45 Years of Doonesbury: A Letter from Garry Trudeauby GoComics
Creator Garry Trudeau shares a special note with Doonesbury readers.
Today, Monday, October 26, Team Doonesbury - David, George, the new guy Todd* and I - are celebrating the 45th anniversary of the launch of the strip. That's right, 45th - as in two generations gone by! There'll be streamers, layer cake, toasts (by Skype), and then everyone will go back to work, because in a deadline-driven business, that's how we roll.
Not that the pressure is what it used to be, thankfully. The daily strip, as I hope you've noticed, has been off-line since last year. If you haven't noticed, it's probably because the Classics you've been receiving have been so painstakingly selected for timelessness. True, the recent strips on Frank Sinatra, dead since 1998, might have betrayed their age, but for the most part I've tried to keep the focus on the characters and their growth, not their dated context. Toward that end, I've had to leave out the majority of the most controversial strips, but that's probably for the best. Who wants to revisit Koreagate or Dan Quayle's anatomically explicit novelty doll? You do? OK, here:
So what have I been doing that justifies falling down on the day job? Well, I've been making subscription streaming TV, which sounds exciting, but which had to be explained to me repeatedly (the takeaway: it's disruptive). Once I was up to speed on the future, I created a show for Amazon called Alpha House, about four senators who share a house on Capitol Hill. It stars John Goodman, and we've completed a couple seasons, and if you'd care to check the show out, just click on whichever one of these words is blue. Some viewers think the show is kind of like 3-D Doonesbury, so you might enjoy it. We're talking to the studio about making some more episodes in time for the election, so if you share our dream of continuing, just let the Amazon exec in charge know at his Twitter account, @JoeLewis. Joe's a good guy, and I happen to know he responds favorably to pressure.
In the meantime, I just wanted to wanted to reach out on this occasion to thank each of you for reading Doonesbury and keeping the faith, no matter how misplaced it must sometimes seem (I'm on my fourth sabbatical). Writing a comic strip all these years has been a singular privilege, one which I periodically abuse, but never take for granted. I hope to continue doing it for years to come.
If you'd like to be part of our big day, just click here, and it will whisk you to the Blowback page on Doonesbury.com, where you can encourage or berate me as you see fit. I don't seem to have the personal bandwidth for social media, but at the urging of our Duty Officer, I do try to respond occasionally to emails, especially the ones that make me laugh or cry.
Thanks again for all your support through these many years.
*David Stanford is my trusty book editor and Duty Officer for the website. George Corsillo is color man on Sundays, and Todd Pound has replaced longtime inker Don Carlton.