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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.

DOONESBURYLAND
Catherine Dempsey | Flatrock, CANADA | January 21, 2011

I love everybody in Doonesburyland, including the annoying people. Alex is wonderfully complex, Toggle is growing exponentially, and if we just give them time they will work their relationship out (one way or another). I appreciate the live and let live attitude of the whole column and feel we can all learn from it. Que sera sera. I just want to be able to read it every day and learn what will be. Thank you, Garry Trudeau.

ENOUGH ON HIS PLATE
Richard | Olympia, WA | January 21, 2011

The number of Post-Vietnam-Era suicides has exceeded the wartime KIA numbers. Treating Leo as damaged goods because he is suffering from PTSD, a valid war-time injury, and from other wounds, cheapens his sacrifice. I'm pretty sure there is enough dysfunctionality in this comic strip family to make anything worse. Fantasy planning is a good thing because it lets you take a mental vacation somewhere else, but Toggle has enough on his plate without loved-ones' projections, expectations and judgments.

BENEFITS
Merri Busch | Detroit, MI | January 21, 2011

Re: Kim's comment in today's strip. Leo, a disabled veteran should not have to work his way through college. He qualifies for Chapter 31, Voc Rehab and Employment benefits which pay for his college tuition, fees, books, supplies, a laptop computer and a subsistence allowance as well as dental, optical, medical and psychgological treatment. If he hasn't already done so, all he has to do is to go to the VA site www.vetsuccess.gov to apply for benefits.

A PLEASURE
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | January 21, 2011

It has been a pleasure this week to see Mike and Kim working together as a couple to keep Alex grounded. Kim has been strangely silent in Alex's life. Kim graduated from MIT, but I don't think that Alex has turned to Kim for advice even once. And almost all of the parenting advice has come from Mike. So it's good to see Kim taking a more active role with Alex, and especially to witness Mike and Kim working as a team.

THOSE NOT SO CHARMED BY ALEX
Tony Phillips | Chicago, IL | January 21, 2011

Those not so charmed by Alex fail to see that her narcissism is rather limited to some childish outbursts of grandiose fantasy. She's smart; sooner or later she comes to realization. When push comes to shove she is sensitive, giving and considerate of others. Her mother is another story. Real narcissists never let up; they live, eat and breathe only for themselves. Alex is the child of such. Her story is a classic right out of Alice Miller's Drama of the Gifted Child.

GRIEVING
Daeve | Gloucester, UK | January 20, 2011

Alex is grieving, isn't she. The conversation about her forthcoming wedding is taking place immediately after her grandmother's funeral. In her grief she's articulating, as a grandiose fantasy, her own sweetest dream. Just cos the bad bad thing has happened doesn't mean that good things aren't still to come, is what I read her as saying. In her narcissistic way she's offering comfort to her father. Does anyone know how to lobby the Nobel Committee? Shall we promote GBT for the Literature Prize or the Peace Prize? Genius, man. And a million thanks...

MORE SOPHISTICATED
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | January 20, 2011

The artwork in Doonesbury is becoming more sophisticated all the time. The first three panels in today's strip have a lot of movement in them, especially Alex pulling on her coat. I've never seen that angle/action in the strip before.

ENDEARING
Ann | New York, NY | January 20, 2011

I can't say that Alex is my most beloved character, though she is great. And Toggle really tugs at my heart; the two of them together, though totally mismatched and probably ill-fated, are so endearing. Give me B.D. any day. Insufferable as he is, he has, in my opinion, grown the most over the years. When he removed his helmet I nearly fainted -- a classic moment. Brian Dowling must be proud.

NOT CHARMED
Jody | Vancouver, CANADA | January 20, 2011

I, for one, am not charmed by Alex. I know people like her -- narcissistic, entitled, grandiose -- and they're not funny. I wouldn't mind if Leo turned her down. Maybe she and Jeff should get together.

WRONG
Margaret L. | Santa Cruz, CA | January 20, 2011

I hate to bring this up, but am I the only one that doesn't buy the Alex/Leo storyline? First off, I think GBT is wrong about his own character. She's not narcissistic, just a bit Aspergers-y, like so many brilliant nerds. But also, I just don't buy it that she would be interested in Leo in the first place. I feel like GBT gave her to Leo as a kind of a prize, because he deserves an awesome girlfriend. But Alex deserves an awesome relationship too, which means someone she can talk to about the stuff that really interests her. Please, GBT, don't falisify the storyline of the math/science/computer genius, just because you are presently more interested in war veterans.

EMPATHY
Rev. RPB | Ridgefield, CT | January 20, 2011

I feel great empathy for what Toggle (Leo) is about to go through. After 25 years, I'm still not sure I know how I happened to be married yet. Crafty creatures, these women. Crafty.

ANTAGONISTIC ATTITUDE
Robert F. Kent | New Orleans, LA | January 20, 2011

This week's storyline is a riot. I always love Mike's antagonistic attitude toward his ex, but today's "Are you on drugs?" retort has to be the best yet! Then to have Alex raise the snark further by suggesting J.J. could use the money just stamped this one an indelible classic. The strip can poke fun at politics with the best of them, but it's multi-level character interactions like these that places Trudeau on a plateau all his own.

T-SHIRT
Pete | Hillsdale, NJ | January 19, 2011

Thank you for today's Flashback strip. I want a t-shirt that reads, "My Chinese hosts can go suck eggs."

ALEX NARCISSISTIC?
Martin Snapp | Berkeley, CA | January 19, 2011

Alex narcissistic? I saw GBT on Charlie Rose last night, and that's what he called her, adding, "like her mother." Well, okay, I can see the self-absorption. But what is obnoxious in the mother is positively charming in the daughter. GBT was right: Alex has become the central character of the strip. What he didn't add is that she is also the most beloved. Am I right, fellow readers?

PERFECT TIMING
Greg Weinman | Washington, D.C. | January 19, 2011

What perfect timing for today's Flashback to my favorite Ambassador Duke understatement ("I'm sure my Chinese hosts would be saddened to see U.S. gunboats steaming up the Yangtze as I would be.") on the day after the arrival of Chinese President Hu Jintao in the United States for a public relations tour. Maybe they'll serve eggs for him to suck at the upcoming State Dinner.

DISASTER
Billie MacGowan | Como, ITALY | January 18, 2011

I sense disaster incoming in the strips about Alex's marriage. Please don't break our hearts (once again)!

WHAT IS UP?
Captain Amazing | Seattle, WA | January 18, 2011

What is up with Alex turning into a psycho biatch like her mother? She used to be cool, now I'm afraid Leo is going to get the J.J. treatment. Leo! Run! Run away! She is crazy!

TEN POUND BOOK
Kathy Williams | Eastport, MI | January 17, 2011

My husband gave me your wonderful, ten pound (we weighed it) book for Christmas, and I just finished it. What a terrific collection! I loved going back in Doonesbury history, and I found the pages of information and background fascinating. Thanks!

ALEX'S ANNOUNCEMENT
Ben Ezzell | Salt Lake City, UT | January 17, 2011

I'm enjoying Alex's announcement -- particularly the part about "He doesn't know it yet..." The real question is just how much Alex knows about what he knows. Might be a surprise there for her, but odds are it may be a long time before she discovers this little fact. After all, Toggle's track record speaks for itself and he's shown interesting degrees of subtlety already.

SYMPATHIZE
Steve | Sarasota, FL | January 17, 2011

I sympathize with the girl totally. I too am getting married. To Natalie Portman.