Doonesbury by Garry Trudeau
Type: Comic Strip
"Garry Trudeau is the premier American social and political satirist of his time." -Newsweek
Doonesbury has managed to be articulate, abrasive, political, compassionate, misunderstood, misprinted, and outrageous - but one thing it's never been is complacent. Garry Trudeau's creation has chronicled American history and culture in a parallel universe. And through it all, Doonesbury has always been honest, entertaining, and way, way cool.
GARRY TRUDEAU was born in New York City in 1948, and was raised in Saranac Lake, New York. He attended Yale University, where he received his B.A. and an M.F.A. in graphic design.
Doonesbury was launched in 1970, and now appears in nearly 1200 publications in the U.S. and abroad including Australia, China, France, Italy and the UK. His work has been collected in 60 hardcover, trade paperback and mass-market editions, which have cumulatively sold over 7 million copies worldwide. In 1975, Trudeau became the first comic strip artist ever to be awarded a Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 1989, 2004 and 2005.
Working with John and Faith Hubley, Trudeau wrote and co-directed the animated film, A Doonesbury Special, for NBC-TV in 1977. The film was nominated for an Academy Award and received the Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
Collaborating with composer Elizabeth Swados in 1983, Trudeau wrote the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical, Doonesbury, for which he was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards. A cast album of the show, recorded for MCA, received a Grammy nomination.
Trudeau again collaborated with Swados in 1984, this time on Rap Master Ronnie, a satirical revue about the Reagan Administration that opened off-Broadway at the Village Gate. Over the next four years the show was continuously updated for numerous productions around the country. A filmed version of Rap Master Ronnie, featuring Jim Morris, the Smothers Brothers, and Carol Kane was broadcast on Cinemax in 1988.
In 1988, Trudeau wrote and co-produced, along with director Robert Altman, HBO's critically acclaimed Tanner '88, a satiric look at that year's presidential election campaign. The show won several awards both in the U.S. and abroad, including the gold medal for Best Television Series at the Cannes Television Festival, and Best Imported Program from the British Broadcasting Press Guild. Tanner '88 also earned an Emmy - as well as four ACE award nominations. In 2004, he reunited with Altman to write and co-produce a sequel series, "Tanner on Tanner", for the Sundance Channel.
In February 2000, Trudeau, working with Dotcomix, launched Duke2000, a presidential campaign and website featuring a real-time 3-D streaming-animation character. Nearly 30 campaign videos were created for the site, and Ambassador Duke was interviewed live by satellite on Larry King Live, Today, The Charlie Rose Show and 60 other local TV news programs.
Trudeau has contributed articles to publications such as Harper's, Rolling Stone, The New Republic, The New Yorker, New York, and The Washington Post. For five years he was an occasional columnist for The New York Times op-ed page, and was later a contributing essayist for Time magazine. He has received honorary degrees from Yale, Colgate, Williams, Duke and 25 other universities and colleges, and has been inducted as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In recognition of his work on wounded warriors, Trudeau has been presented with the Commander's Award for Public Service by the Department of Army, the Commander's Award from Disabled American Veterans, the President's Award for Excellence in the Arts from Vietnam Veterans of America, the Distinguished Public Service Award from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and a special citation from the Vet Centers.
Trudeau lives in New York City with his wife, Jane Pauley. They have three grown children.
Meet the Cast of Doonesbury
- Mike Doonesbury Disabused early in his Walden College career of the conviction that he was "God's gift to women," Mike Doonesbury gave up on dating and founded Walden Commune in l972. That summer he and sidekick Mark Slackmeyer embarked on a classic cross-country road trip to San Francisco, the most fortuitous benefit of which was his friendship with Joanie Caucus, whom they picked up hitchhiking near Denver and brought home to Walden. Years later, Mike met Joanie's daughter JJ, which led in short order to romance, graduation, marriage, a computer, and a job in advertising. Their rocky marriage was band-aided back together when daughter Alex was born in 1989, but did not survive JJ's fling with Zeke Brenner. Lifted from post-JJ depression by a summer fantasy come true, Mike found a new life, a new coffee habit, and a new career as marketing director for a Seattle software company. To both his and daughter Alex's delight, he was wowed by and wooed Gen-X coder Kim Rosenthal. The three, united by both nuptial vows and a business plan, now run a mom 'n' pop 'n' pre-teen software startup.
- Zonker Harris Few young Americans have so thoroughly savored the joys of college -- which he once referred to as "the best nine years of my life" -- as Californian-American Zonker Harris. Known for his wheat patch and his explorations of Walden Puddle, Harris was a founding member of Walden Commune. Following graduation Harris swiftly rose to national prominence on the professional tanning circuit. In recent years, when not living with his parents, Harris has devoted himself to the field of professional childcare, nannying and surf-mentoring Boopsie and B.D.'s daughter, Samantha.
