Monday, December 20, 2010
The World of Comic Strips
I recently was (very kindly) given the Doonesbury 40-year retrospective book, which was an amazing surprise. I used to follow Doonesbury pretty ferociously when I was a kid, back when I followed comic strips. I used to save the comic sections of the paper in a banker's box, and re-read the Doonesbury strips pretty regularly, trying to keep track of the ever-expanding cast. I don't think, at that point, I realized it was a liberal satire of conservative America. I just liked the drawings, mostly. Really dug how Garry Trudeau drew eyes.
But his recent interview with Stephen Colbert made me really excited about this retrospective book. He's been doing the daily strip for 40 years! I get bored of my comic work after an issue or two. And I remember how much a struggle it was to do weekly strips of the time-traveling comic adventures of Mort 'n' Newton for my student paper, Imprint, when I was in university. Forty years of daily comic strips is immense!
The book is pretty immense, too, at about 10 lbs! I had a hard time carrying it home. And it's structured interestingly, too, set up by character, rather than chronologically. The coolest part is a big fold-out in the centre that tracks all the characters, their relationships, their histories. It's crazy!
I'm looking forward to delving into the monster book and re-reading some Doonesbury. And now I'll probably understand more of the politics. Anyone else read Doonesbury? Or anyone read comic strips? I used to love them, but haven't read them for years. Any recommendations?
Doonesbury has a good website, too.