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.

TERRIFIC IRONY
Derick | San Antonio, TX | December 15, 2010

Terrific irony that Zuckerberg is named Time magazine's Man of the Year on the same day that the Melissa concludes "Facebook really is evil!"

NORMAL PEOPLE
BOB | Charlottesville, VA | December 15, 2010

Normal people don't use the word "functionality" in conversation unless they're dictating bad ad copy for underfinanced tech companies.

PVT. ILLEGIBLE-NAME-TAG'S GIRLFRIEND
R. | St. Louis, MO | December 15, 2010

Pvt. Illegible-Name-Tag's girlfriend must feel awful about the result of what should have been some harmless venting...

THE REDFERN FAMILY
Tony Phillilps | Chicago, IL | December 14, 2010

It's amazing how Jeff Redfern elicits sympathy and hope for his redemption among readers. People struggle to imagine him as just a misguided, nice boy -- ripe for enlightenment. But really, every evidence we've been given indicates that he's not just a goof living a fantasy, but that he's a sociopath with no perspective, no idea of the consequences, a creature of sheer impulse. He may not be evil by intent -- he does dream of himself as hero -- but it's clear by his actions, not his dreams, that it's all and only about himself.

It's time to give him to Uncle Duke. They so deserve each other. We all know how evil breeds evil, but GBT deserves thanks for his reflection on this more subtle aspect of the brave new world, where these amoral or apathetic creatures are bred by people of some decency who are just too busy or confused to really take a clear hold of what's involved in parenting. Has that not been the Redfern family?

THE ABSURDITY
James Johnson | Wiesbaden, GERMANY | December 14, 2010

Today's strip could not have pointed out in a more appropriate way the absurdity of not allowing gays and lesbians to serve their country openly. Sending a Warrior home from war where her brothers and sisters in arms depended on her to do her job of combat support or combat service support, and where her Soldiers depended upon her for her leadership*, because of her sexual orientation** is a crime. Guess what, people; they're here, they're queer, and they can shoot, move, communicate, sustain and survive. DADT will end sooner or later just like segregation ended. Deal with it or get the hell out of my Army!

* I am, of course, making a huge asumption that she is also an NCO, by the casual tone of her conversation with Melissa, who we know to be an NCO.

** Also, I am assuming that she's not getting "disharged" for engaging in behavior forbidden by UCMJ or by any other lawful, in-theater order given by the appropriate combatant commander or any other officer in her chain of command. The "don't ask, don't tell" nature of the dialogue makes me think I'm right in my assumption.

RE "FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS"
Maryhelen Posey | Calgary, CANADA | December 14, 2010

Mr. Overkill is undoubtedly stupid in some ways, but come on  -- Jeff is older than some of the troops who have been trusted with reconstruction funds. Let's not insult them in an effort to whitewash Jeff.

READY
Curtis | Mustang, OK | December 14, 2010

Yep, I can see where this is going. You've been teasing us for a long time, and now you're ready to pull a changeup.

POWERFUL
Stacy | St. Peters, MO | December 14, 2010

Today's strip was indeed powerful in its quiet message. It took me a second to catch, but then I truly appreciated the way you presented this. Well done.

TODAY'S STRIP
Ron W. | Bedford, PA | December 14, 2010

Today's strip? Brilliantly understated. Thank you.

THE CREATOR OF JAMES BOND
Bernard | Washington, D.C. | December 13, 2010

"Mom? I want to come home." Could Jeff have finally learned his lesson and be ready to leave his fantasy life and join the real world? Jeff might have a future as a writer of thrillers, with his proven ability to write fiction and his experience in the CIA, Iraq, and Afghanistan. That's how Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond, got started. But please -- no Jeff and Melissa, okay? Melissa, who has recovered from command rape and become a leader in her own right, deserves so much better than Jeff and his on-line fantasies.

THE TRAP
Jamie | Jackson, MS | December 13, 2010

I like Melissa. I want her to succeed. Please don't let her fall into the trap so many women who are trauma survivors tumble into: finding solace with some sub-par doofus of a guy. Jeff Redfern doesn't deserve a gem like her, and she sure as hell doesn't deserve a headache like him.

