Beta-fresh answers, uploaded occasionally
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 answer those we can on the Blowback page, and also archive the answers here.
I've had some technical problems getting to the site the past couple of days. Is everything okay?
All is well. As of today the site has moved, lock, stock and barrel, to The Washington Post. The glitches you experienced were no doubt a result of our behind-the-scenes preparations, but everything seems to have gone smoothly. You can read AMU's announcement about the move here, and Michael Cavna's Washington Post column here.
Speaking of re-reading older strips, I have a question: Why aren't there any 30-years-ago-today strips on the site's Flashbacks page? They've been missing and I've been missing them for quite a while now.
A timely question and an interesting tale: The gap you refer to references the major sabbatical GBT began on January 2, 1983 in order to write Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy. When the impending leave was announced, the Wisconsin State Assembly issued a declaration pleading for "public calm in the face of this grave crisis," and former president Jimmy Carter said he was "heartbroken."
The Broadway show, a collaboration with composer Elizabeth Swados, chronicled Mike and J.J.'s engagement and the graduation of the denizens of Walden Commune from college. It opened at the Biltmore Theater on November 21, 1983. Trudeau wrote the book and lyrics, and was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. The cast album received a Grammy nomination. A college, high school, and regional theater perennial, Doonesbury: A Musical Comedy can be ordered from Samuel French. And you can view an ad for the original show here.
The strip resumed on September 30, 1984, so 30-years-ago-today strips will once again appear on the Flashbacks page next fall.
Seeing Ray in last Sunday's strip made me realize I don't really remember where he first came into the Doonesbury narrative. Probably during one of B.D.'s deployments? I'd appreciate it if you would please clarify.
Ray Hightower and B.D. have spent a lot of time together, much of it in uniform. They met in 1990 while serving in Operation Desert Shield, during which deployment Ray was wounded when an artillery shell exploded in front of his Humvee. At war's end, both came home to California and had their marriages blow up.
All the SayWhat? quotes would form quite a vivid chronicle of our time. Are they archived somewhere?
Yes! You'll find the SayWhat? Archive listed in the MEDIA CENTER dropdown menu on our home page. We added this feature during our last major rebuild, in 2010 -- the site was launched in 1995 -- so only a portion of the complete archive is available. But it's still almost 1,000 quotes. Read 'em and weep.
The storyline about B.D. and Boopsie's daughter Sam thinking about college has got me nostalgic. Can we please revisit some highlights of her childhood? Thanks.
Good idea! Let's take a walk down memory lane. Enter here.
What? Zonker was jailed for possession? Can you please take us back in time?
Indeed he was. And yes, we can. Bon voyage.
I don't remember Doonesbury ever including Santa Claus in the strip, or addressing Christmas at all. Is Trudeau part of the War on Christmas?
If we didn't know better, we'd take this to be a thinly-veiled attempt (a successful one, we might add) to summon visitations by a few of our favorite ghosts of Doonesbury Christmases past. Merry Holidays!
Done. Melissa Wheeler has been featured in almost 150 strips since her first appearance in March, 2007, when she came to the VA center seeking counseling for MST (Military Sexual Trauma). You can read that initial sequence here. Her relationship with fellow-vet B.D. has been particularly interesting, and is chronicled here.
I know Zonker was Sam's nanny until fairly recently, and pretty good at it, but he started out with Mike and J.J. when they were new parents, right? Could we please revisit that? I seem to remember it as a bumpier ride.
The Flashback strip from five years ago reminded me how much I miss the quirky Lacey and Dick Davenport. The classy, pragmatic, WASP Republicans they represented no longer exist. I think the week when Dick came back to escort Lacey to heaven is my all-time favorite. I made copies and shared it with several Episcopal priests as Doonesbury eschatology. Could we please revisit her final panels, and Dick's as well?