Friday, December 24, 2010

40: A Doonesbury Retrospective

Dwight Garner's review of Garry Trudeau's Pulitzer-Prize graphic chronicle over the past 40 years floods me with so many memories. I don't have the book itself, so I'll rely on them. Mr. Garner paints things in delicate strokes. I'll just describe an encounter I had with Mr. Trudeau some months back at an esteemed institution in New York City where he had spoken and was signing copies of his new book.

I just found out he was there and was so happy to meet one of my heroes I ran into the auditorium to see if he was still there. An usher gave me a program and let me meet with him even though he had probably given a lecture and spoke personally to a long line of admirers. I asked him what he was working on. Because of his BD-focused storyline, I knew he was concerned about the soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq. I wondered if he was going to tackle one of the seldom spoken of issues of injured soldiers, that of traumatic brain injury. He graciously signed my program and told me that he did indeed prepare strips on that issue.

Beside being a Pulitzer-Prize winner, Mr. Trudeau is married to Jane Pauley and has three children. He attended Yale University and received his M.F.A. in graphic design at the Yale School of Arts in 1973.

Mr. Garner also mentioned "Mike's crunchy and delightful daughter," Alex Doonesbury, who gives the reader (at least, this reader) a little bit of the sense of what it's like to study at M.I.T., chatting with a girlfriend, inventing, and dealing with suitors.

Hopefully Mr. Trudeau will continue to touch on history for years to come through his appealing characters, adapting and adjusting to the zeitgeist.

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