See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic strips

Doonesbury on 3 month vacation

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau has announced that he will be taking a 12-week vacation from his strip but will resume before the Democratic and Republican conventions and general election. This break begins Sunday, March 23, 2008 through June 16, 2008. In the meantime, Garry has selected 12 weeks of reruns which are offered to subscribing newspapers for free.

Universal Press President Lee Salem:

“It has been 16 years since Garry Trudeau took an extended leave from Doonesbury. He has requested another break, well deserved in my mind, to work on other projects, travel and regenerate a few creative cells. … He looks forward to resuming the strip before the two major political conventions and the general election.

Community Comments

#1 Bob Watson
March/5/2008
@ 3:19 pm

As much as I miss seeing new installments of my favorite comic strips, I have to say that I approve and support whole-heartedly Trudeau’s and any creator’s decision to take a break. As a trend in the business, sabbaticals are a very positive thing. I appreciate how hard it must be to do their job, and I think it would be unfair to begrudge them a rest. Any one of us would do it in a heartbeat if we could. I hate the “misery loves company” attitude of some people who gripe that “It must be nice to take off whenever you want.” I’ll be reading and enjoying the reprints and looking forward to his return. Enjoy your break Mr. Trudeau, you have earned it.

#2 Jeff Stanson
March/5/2008
@ 5:32 pm

As much as some rail against comic strip reruns and legacy strips, Trudeau’s sabbatical presents the perfect opportunity for newspapers to use Doonesbury’s space to give new comics a three-month tryout period. I hearby challenge editors to consider Sunday, March 23, 2008, through June 16, 2008, as “New Comic Strip Tryout Months.”

#3 Cartoonasauru
March/5/2008
@ 6:14 pm

That’s a great idea for newspapers – replace one of the most beloved strips in the USA with…. Wait, what am I saying? That’s a terrible idea!

#4 Jeff Stanson
March/5/2008
@ 9:38 pm

So why is it a terrible idea with Doonesbury reruns but not with Peanuts reruns? If “beloved” status is all it takes to keep reruns in a newspaper, then Peanuts is far more recognized for that status than Doonesbury will ever be. You won’t get consensus that Doonesbury belongs in the same “beloved” rank as Peanuts, Calvin & Hobbes, and the Far Side… or in “classic” status like Gasoline Alley, Terry & the Pirates, or Prince Valiant. Doonesbury’ll be back in three months… so while we waiting, why not give other strips a chance to be seen?

#5 r stevens
March/5/2008
@ 10:22 pm

Big difference between Peanuts and Doonesbury re-runs: Doonesbury appears to be free for the paper until it comes back!

#6 Jeff Stanson
March/6/2008
@ 6:32 am

And Doonesbury’s being free means newspapers aren’t loosing money to substitute tryout strips, which syndicates also usually serve to papers as free in hopes they’ll be picked up.

#7 Wiley Miller
March/6/2008
@ 9:17 am

“I hearby challenge editors to consider Sunday, March 23, 2008, through June 16, 2008, as â??New Comic Strip Tryout Months.â? ”

This would require editors to actually work on comics, therefore, highly unlikely, sad to say.
And what would happen when they try out new strips? They would get reader reaction to pick one or more of them, which means they’d have to drop the same number of strips they carry to make room. This would be going out of their way to work on the comics section, which is quite literally the last thing editors want to do.

Yes, it’s a perfect opportunity for to do this, and they SHOULD do it, but don’t hold your breath.

#8 Deborah Smith
April/14/2008
@ 1:27 am

I always save my most loved dessert for the last. I always read Doonsbury last for the same reason. But if he needs a vacation he should have one, and I’ll put up with it. BUT what happened to our hero when the cops took him in for questioning?

Why do you think a Chimp couldn’t figure out 2+5 if there were goodies attached, my grandchild could have done it at 3.

#9 Mark
April/27/2008
@ 11:52 am

You are kidding about the chimp, right? The answer is higher cognitive functions, rather than simple memory, ah, forget it. Short answer, because the chimp doesn’t subscribe to the daily papers.

Indeed, try out new cartoons. The little guy deserves a chance. Maybe Mr. Trudeau should help out and send the papers other peoples cartoons rather than reruns of his own.

#10 JSanford
April/28/2008
@ 10:01 am

Replenish, refurb, relax! I’d be curious to see what other marshmallows Garry has cooking in his fire?

I’ve followed this amazing man’s work for longer than either of us would likely want to count. I like the edge and the uncanny timeliness of his topical work. The reflection of society is curiously so very similar to mine and I feel less alone because of his work.

Rest well, Mr. Trudeau, I believe there will be much fodder for your work in the coming months. It will be sorely needed to balance the works of media malefactors and heroes alike.

Garry’s humble fan,

John Sanford, Concord-CA

#11 Uncle Duke's Nephew
April/28/2008
@ 11:55 pm

It is Doonesbury’s space, so it should have Doonesbury in it. There may be other fine comics out there, but unfortunately they need to compete with the safe, formulaic garbage that the papers think their readers should have since they will not offend the advertisers or the publishers’ golfing partners.

