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40: A Doonesbury Retrospective Hardcover – October 26, 2010


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Download the decades of Doonesbury timeline or read a Q&A with the author [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 696 pages
  • Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing; Slp Rep edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0740797352
  • ISBN-13: 978-0740797354
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 2.4 x 14.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #50,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Product Description
Created by the team that brought you The Complete Far Side and The Complete Calvin and Hobbes, this massive-yet-elegant celebratory anthology marks Doonesbury's 40th anniversary by examining in depth the characters that have given the strip such vitality.

On October 26, 1970, college jock B.D. met his inept and geeky roommate, Mike. Fourteen thousand strips later, the world of Doonesbury has grown uniquely vast, sustained by an intricately woven web of relationships--over 40 major characters spanning three generations. This book opens with an in-depth essay in which G. B. Trudeau surveys his sprawling creation as only he could. The volume's 1,800 beautifully displayed strips chronicle the key adventures and path crossings of the ever-evolving cast, from ur-characters such as Zonker, Joanie, Duke, and Honey, to relative newcomers such as Zipper, Alex, and Toggle. Dropped in throughout are 18 detailed essays in which Trudeau contemplates individual characters and groups of characters.

The book's literal centerpiece is a four-page foldout that maps in annotated detail the mind-boggling matrix of relationships. A feast of storytelling and a clarifying overview, 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective offers a unique way to experience one of the greatest comic strips ever.

A Look Inside 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective
(Click on Images to Enlarge)

Local Resident Injured in Iraq Blast Miami County Sheriff’s Office, 10/26/1970
White House Press Corps Doonesbury Zonker

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This monolithic overview of G.B. Trudeau's landmark newspaper strip is the most comprehensive book on the subject imaginable, a must-read for both fans and those interested in what amounts to a chronicle of American society over the past four decades. The book reprints virtually all of the strip's significant story arcs in sensibly abridged versions, trimming the fat for newcomers yet retaining all of the narrative qualities that have made the series a riveting but topical narrative. Despite the age of some strips, the material holds up and the then innovative wry attitude of its cast (and, by default, its creator) remains fresh, compelling and frequently hilarious. Forty years have done nothing to dull the edge of Trudeau's left-wing political stance, and his gift for blending sociopolitical commentary and multigenerational serialized narrative have only been refined over time. Mike, B.D., Zonker, J.J., Alex, and the huge cast have become like friends to faithful readers, and leafing through the pages is like taking a long look through a family scrapbook. A gorgeous tribute to a seminal comic strip. (Oct.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

G. B. Trudeau's Doonesbury has tracked and explored 40 years of American culture through six wars and eight presidential administrations.

Customer Reviews

I got this book as a Christmas gift for my husband.
ceci1825
Very attractive slip cover and hardback binding, great print quality, and of course tons and tons of content.
Hammerklavier
This Doonesbury retrospective is a joy to have especially if one is the least bit nostalgic.
Rosalie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

91 of 93 people found the following review helpful By Phanboy on October 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First, I have to admit that I'm a lifelong Doonesbury fan, so I'm a bit biased, but this book is a huge and beautifully produced volume. From the same folks who produced the Complete Far Side and the Complete Calvin and Hobbes, with the same attention to detail and quality. The selection of strips is excellent, and there were quite a few, particularly Sunday strips from the early years, that I don't think have ever been reprinted before (and I have all the early paperbacks and every big anthology). The reproduction is excellent - and either they were all reproduced from the original art or the book was designed to make it appear as if they had. Either way, the art looks great. And Trudeau gives some new and unique perspective to each character and his 40 years with the strip.

On the downside, I found it odd that they printed some strips out of order and some publication dates that they gave were obviously incorrect. And I do wish they'd included more early Sunday strips, since as I said, many of these have never been reprinted. Since this was supposed to be a Doonesbury retrospective, I also would have liked to have seen some coverage of Doonesbury in other media (the animated TV special, the Life and Rolling Stone magazine features, the Broadway show that was actually in-continuity and moved the characters in the strip forward) as well as some of the few merchandising products that GBT sanctioned through the years.

Now - to explain the title of this review... Seeing this book, which Trudeau says represents about 13% of all the published Doonesbury strips, has made me really hungry for a complete reprinting, like IDW Books is doing with the fun, but less deserving Bloom County.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By William Cook on November 18, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book for Doonesbury fans or for anyone who would like to see the genesis all the way up to the present. The only thing I did not like was that it leaves out all the cartoons relating to Watergate, Reagan, Monica, New Orleans, Dubya and other politically charged times as I was looking forward to that biting humor. Oh well. Even without that stuff it is great to see the evolution of the myriad of Doonesbury characters. If you are or know a Doonesbury fan, this book is well worth the $67 Amazon charges (versus $100 at bookstores).
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Rosalie on November 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This Doonesbury retrospective is a joy to have especially if one is the least bit nostalgic. Also a great volume for all us old hippies and hippie "want-a-bees." I have followed this "cartoon" almost since its beginning and after so many years a person feels that they know the characters as real people. The author has chosen the best of the best to illustrate the progression through the years and a big plus is the occasional musings on the main characters as he shares his thoughts on his characters minds. Interestingly, some of his insight has come after the character was developed.....and so you can see how they tend to take on a personality and evolve hardly without Garry's help.

Another plus for me is being able to sit and study the art work. It has always been fascinating to realize how one tiny ink mark can denote so much expression on the faces. Garry is a true master and this book reminds us of his skill at drawing, often audacious satire, and story telling as he took us through the good and bad of so many years.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Donald on November 18, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is an extremely well done and complete compendium of the life and times of Doonesbury's world. It is hard to believe that the crew is 40 years old and still entertaining and educating us with such amazing insight and passion.
It does not, however, translate well on Kindle. The strips are almost impossible to read without a magnifying glass and there is no way to enlarge them to improve the situation. Changing font size or zooming does not affect the comics. Using PC or Mac Kindle with a very large monitor will no doubt make things better, but that defeats the reason you downloaded it to your e-reader in the first place.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By wogan TOP 100 REVIEWER on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
First it is obvious, this is a humongous Doonesbury; it is a challenge to hold and read; but if you are a fan meet it - feet on hassock, knees propped up and turn the heavy stock pages. There are 5 easy to read black and white strips per page, and the colour Sunday strips take up one page.
Garry Trudeau gives a four page introduction and then for each section, a two page description of the character, the inspiration and background of them. If you are a fan; Trudeau's words on the creation of these characters are alone, almost worth the price of the book.
Some of my favorite strips are not included, but as Trudeau explains in his introduction - this is only 13% of the over 14,000 published strips.

It starts with the basic strips done in college mainly centering around B.D. and then Mike. There are sections focusing on: Michael Doonesbury, B.D., Mark Slackmeyer, Zonker, Boopsie, Phred, President King, Rev. Slone, Joanie Caucus, Roland, Duke, Jimmy Thudpucker, Lacey Davenport, Alice Schwartzman, J.J. Caucus, Alex Doonesbury, Zipper and Jeff, and Elias. There is also a two page pullout with character connections and a legend showing relationships.

This would make such a great gift for Doonesbury fans, even educators could use the strips for political science and social science examples of the last 40 years. It can show those who were not there... and take those of us that were... back to events and movements and years gone by, but most of all, to the wonderful Doonesbury gang.
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