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40: A Doonesbury Retrospective
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40: A Doonesbury Retrospective

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  244 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Long regarded as THE political touchstone cartoon of its era, Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury celebrates its fortieth anniversary in this beautifully produced retrospective.On October 26, 1970, the first Doonesbury comic strip appeared, as college jock B.D. met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike Doonesbury. Over the months that followed, they were joined by campus radical “Mega ...more
Hardcover, 696 pages
Published October 26th 2010 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
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 ·  244 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Sep 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a strong back
Shelves: graphic-novel, humor
Per the introduction, Trudeau’s retrospective contains slightly less than 13% of what’s been published in newsprint. This is fine since the work nonetheless comes across as a comprehensive selection of the comic strip, adds insightful commentary, and allows readers to pick up on narrative patterns otherwise invisible from a daily read. So this book is terrific. Too bad it was published as a doorstop.

I can’t think of any good reason for blowing up four dailies against one Sunday onto individual p
Oct 25, 2017 added it
The 4th full read through Doonesbury. Superb.
Mar 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
How can you not give a book like this 5 stars? I would give it 6, especially if it were longer. I was sad to miss some of my favorite Doones moments like Zonker pondering his role in the American obesity epidemic while eating donuts at 3 in the morning because he is stoned. Or Zonker being questioned on whether he was a hippie or not. Maybe I just need to get the Big Book of Zonker again. Having been a pre-born person when the strip began, and missing much of the early content due to my inabilit ...more
Jan 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
The 18,000 strips in this book (making up only 17% of total Doonesbury strips) is quite a slice of Americana.

Trudeau skipped the strips focusing entirely on politics (like Roland's search for Reagan's brain)and instead chose strips that showed his characters living their lives through the ups and downs of the last 40 years. Some of them have been around since the 70s, representing baby boomers in their prime, while others have come and gone. Births, deaths, marriages, divorces. Everything is co
Oct 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I'm a huge Doonesbury fan and this is a massive Doonesbury book, covering the cartoon from 1970 through 2010. Obviously, it's not comprehensive, but it's great to watch the characters evolve and deal with the various politicians and issues of the day.

It's big enough to stop a bullet, so don't plan on carrying it anywhere. But if you're a Doonesbury fan, get someone to buy it for you. Or just buy it for yourself. It's worth it.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It was so wonderful to revisit this work.
Jan 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Superb, an absolute must for all Doonsbury fans.
Andrew Holmes
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An absolute pleasure. I've been reading Doonesbury for 30 years and it's like spending time with old friends. ...more
Elizabeth von Teig
I only wish less was cut.
Brian Hutzell
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a HUGE book, but it still doesn’t pretend to be complete. According to the Introduction, only about 13 percent of the total published strips are gathered here; just enough to cover most of the major story lines. Because Doonesbury roughly follows a real-world timeline, reading through forty years of it makes for a great trip down memory lane on both personal and global paths. (It’s also a bit of a wake-up call, as I’m seeing more of myself than I care to in Zonker.) I highly recommend th ...more
Vivian Valvano
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Thank the muses for G. B. Trudeau and "Doonsebury" and all of its characters - from the totally whacky to the winsome, from the bad guys to all of those who try to be at least pretty good and only sometimes succeed. I have always especially respected Trudeau for his utter fearlessness in his satire. Reading every single strip in this huge (9 X 12 inch, almost 700 pages) hardcover (and I DID read every single strip), which only represents 13% of all the strips from 1970 - June 2010, I was more th ...more
Mary Bloodworth
Jan 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Is it fair to "review" a comic strip compilation book? Does anyone make rules for these things? Given that this book covers strips over 40 years, has almost 700 pages, and weighs over 10 pounds I think it counts. (10 pounds! Did he stop to think about the average age of the average back that would have to pick up this behemoth??!)

This was a great way for me to learn much of the back story to the characters I read about, given that I didn't really tune in to Doonesbury until the mid-80s or so. It
James Holt
Aug 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was aware of Doonesbury growing up, but never really read it. So I'm glad that this 40-year retrospect exists to satisfy my curiosity.

