vehicle was blown up by a VBIED (Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device) in Iraq in December 2007.
The brouhaha over this week's series on the Texas ultrasound law takes me back to the 80s when Trudeau satirized a controversial anti-abortion documentary called The Silent Scream. Could you please summon that episode up from the archives? Seems timely.H.P. | Storyline | Novato, CA | March 13, 2012
Indeed. The series you refer to -- Silent Scream II: The Prequel -- is the one instance in over 40 years when Trudeau's syndicate decided not to distribute a series of Doonesbury strips. In light of their preference, Trudeau did a different set of strips for the week and Silent Scream II: The Prequel ran in The New Republic. It rejoined its cohort in a subsequent book. You can read the series, originally published in June 1985, here.
As we enter the Republican season of Ronald-Reagan-worship overdrive, it would be good to have some Flashbacks to remind us of the nearly unbelievable plot line of the Iran-Contra scandal.Lewis Santer | Storyline | Oakland, CA | February 28, 2012
Thanks for the timely suggestion. Skipping past, but mentioning, the memorable Contras-in-Miami strips from the summer of 1986 featuring Commander Zero and CIA Agent Havoc, we will pick up the storyline in late November, when the Iran-Contra scandal met daylight, as Rick interviews Chief White House Apologist Pat Buchanan. Note this citation from our Doonesbury Timeline: "January 12, 1987: Readers 'clip 'n' save' pieces of 'the Iranscam puzzle,' hoping Trudeau will complete it. He doesn't. Numerous frustrated readers write in for 'the missing piece.' One woman speculates, 'I think my cat ate it.'" Read the Iran-Contra strips here.
We're expecting our first grandchild, and my daughter-in-law was telling us about the baby kicking. I recall a long-ago strip where the parents were discussing this and I think the dad mentioned that the baby had a "backbeat." I would love to see that so I can share it with the family.Dave Belicove | Characters | Rochester, NY | February 07, 2012
We're happy to dust off the entire 1977 sequence you refer to, which focused on parents-to-be Jimmy and Jenny Thudpucker and the child who was eventually named "Rimshot." It also featured houseguest Bob Dylan and a phone call from then-president Jimmy Carter. Best wishes to all.
It was nice the way Sam's eyes changed recently. And I see that's not the only way she's got character 'development,' if you know what I mean. But I'm a little confused. Shouldn't she be 19 now? Does Sam age differently than other characters?Mark Allen | Characters | Portland, OR | December 31, 2011
Comic strip time unfolds by its own rules, as when a single conversation takes six days. In regards to B.D. and Boopsie's teen, perhaps some clarity can be offered by revisiting her birth, which reminds us how peculiar the courtship of her parents was.