Blowback_toon

Blowback

A clean, well-lit place to vent

Please feel free to contribute to this frequently-updated forum, which posts selected commentary on our favorite comic strip. If you’d like your critique to be posted, please note that civility, if not approbation, counts. Click here to submit a comment.

HOW MUCH
Conan | Frankfurt, GERMANY | November 29, 2011

I sometimes wonder how much of the Jeff/Rick conflict is autobiographical. Trudeau drew and created his own fictional world, just like Jeff did. Perhaps at times he took his new world too seriously and his father didn't apporve of it. Is Trudeau entertaining here, or trying to get closure with his past?

FOIBLES AND HEROICS
Ellen Emerick | Georgetown, KY | November 29, 2011

Doonesbury points out the foibles and heroics that we see around us. I can't imagine that any reader sees Jeff as real, but the so-called "hatred and bile" is directed at those we know who expect to float effortlessly through life with every wish granted. I see some of them in my college classrooms. Happily, they sit alongside others who work hard and take responsibility for their own lives and decisions.

TODAY'S STRIP
Alan Richtmyer | Bloomington, In | November 28, 2011

Today's strip: Wicked...sense...of...humor! Keep up the good work.

HATRED AND BILE
James P. | Cuernavaca, MEXICO | November 28, 2011

The fact that people are belittling and deriding Jeff for living in a fantasy or virtual world is deeply ironic, considering they're getting so upset with and wasting so much hatred and bile on an imaginary character in a comic strip.

A GOOD JOKE
L.V. Jeff | Sierra Madre, CA | November 27, 2011

I just want to say: sometimes a good joke -- perfect set-up to a zinger punchline -- is just a good joke. Today the timing alone made me laugh, and it was cool to go back and notice exactly what Alex was doing throughout the strip. Applause, man!

COMPLAINT
Steve R. | San Diego, CA | November 27, 2011

Today's strip reminds me of my daughter's complaint about inheriting my big feet.

WATCHING JEFF
Marc | Sisterdale, TX | November 27, 2011

Watching Jeff is like watching a busy street covered in black ice. I keep looking away in horror only to sneak a look back to see the wreckage.

MIKE
U.D. | Boston, RED SOX NATION | November 27, 2011

Seriously, did Mike deserve this? Where would Alex be without the parent that cared enough to stick by her, while her feminist, independent mother abandoned and walked out on her? It would have been nice to have Kim stand up for him and tell Alex that in some cultures a man's sexual prowess is judged by his nose.

JEFF'S BOOK
Adam | Tsukuba, JAPAN | November 26, 2011

Given GBT's history of audience participation (cf. allowing readers to vote on where Alex would go to college -- MIT), I wonder if the success of Jeff's book might depend upon the success of, um, "Jeff's book" (aka Red Rascal's War).

HONORABLE LIVINGS
Jane Maze | Canberra, AUSTRALIA | November 26, 2011

Jeff has always seemed to me to be Garry Trudeau's symbol for 'the youth of today' -- living more in a virtual/fantasy world than a real one. (Alex Doonesbury is like the other end of this spectrum; an achiever, but she is still very hooked into that world.) And this new plot line, I'm hoping, will be about Jeff and the world (including Rick eventually, perhaps) figuring out that there are honorable livings to be made out of the imagination and make-believe worlds -- as a writer, for example.

A SWIFT ONE
Mike | Rochester, NY | November 26, 2011

This Redfern kid needs a swift one in the pants. Having ruined everything he has touched, he proudly writes a book about himself that lacks even a veneer of reality. I only hope that GBT graces him with a media flack that is a real Gulf War vet. Poetic justice.

PLEASE
C.B. | Stanford, IL | November 26, 2011

Please, please, please send female fans to Jeff's room, the sort of women who also have a neurotic need to live in a fantasy.

THE REAL WORLD
Marc | Austine, TX | November 26, 2011

Jeff's success represents a double shock to Rick: first to his ego, simply by being outdone by his own son, and second to his idealism, because Jeff is finding success in a way Rick thinks shouldn't be possible. If Rick can overcome the ego shock, he might learn a thing or two from his son about how the world actually works.

THE OBVIOUS CHOICE
Jon | Salalah, SULTANATE OF OMAN | November 25, 2011

If Jeff's on-the-road publicist has to be a man, then Zipper is the obvious choice for the job. He and Jeff need to have a chance to bond together again, after the horrific events over Berzerki air space.

THE REVULSION
Peg Robinson | Providence, RI | November 25, 2011

I find the revulsion for Alex and Jeff a bit surprising. my memory is that Mike, Mark, B.D., Rick and Joanie could all be quite self-centered and obnoxious in their own ways back in the day. And Duke? Nggggg. I've been with the strip for a good thirty-five years, and have gone back and read it from the time of its inception. GBT has never, in my opinion, written saints: he's written marvelous, lumpy, flawed characters. I mean, think about B.D. and Boopsie; the original nightmares, and only time and spine grew them out of a knee-jerk sport-obsessed warhawk and his arm-candy into two of the most admirable and adult characters in the entire entourage. In comparison, Alex and Jeff are already miles ahead, with plenty of flaws but plenty of strengths to build on. Give the kids time -- and pray GBT hangs in there long enough for us to see his "babies" grow.

GUESSING
Pete | NEW JERSEY | November 25, 2011

Jeff's publicist? I'm guessing Trip Trippler.

PUBLICIST
John | Chandor, INDIA | November 25, 2011

We know who Becca is going to appoint as publicist, I think. A fairly large guy with a moustache.

AN AWFULNESS
C.T. Cantrell | Cottonwood, AZ | November 25, 2011

Regarding the new Straw Poll about the holidays, I offer this quote from Harlan Ellison: "Christmas is an awfulness that compares favorably with the great London plague and fire of 1665. No one escapes the feelings of mortal dejection, inadequacy, frustration, loneliness, guilt and pity. No one escapes feeling used by society, by religion, by friends and relatives, by the utterly artificial responsibilities of extending false greetings, sending banal cards, reciprocating unsolicited gifts, going to dull parties, putting up with acquaintances and family one avoids all the rest of the year; in short, of being brutalized by a 'holiday' that has lost virtually all of its original meanings and become a merchandising ploy for color TV set manufacturers and ravagers of the woodlands."

THE BOOK
Rob | Orlando, FL | November 24, 2011

As a professional writer with teenagers who are writing their own novels, I couldn't be prouder of them. At the same time, I was a lot like Jeff as a kid (though my dad was much better than Rick). My hope is that this will kick Rick into gear and he will write the book he should have written a long time ago.

CRABBY
Linda Dacon | Port Townsend, WA | November 24, 2011

I'm afraid I want Jeff to get a swift and unequivocal dose of reality on the Red Rascal front. For cryin' out loud, the dang kid is still living with his parents! He will have earned the right to feel superior when he has a real job and pays his own rent. Rick is being crabby about it all, and he has fallen from the heights, but then he had somewhere to fall from.