THE REALITY OF HIS FANTASIES
Enrique Victor Pujals | San Juan, PUERTO RICO | December 12, 2010

Maybe Jeff needs to go through a real training program to see if he is cut out for the reality of his fantasies. To me he is like Don Quixote, only he is young and can actually go out and try to prove himself. There is only one way to reconcile fantasy and reality, and that's starting at the bottom; real basic training to be able to carry out all those fantastic stunts. Otherwise, it's just a case of "it might have been." He certainly talks the talk, but it's time to walk the walk -- and for that a true mentor who knows is needed.

I COULDN'T GUESS
John Byler | Harvard, MA | December 12, 2010

My wife had lunch with her literary hero, poet laureate Richard Wilbur, and was riding very high that day. Our son Will called me into the TV room and said "You'll never guess who Colbert is interviewing." I couldn't guess. He told me, and I said, "The famously reclusive Garry Trudeau? No way!" I have all his books, and when Colbert showed the intricate chart of D'bury personnel I said, "I can tell you who all of them are. Garry Trudeau is my Richard Wilbur." This actually happened.

RE "A REAL-LIFE JOB"
Treva Obbard | CALIFORNIA | December 11, 2010

I resent the comment about Zipper working in a cubicle. Zonker was basically Zipper, back in his college days, and now he has a reliable career as a nanny and Viscount. At least until Sam goes to college.

GOOGLY-MOOGLY
Paul Hawkins | Wooster, OH | December 11, 2010

Great googly-moogly! Doonesbury has become the must read section of my paper again! Awesomeness has just gushed forth.  Will Jeff's adventure turn into a NY Times bestseller? Will Mel's unit save the day, or will Jeff run into Nichole in that Afghan cave?! Oh Nichole, where art thou?!

FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS
Richard | Duluth, MN | December 11, 2010

Mr. Overkill is the real idiot, for handing over $50M to a kid.

A REAL-LIFE JOB
A.K. Dogman | Anchorage, AK | December 10, 2010

I wonder if Jeff will ever succumb to reality, or if the Red Rascal is (like Walter Mitty) just a character in a long dream with no connection to reality. If Jeff were actually in Afghanistan I'm sure the Taliban would have issued a reward, and within a week he would either be dead or undergoing torture. In short, Jeff needs a real-life job. If necessary, in a sea of cubicles, or as a work person like an electrician, or with schooling as an engineer who makes things work. The latter is an unlikely scenario as it requires four years of real study, and four more years of (often dull) experience in real life work to be a success. The same advice goes for Zipper Harris, who will awake some morning as a 65-year-old hippie street person on the edge of Walden Colege, drinking Thunderbird without even a loyal dog to befriend him.

A FINE JUDGE OF JUSTICE
James Bailey | Phoenix, AZ | December 09, 2010

Awesome! Today's cartoon was the epitome of irony, given that the Red Rascal's exploits have been written by a person who is obviously a fine judge of justice (taking from the evil and giving to the poor). Of course, the "evil" in his stories is the Taliban but in real life (well, cartoon real life) he actually took money from the real evil in Afghanistan, the USA (a foreign invader whose country was never threatened by Afghanistan) and gave it to an anonymous Afghan (we don't know yet to what use that person will put the money) representing the average Afghan, wily and cunning after 3,000 years of dealing with occupiers. This strip could also be seen as an homage to the great 1960s TV series Get Smart. Mr. Overkill is sure a lot like Mr. Big, who was a dwarf after all. And KAOS was a Delaware corporation -- you know, for tax purposes. I'm waiting with unbridled excitement to learn the fate of Mr. Big -- Mr. Overkill -- when his contract gets cancelled.

SUICIDE?
Cindyash | Phoenix, AZ | December 09, 2010

Um, in today's strip, did Jeff try to commit suicide? Or is this really something being dreamed up by Jeff in his parents' house, soon become a best-selling graphic novel? Mmmm. Maybe Jeff does have some of Rick's writing genes. As for REALITY CHECK -- back in college I visited a friend attending school in Boulder, and she took me to the Alfred Packer Memorial Grill -- in synch with their motto: "Have a friend for lunch." I think I still have the t-shirt that says, "Keep an eye on your thighs." Glad to hear it's still going strong.

DINKY DAU
T.B. | Historic Macoupin County, IL | December 07, 2010

The Red Rascal is in beaucoup dinky dau, I think. As for "REALITY CHECK" --  I grew up in Denver, and well remember "Alfred Packer Day." They used to play a song about him on the Top 40 radio station.