Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau

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Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau [Hardcover]

by Brian Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Trudeau began creating comic strips as a lark while at Yale in 1968, paying mischievous tribute to the university’s star quarterback Brian Dowling, hence B. D., a Doonesbury stalwart, and one of many characters based on real people. Trudeau’s clever if slapdash college strip caught the eye of an editor at an up-and-coming news syndicate, and the audacious Doonesbury (“doone” is “preppy slang for a well-meaning fool”) debuted in 1970. As his fame escalated, along with the controversies his topical strip ignited, the wizard of Doonesbury became “notoriously private.” Comics expert Walker’s disclosure of Trudeau’s artistic process, therefore, is fresh and riveting, and it is a thrill to see Trudeau’s never-before-published pencil drawings, from which Dan Carlton, Trudeau’s dedicated “inker,” has worked all these years. A comic saga like no other, Doonesbury, intelligently funny and profoundly human, is unceasing in its evolution as Trudeau explores the self, relationships, the zeitgeist, and war, from B. D.’s service in Vietnam, to nearly 250 strips about the Gulf War, and B. D.’s loss of a leg in Afghanistan. This inside look at Trudeau’s on-demand creativity, daring and caring satire, and compelling cast of more than 60 nuanced characters induces new and intensified appreciation for this phenomenal endeavor, a fun-house mirror to and intrinsic part of American culture. --Donna Seaman


"Lavish . . . an eclectic romp by a scion of a great cartoonist family ("Beetle Bailey," "Hi and Lois") and one of America's foremost comic-strip historians."—Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair
(Cullen Murphy Vanity Fair)

"There are few books that I unequivocally state should be on every cartoonist's book shelf, but this is one of them. Anyone wanting to better understand cartooning at the level of an American master should own this book."—Alan Gardner, The Daily Cartoonist

(Alan Gardner The Daily Cartoonist)

"Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau provides a rare glimpse of the artist's original drawings and sketches."—Chip Kidd, Rolling Stone
(Chip Kidd Rolling Stone)

"A must-have for every Doonesbury devotee."—Connecticut Magazine
(Connecticut Magazine)

"Handsomely produced and eminently readable . . . a sheer joy."—Tom Tomorrow, Yale Alumni Magazine
(Tom Tomorrow Yale Alumni Magazine)

"[A] rare book . . . presents the artwork in an elegant, high-quality format and adds considerably to what we know about the artist. Brian Walker is an ideal chronicler."—Christopher Arnott, New Haven Advocate
(Christopher Arnott New Haven Advocate)

"This is the mother of all Doonesbury books . . . beautifully assembled . . . easily the gift book of the year for folks who've been sentient over the past 40 years."—William Kowinski, North Coast Journal
(William Kowinski North Coast Journal)

". . . elegantly chronicles how the strip's graphic aesthetic evolved."—Michael Cavna, Washington Post
(Michael Cavna Washington Post)

"An elegant collection."—John McMurtrie, San Francisco Chronicle (Holiday Books selection, Comics/Graphic Novels category)
(John McMurtrie San Francisco Chronicle)

"Eloquent, well-researched and honest. . . . Walker is a masterful storyteller."--Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters
(Catherine Ramsdell PopMatters)

"If you're a fan of Doonesbury, without question you need to own this book."—Mike Rhode, Washington City Paper

(Mike Rhode Washington City Paper)

"This is a fine introduction to Trudeau and a delight for those who are already familiar with and appreciate him."—K. Marantz, CHOICE
(K. Marantz CHOICE)

"The first book to assess the art of the Doonesbury strip, its impact, and the way Trudeau's style has evolved over four decades."—Book Passage
(Book Passage)

"A handsome, heavyweight volume. . . . Walker chronicles it all with care."—Jonathan Richards, Pasatiempo
(Jonathan Richards Pasatiempo)

“‘Walker’s book offers an in-depth view of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip…Trudeau’s work in 1983, also examines the creative process and Trudeau’s evolution as an artist.’” —The New Haven Register

(The New Haven Register 2010-10-25)

"To call it satire is only half right. 'Doonesbury' has taken on all the topics you'd expect- from vietnam to Iraq, from drug use to gay marriage. But satire has a short shelf life.'Doonesbury's big heart and moral compass are what give it staying power."
—Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair
(Cullen Murphy Vanity Fair)

"This comprehensive book is a beautiful addition to any Doonesbury fan's collection."—Jessica Harrison, Desert News
(Jessica Harrison Desert News)

Finalist for the 2010 Connecticut Book Awards in the non-fiction category
(Finalist Non-Fiction category Connecticut Center for the Book 2012-06-08)

About the Author

Brian Walker organized the first major exhibition of Garry Trudeau’s work, The Doonesbury Retrospective, at the Museum of Cartoon Art in 1983. He has served as curator for more than sixty-five cartoon exhibitions and has written numerous books on comics including The Comics: The Complete Collection, The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of an American Legend.
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