34 Comments

  1. I get a sense they’re digging through the archives and looking for somewhat relatable story arcs. I like to think they’re connecting as much as other strips in reruns.

    The strips shown are from a longer period of boomer Mike going from Madison Avenue affluence to unemployment; his musical vigilantism still plays as comment on nervous white yuppies versus urban “them”.

    The previous run about B.D. coming home from combat duty to cope with a far more capable Boopsie may still resonate (although not as much as later sequences, when Trudeau went much deeper into veterans’ issues following B.D.’s loss of a leg). Uncle Duke profiteering in a Middle Eastern war zone is not quite so relevant, but it still plays.

  2. I recently traded comments with Andréa about the relevance (for this purpose meaning humorous value) of Doonesbury’s reruns. I keep the link in my list mostly for the (new) Sunday strips, but I’ve been reading almost all of the (rerun) dailies, too.
    I’m not sure whether Trudeau is selecting the reruns himself, but I sometimes have the feeling that there has been a slight bias toward more “meaningful” material, rather than going for the funniest strips.

  3. “. . . Mike going from Madison Avenue affluence to unemployment . . .” – during which time his affluence was obtained thru working for cigarette companies, oil companies, etc., thereby overcoming his conscience. Still resonates today.

  4. I think we can safely assume that no, nobody pre-tail end boomers and forerunner x-ers reads Doonesbury.

    (and I say that as a die-hard geezer denier.) (Although I found Doonesbury losing touch and becoming geezery to me in the 90’s)

  5. I find the strips about the two characters (sorry, I can’t keep their names straight) growing and selling ‘designer’ marijuana pretty relevant, considering what’s been happening with the legalization of medical & ‘recreational’ marijuana in the world these days.

  6. Zonker and Zipper. Zonker is an original character, and is featured above. Zipper is his nephew.

  7. Why are there rerun strips? Aren’t there any young comic artists producing strips equally as good as the rerun strips and costing less?

  8. @ MiB – It’s a classic conundrum. Reruns (and zombies) exist because the syndicates have contracts with the papers, which still want to publish that old stuff, because there are enough people out there still reading it. Nobody is forcing them to do so. In the case of Doonesbury, Trudeau said that he was taking leave from the daily strip because he wanted to work on some other creative project(s), but I have not seen any evidence of any results. I expect that there are probably some papers that publish the Sunday strips, but not the dailies.

  9. On rec.arts.comics.strips there’s a guy that constantly calls for Darby Conley to halt Get Fuzzy. If they’re still paying him for reruns and the occasional new Sunday, why would he?

  10. Well, Trudeau must about 70 and he’s been doing this since college, so his “other projects” might be sitting on his ass and planting a garden.

  11. I blame Bill Amend for the Sunday only thing. I think he was the first to do it. Now we’ve got not just Foxtrot, but Get Fuzzy, Stone Soup and Doonesbury doing it (that I know of). At least the Doonesbury strips seem to be curated and are moving forward at a decent pace. I think the original plan was to do a year per month, but that seems to have slowed down a lot.

    @Andréa: The reason the strips with Zonker and Zipper are so relevant is that they’re new. You’ll only see them on Sunday. Right now in the dailies, Zonker is living with Mike and Zipper is only a child we haven’t seen.

  12. Now THAT looks interesting; will have to watch it, see its relevance to today’s political situation. Thanks! (And ‘they’ say you can’t learn anything from comics . . . little do ‘they’ know!)

  13. I’m a tail-end Xer and I read Doonesbury every day. I found the delve into the 70s and early 80s archive fascinating, as that era predated my time reading the strip.

  14. I had to look up “we had it all, like Bogie and Bacall” and discovered a song (“Key Largo”) I’d never heard before (probably wasn’t a hit in Europe). If all goes well, I won’t hear it again. The rest were instant ear worms.

  15. I always hated that a song called “Key Largo” which had the line “like Bogie and Bacall” would also have a line “Here’s looking at you, Kid”.

    That *really* irritated me. It still does.