While I don't agree with every political stance Trudeau takes through his characters, I really admire and respect what he created with this strip. He made it seem cool to be aware of what was going on in the world and to have opinions about it. And it was fun to see a consistent cast of fictional characters respond to those real world events.

It's a shame he's on
Brendan Detzner
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Starting on Doonesbury with an understanding of what you're getting into is not the preferred method. it's better to read a few funny strips, realize that some of the characters appear again and are more subtle drawn than they might originally appear, and only slowly realize that every strip is part of an inimitable decades-long comic epic. But for the indoctrinated, there's not much question that Doonesbury deserves a bookshelf monument like this one. It may never be possible to own the truly c ...more
Howard White
Sep 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor, politics
I grew up on Doonesbury. Mike, Zonker, Duke and the gang helped me make it through 'Nam, Nixon and Watergate, Jimmy Carter and the OPEC oil embargo, eight years of an increasingly senile Ronald Reagan, Bush I, Clinton's shenanigans, and the Bush-Cheney Administration--a period far darker and more dangerous to the United States than even Nixon's America. And, like me, the Doonesbury bunch went from counterculture beginnings (Ah, Walden...) to a more settled (if somewhat less satisfying) middle ag ...more
May 02, 2011 added it
finished this last night - great stuff.

Wow, this book is huge. I didnt realize that when I ordered it via the library.

I think i'll get bicep muscles just from reading it.

I'm a long time doonesbury fan and read all of his books up until about a few years ago. I did an interview here with an author who wrote a book about Doonesbury style of satire
Feb 06, 2011 rated it liked it
If this book had just been a bit smaller and, you know, ACTUALLY PHYSICALLY COMFORTABLE TO READ, I would have given it four stars. Of course I would have--I adore Doonesbury and have read every single panel since the beginning (obviously, I had to do some catching up, since it got started ten years before I was born). I was maybe hoping for some more juicy extras, too.
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
While I'm excited about having select bits from 40 years of Doonesbury in my hand, I am looking forward to the Compleat Doonesbury.

This particular collection is good at covering the important moments in the character's lives. But it does not cover much politics. For example, only one President (Dubya) makes an appearance. No Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, etc.).
Kathi Samec
Dec 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
It's amazing how old things become new again. The political stories of old doonesbury are as timely today. My only complaint with this book is that it isn't complete. I'm sure the book would have been much too big to make like that though. ...more
Mar 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Garry Trudeau: awesome for forty years. Hard to top that. Such fun to revisit the high (and low) points of American history since 1970. And the giant fold-out character relationship map is a lovely bonus :)
Jan 19, 2011 rated it liked it
This is an awful lot of Doonesbury.
Feb 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphicnovels
Fun. More interested by recent strips. Sad though they had to edit. Missed some of my favoritez
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
Amazing. The only downside is that I now have to lug it back to the library.
Alex Hern
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Lovely. Now to start buying the complete collections from when this ends.
Feb 06, 2011 marked it as want-to-finish-some-day
I'm sure this is a 5 star book. But it's so big and heavy I can't keep reading it. It's a great coffee table book and gives loads of background explanations about the central characters. ...more
Feb 02, 2011 rated it liked it
It was fun go back and revisit the early days of the comic strip. However, the sheer size of the book made it an uncomfortable read.
Doonesbury's 40th anniversary ...more
Bill Pilon
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Jun 23, 2014
Susan Rhea
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Mar 13, 2015
Sarah Batchelder
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May 04, 2011
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Garretson Beekman "Garry" Trudeau is an American cartoonist, best known for the Doonesbury comic strip. In 1970, Trudeau's creation of Doonesbury was syndicated by the newly formed Universal Press Syndicate. Today Doonesbury is syndicated to almost 1,400 newspapers worldwide and is accessible online in association with Slate Magazine at In 1975, he became the first comic strip arti ...more

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