Uncle Duke Lives!

#12 eric b
April/29/2008
@ 2:02 pm

I just want to say thank you to Mr. Trudeau for all the great work over the years. I have been reading doonesbury since the 1970s. It is the only comic that I read every day. I don’t mind the reruns, in fact i have bought a few of the collections in paperback.

#13 L-E Morin
April/29/2008
@ 2:36 pm

Honestly, I don’t think GT is on vacation. I think he is visiting some of the Iraqi families that do the real hard work required for an important part of these strips. And folks, the result’s gonna break your hearts.

#14 Lee Mayer
April/29/2008
@ 2:39 pm

Morin: Where did you hear this? Elaborate.

#15 Jonathan Lamoreaux
April/29/2008
@ 6:32 pm

In my local paper,the star ledger in central Jersey, doonesbury is on the bottom of the editorial page.
They also do a new strip tryout every few years, and have the readers vote on what stays and what goes. Charlie Brown stayed. There is no substitute for the Doonesbury strip, and it is as beloved as Charlie Brown even if you have to read it on the editorial page. My real question is, when will GT do another play or TV special. (Yes I am that old)

#16 Jim Donovan
April/30/2008
@ 1:12 am

It’s understandable and everyone should take a vacation regularly. But hey, I need my daily fix. Checking out Doonesbury is part of my morning routine. Never mind Hillary and Obama — can I survive until the conventions?

#17 David Cooper
May/2/2008
@ 4:56 am

It is great for Garry that he can take a 3 month sabbatical to recharge the old creative juices … but did he really have to leave us at a critical point in Zeke’s scam. Aarghh!

#18 Will C.
May/14/2008
@ 7:26 am

Doonesbury’s like the Daily Show; it’s topical and current. Kinda hard to post up 12 weeks of strips when current events are part of the criteria … . Dedication is all well and right, but give the guy a break, I say; food needs spice if you want a meal not just nourishment.

#19 Ralph McLain
May/19/2008
@ 3:21 pm

Rather than re-running recent strips that we all remember, why not replay some that most of us have never seen? Such as when Gary was in college, or during the Nixon administration?

#20 Kim Nayyer
May/21/2008
@ 2:53 pm

I remember that last extended leave and the changes in the strip when he came back – but how can it have been sixteen years ago already? Oh… right, I forgot. I’m old now.

#21 KRANKY (JOE RANK)
May/22/2008
@ 3:18 am

Here’s a suggestion: run “Doonesbury” cartoons from the Nixon era, but print them in German.

#22 nancy r
May/25/2008
@ 10:22 pm

I miss seeing your comments. For the last several years, I’ve taped your Memorial Day comics on my front door. Today, I realized that you wouldn’t be there for this year … so I needed a differeint way to express my outrage.

Come back soon!

#23 Ali McJ
June/3/2008
@ 2:34 am

What a time to go on break. No one could have predicted the events of the last three months: so much material, and it practically writes itself.
Nonetheless, I am still wondering what Mr. Duke thinks of the run up to the Democratic nominations — and what his hand in it is.

I need to look for Doonesbury’s take on the Democratic convention, summer of — ohhhh it’s been a long time. Mr Duke would surely remember — 1968. Like Mike D., I was sitting in front of the tv watching what I thought was a civilized & informative political process & then was rubbing my eyes, shaking my head, & changing the channel in disbelief: “Are we seeing policemen with sticks there?”

#24 Thomas Verrillo
June/3/2008
@ 7:32 am

I too have taped the Memorial Day comics on my cube wall each year. They half cover my flag poster. These are the men and women I work for and I miss the strip greatly.

#25 David Hare
June/4/2008
@ 3:37 pm

Well, back in March I was wondering how to get by without the daily Doonesbury fix. The strips that were reran have gotten me through quite nicely. It will be interesting to see whats coming when GDT gets back to work.

#26 Michael Carroll
June/5/2008
@ 3:43 pm

Signing on late to say this, but I agree with Jeff.

I remember practically every Doonesbury I’ve ever read — and that means almost all of them. I don’t mean I remember them if you ask me about them, but the moment I start reading one I remember the entire strip that goes with it.

It’s great that Trudeau isn’t charging anyone for these reruns, but they are taking up the most valuable space in most newspapers today. It would be great if some of the papers would use this opportunity to test some new edgy strips to replace the insipid, monotonous, banal garbage that rules the comics today. Garfield hasn’t had a new joke in ten years and Marvin has never been funny. Ah, well … time’s up.

#27 A Wiggin
June/13/2008
@ 9:46 am

How anxiously I am awaiting the return of Doonesbury! My local paper chose this period to DROP THE STRIP. Another surefire way to avoid controversy in the sleepy midwest! -Not! I will find it online, in another paper, anywhere I can. Somehow Trudeau keeps a wry humor in these unsettling times. And I think we need this more than ever….

#28 Peter Marmorek
June/16/2008
@ 9:52 am

“. This break begins Sunday, March 23, 2008 through June 16, 2008”

OK. It’s 6/16/08. Where is Doonesbury?

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.