G. B. Trudeau and Doonesbury and Trump

On the release of Garry B. Trudeau‘s latest best-selling Doonesbury collection, Rolling Stone magazine interviews the cartoonist.

What keeps you motivated at this point in your career?
Mostly coffee…

But there are questions about Trump and comparisons with Obama:

What drew you to Trump so early on in his career?
What you might imagine — the narcissism, vulgarity, dishonesty, all thrown into high relief in the local media. (I didn’t know at the time he had three publicists, two of them imaginary.) The paradox of cartooning is that what draws you to a person are the very things that repel you. That’s where you get traction, and it’s why Obama never did much for us. He was so steady, thoughtful and empathetic that whatever your politics, you couldn’t really get your hooks into him. Unless, of course, you were racist.


…While his underlying personality disorder has remained remarkably stable, in recent years Trump seems to have burned off any remaining social constraints and is rapidly contracting into a more concentrated version of himself — pure, juvenile id.



G. B. Trudeau on offending people and what he learned:

In the early years of syndication, I seemed to be offending readers with alarming frequency, so I sent out an inane questionnaire to a couple dozen client newspaper editors. I provided a checklist of topics — sex, drugs, politics, etc. — and asked their opinion on which were appropriate for the comics page. Most of the editors actually obliged, but one wrote back that there was no topic that was inherently unsuitable — it all depended on how thoughtfully it was handled. Once I absorbed that lesson, that I needed to move beyond gratuitousness to a certain seriousness of purpose, I was on my way to becoming a real satirist. I still offended people, but the work was defensible, and for the most part, editors stopped pulling strips from publication.

Click here to read the entire Rolling Stone Interview.