At this point you?re probably thinking one of two things: either that Doonesbury is such an easy target at this point that criticizing Trudeau for being a complacent self-important boomer is about as shocking as the assertion that Orson Welles put on a little bit of weight towards the end of his life; or, that I?m a callow stripling whose disdain for Doonesbury is a direct function of a deep and abiding moral bankruptcy. To these hypothetical criticisms I will say that there is probably a grain of truth in both of these statements. On the one hand, I do not believe it is at all controversial to assert that it has been a long, long time since anyone in the world of cartooning actually cared about Doonesbury as an actual cartooning artifact. By far the most interesting thing about the strip is how generations of successive ghost artists have interpreted Trudeau?s, shall we say, strange anatomical proclivities. Seeing any of his characters? noses drawn in 3D is about as terrifying a spectacle as the modern comic strip has to offer
To summarize his main points: “I’m younger than the Doonesbury strip therefore it must suck. And I didn’t do much homework before I wrote this piece.”
By now Doonesbury is without a doubt the greatest of all topical strips. It has the breadth and depth of a social novel, and a cast of characters that can encompass any subject he cares to address. To say that he created the self-absorption of the Baby Boom generation is ridiculous, though it is perfectly just to call him an exemplar of it. He retains far more of his original creative force at this stage of his career than Schulz did.
Correction: The afore mentioned critique of Doonesbury was written by Tim O’Neil, not Tucker Stone.