Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

November 9, 2010

Go, Read: Garry Wills On Doonesbury

imageGarry Wills' review of 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective in the New York Review Of Books benefits greatly from Wills' skill as a conversational writer and an historian. Wills nails the multiple contexts in which Garry Trudeau's remarkable newspaper strip was born, and he's close enough (they share a syndicate, and sound friendly) to Trudeau that he has personal anecdotes he employs judiciously. In fact, it's hard to think of something better in those specific areas being published. It's also the kind of piece that may send you scrambling after thoughts of your own. For instance, it's hard not to see the tight interrelationships depicted in the strip as a mirror held up to the mostly closed world of American elite politics of the kind Wills describes up top, where a man whose roommate will be president is blocking on the football field for a man whose future wife's roommate will be secretary of state. That said, I'm not certain everyone will agree with the thrust and sweep and concluding focus of Wills' critical appraisal of the strip. I know I don't, and I'm someone that shares his feelings about its overall greatness. Still: formidable article, and one I'm thankful he wrote.
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