Trudeau scores advance copy of Palin bio, papers pull Doonesbury

Michael Cavna reports that Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau was given an advance copy of Joe McGinniss’ new biography of Sarah Palin and that the two entered into a partnership allowing Garry the ability to use the material in his comic before the book is released. The first of the Doonesbury series started today.

Trudeau and Lee Salem, president of “Doonesbury” syndicate Universal Uclick, confirm that the excerpts are from the advance edition that the cartoonist received last spring, courtesy of the author. McGinniss did not return requests for comment, but his publicist at Random House/Crown said, “I can confirm that Joe did like the 2010 ‘Doonesbury’ cartoons, and [that’s] why his agent reached out to Mr. Trudeau.”

As for Trudeau, he says, “McGinniss’s office first approached me for [the 2010] strip-reprint rights in March, and then subsequently about a possible review.” The cartoonist says he “demurred on the review, but proposed instead an exclusive first serial arrangement.”

Read the rest for more information on the deal and how Garry and Joe are promoting each other.

The GoComics blog mentions that at least one big paper has pulled Doonesbury. The GoComics Twitter account mentions “some big papers” pulled this weeks run of Garry’s comic strip.

You can read Doonesbury over on GoComics.

UPDATE: Poynter’s Jim Romenesko reports that one of the papers not running this week’s Doonesbury is The Chicago Tribune.

11 thoughts on “Trudeau scores advance copy of Palin bio, papers pull Doonesbury

  1. The excerpts should make for a good read. But equally good
    would be a series of strips on a political bio author who stalks his
    subject by renting the house right next to them. Such a person would seem to have all the makings to become another classic
    Doonesbury character. Maybe they could be drawn as quill
    pen made from a vulture feather or something…

  2. You know, Doonesbury always makes me feel stupid because I never get it. I am just not very political so I guess that may be the reason. Now if only I knew why I don’t get Zippy…..

  3. I’ve always admired Doonesbury. The strip has hit home on many social/political topics in a way editorials can’t. (Of course, if you’re not a liberal, you most likely despise the strip.)

    I certainly don’t condone the idea of the author moving in next door to the subject, but the excerpt above seems to come from a former employee. Did the people interviewed for the book receive remuneration in any way? If so, the book’s worthless. If not, then to me it’s worth reading, albeit with a grain of salt.

    I don’t have time right now to research the reasons papers are pulling the strip. I just hope it’s because of editorial codes, and not because like the Democrats, newspaper editors are running scared of the Tea Party.

  4. And Jeff D, you’re absolutely right about the biographer making for a perfect Doonesbury character.

  5. Palin wanted to be a celebrity. She is not a politician, or a statesman. She is a product. Nothing more nothing less. The instrument has yet to be devised that could my measure my indifference to Sarah Palin or anything she has to say.
    I stole that insturment quote from Hawkeye on MASH.

  6. Here’s the rundown via Press Display.

    Running current “Doonesbury” storyline:
    Anderson (IN) Herald-Bulletin
    Arizona Republic
    Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
    Ashtabula (OH) Star-Beacon
    Atlanta Journal-Constitution
    Austin American-Statesman
    Baltimore Sun
    Buffalo News
    Chattanooga Times Free Press
    Columbus Dispatch
    Dallas Morning News
    The Day
    Dayton Daily News
    Hamilton (OH) Journal News
    The Hour
    Houston Chronicle
    Jeffersonville (IN) News and Tribune
    Johnstown (PA) Tribune-Democrat
    Lorain (OH) Morning Journal
    Los Angeles Times
    Memphis Commercial Appeal
    Middletown (CT) Press
    Middletown (OH) Journal
    Minneapolis Star-Tribune
    Mt. Pleasant (MI) Morning Sun
    New Haven Register
    New York Daily News
    Norman (OK) Transcript
    Orlando Sentinel
    Palm Beach Post
    Philadelphia Inquirer
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Plattsburgh (NY) Press-Republican
    Richmond Times-Dispatch
    Rome News-Tribune
    San Francisco Chronicle
    San Jose Mercury-News
    The Saratogian
    South Florida Sun-Sentinel
    Springfield (OH) News-Sun
    St. Petersburg Times
    Sunbury (PA) Daily Item
    Tampa Tribune
    Terre Haute Tribune-Star
    Torrington (CT) Register-Citizen
    Traverse City (MI) Record-Eagle
    Tulsa World
    Washington Post
    West Chester (PA) Daily Local News

    Not running “Doonesbury”
    Chicago Tribune (replaced by “Thatababy”)

    Not sure:
    Spokesman-Review (Spokane WA)

  7. I agree. Actually going to where the subject of your research is a stupid way to gather material in the first place, and, if you have to choose between being near the person you are trying to find out about or being far away, being far away is much, much more objective. Alaska is a huge place and he certainly could have avoided being near anyone who knew anything about Sarah Palin.

    The better way to comment on a topic is to watch Fox News or MSNBC and HuffPost (depending on your topic), then just sit back in your livingroom and think about what you’re learned, and come up with something clever.

  8. Mike – I take your point. But I recall watching a long story on
    this Authors m.o. about year ago when his living situation was in the news. The whole situation had a real creepy sleazy aura about it. And what I was watching wasn’t on Fox. It was on
    NBC/CBS or ABC. The Author came off as creepy stalker and
    his rational was lame. The whole situation stunk of sleaze.
    I’m no fan of Palin- and this guy made me feel empathy for her
    in that situation.

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