- Mark Slackmeyer Few aging agitators are as unreconstructed as Walden Commune Alumnus Mark Slackmeyer, and fewer still are as proud of it. Known as "Megaphone Mark" during his campus activist years, he was on the national organizing committee for the Vietnam Moritorium, and was interviewed after the massive anti-war demonstration by Dick Cavett. Adopting the on-air moniker "Marvelous Mark," Slackmeyer created a distinctive campus radio program that was influential during the Watergate period, though he was widely censured at the time for some of his editorial comments. Still making waves on air, he combines probing interviews with "Lite 'n' Easy Rock," for the generation that still gets down but can't catch up. Mark is the only major FM disc jockey known to have outed himself on the air.
- B.D. College football star, Vietnam vet, third-string quarterback for the Rams, Gulf War reservist, California Highway Patrol officer -- B.D. has worn many helmets over the years. He and his wife, starlet Barbara Ann Boopstein, share many memories of the 70s and their years at Walden Commune -- she posing for Playboy, he volunteering for Vietnam to get out of writing a term paper. In his subsequent role as Boopsie's hardheaded Hollywood manager, B.D. exhibited minor skills and major attitude. Their main production was Samantha, born in 1992. Better suited to life in uniform, B.D. was called to serve in Desert Storm, and later as a CHIP officer. Reactivated for action in Iraq, B.D.'s Humvee was blown apart outside Fallujah. B.D. survived, but lost a leg and his trademark swoosh helmet.
- Duke Some people regard "Uncle" Duke, a rabid controlled-substances buff, as "the High Lord of Inner Space." But in fact he has a long record, some of it involving public service. Few writers at Rolling Stone have been able to move on to something as substantial as Governor of American Samoa, which led to a post as Ambassador to China. After applying for jobs as President of Yale and head of ABC News, he made a name for himself as General Manager of the Washington Redskins. His experience packing heat led him to serve as a lobbyist for the NRA. Abruptly moving to Haiti, he opened the Baby Doc College of Offshore Medicine. Discovered more inert than usual one morning, he was pronounced dead, which led the St. Petersburg Times to run a full obituary. Fortunately it turned out that Duke was not dead, only zombified and sold into slavery. A friend noted, "Frankly, he could use the discipline." Eventually moving into the "nonprofit" sector, Duke opened Nothing But Orphans, where he discovered, according to DNA test results, a long-lost son, Earl. Today, Duke and Earl head a K Street lobbying firm specializing in spin control for rogue regimes.
- Roland Hedley A man of many talents, none of them of any use to a journalist, Roland Burton Hedley III nonetheless began his career at Time magazine, and was assigned to the Saigon bureau, where he covered sports. Deciding to add his mellifluous baritone to the cacophony of American broadcasting, he joined ABC Wide World of News, and has made a name for himself by travelling constantly to the world's hotspots, stopping briefly at laundromats between assignments. He has covered numerous presidential campaigns and world tours, mercilessly badgering officials with probing questions and inane queries alike. He attracted a good deal of attention for his field coverage of rebel forces in the mountains of Afghanistan -- most of it from snipers. Without a doubt Hedley is best known for his l980 election-eve expedition into Reagan's brain. After 20 years with ABC, Hedley made the move to narrowcasting, becoming chief content provider and portal correspondent for AOL-Time-Warner-CNN-Yap!com. Traveling incognito in Afghanistan he was captured by the Taliban, wounded by Spam in a U.S. food drop, then rescued by the CIA. Today, Roland has joined the galaxy of stars at Fox News, where he is recovering from an intense Twitter addiction.
If Mark Twain had been a cartoonist, he would have drawn Doonesbury, or something very like it. Master satirist Garry Trudeau, like Samuel Clemens before him, pokes fun at modern American life through stories that are an addictive combination of silly and serious, and readers can't get enough of them.
Millions of longtime fans have followed Doonesbury's original cast of college innocents on their long strange trip from tenuous beginnings in a little commune called Walden. Their adventures earned Trudeau the first Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning ever awarded for a comic strip, and he's been a Pulitzer finalist three more times since then. Doonesbury has been collected into 60 hardcover and paperback books, selling more than 7 million copies worldwide. The animated film "A Doonesbury Special" won an Academy Award nomination and a Special Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
If you're new to the neighborhood, don't be shy -- poke around and get to know the gang. They've come a long way since 1970, and their numbers have grown, but you'll feel right at home.