  16. But it WAS said by Bogie, so I s’pose that’s why it’s included.

    To segue . . . Jimmy Buffett’s song, ‘They Don’t Dance Like Carmen No More’ annoys me ’cause he sings, “She and old Cougie, my what a pair . . .” and assuming Cougie refers to Xavier Cugat (I’ve not found anyone else in her life with that nickname), that would be CHARO, not Carmen Miranda, who was with Cougie.

    So, I share your annoyance . . .

  17. I don’t know that Jimmy Buffet song but … that be even worse (!!!!!!)

    Of course, we seem to be working on the assumption that songs are supposed to be song by knowledgible people. There’s no law that says the singers can’t be idiots.

  18. You’d think SOMEone in his entourage would say, “Hey, JB! Wrong reference!” Maybe he should have a librarian on his staff . . . I’d volunteer!!

    I was at one concert, thinking I could – you know – take him aside and tell him (such a pedant I am) . . . but with 40,000 people there, it didn’t happen, even tho we had VIP seats.

  19. I think the idea is that we all are supposed to recognize Bogart and Bacall as the classic screen couple and know that their movie with the most romantic sounding title is “Key Largo” and the we all like to *think* of ourselves as great connoisseur of romance and classic movies, but in actuality the only Bogart movie we actually know anything about is “Casablanca”.

    I hadn’t heard the song in 30 years so I pulled up the lyrics and …. it’s obvious the writer never saw “Key Largo”. They might not have even seen “Casablanca”…. but they know the lines “Play it again” and “Here’s looking at you, Kid”.
    The song seems to be about remembering a past relationship after a painful break-up and knowing there is still a spark. Nothing about saving your best friend’s widow’s father’s hotel from gangsters and opening windows. Oh, well.

  20. BTW: The movie references in the song “Key Largo” (by Bertie Higgins, not Bernie) are jumbled because the song is about spending a winter’s night with a girl watching several classic movies, and is not attempting to replicate one movie in particular.

    I can’t find any background info on the Jimmy Buffett song mentioned, so I can’t comment on it other to say “IT’S JUST SONG”. 🙂

    In the end, songs are generally about feelings, not slavish adherence to factual detail.

    Now, to return to the comic at hand, I seem to recall news stories from the ’90s or so telling of malls playing “old-folks’ ” music to youngsters from loitering there. The music presumably driving them to distraction.

    Found an example of a similar use of such music: https://www.upi.com/Archives/1991/09/16/Eleven-uses-Muzak-to-drive-away-loiterers/2622684993600/ [“After six weeks of Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow instrumental tunes blaring over three outdoor speakers, the store has chased off many of the undesirables…”]

    Hey, this random article gets better. Does the last bit count as synchronicity?:

    [” A shopping mall in Salt Lake City, Utah, used Muzak to chase away teenagers with spiked haircuts from their main entrance, Ritter said.

    ‘Muzak is not always held in such high esteem as it is in high recognition,’ Ritter said.

    When the ‘Doonesbury’ comic strip featured Muzak as a way to run off drug dealers, Ritter said she sent a thank-you note to the cartoon’s creator, Gary Trudeau. ‘I thought it was wonderful,’ she said.”]

  21. ‘I can’t find any background info on the Jimmy Buffett song mentioned, so I can’t comment on it other to say “IT’S JUST A SONG”’.

    Yeah, I know . . . but it still irks me every time I hear it (which is quite often; I should just remove it from my iTunes/Sonos JB song list).

  22. ” several classic movies, and is not attempting to replicate one movie in particular.”

    Not buying it. The title of the freaking song is “Key Largo” and not “a bunch of classic movies but no one in particular”.

  23. Maybe he was REALLY singing about . . . Key Largo . . . and not the movie of the same name. I know the boat is there (I saw it many years ago) and is now refurbished and available for rides. Since BerTie lives in the area, perhaps he just was paying homage to the Key.

  24. “In the end, songs are generally about feelings, not slavish adherence to factual detail.”

    Yeah, isn’t it ironic?

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