Fans already know this implicitly, but comic strip creators rarely get the respect they deserve as true artists. Many thanks to Brian Walker for putting together a sparkling gem of art, insight and background on one of the best there has ever been. At last, nerdy art lovers, like this reviewer, are allowed to behold preliminary sketches, original strips and other artful goodies we aren't generally privy to see from Mr. Trudeau. Young Garry's early artwork and art class drawings most certainly reveal a real artist and high caliber "drawer." Whether pencil, ink or paint, this book shows us a very unique, accomplished artist in many disciplines.
The strips behind the scenes man, inking assistant Don Carlton, is also featured. His crisp and elegant inking style is what has helped make the art of Doonesbury jump off the funny pages all these years. Inking the pencil art from faxed copies, of all things, shows the level of artistry involved on his part.
The book also serves as a superb point of reference (eBay here we come) for many of the excellent Doonesbury products produced over the years, many created to benefit literacy programs through "The Great Doonesbury Sellout," among other projects.
Like Peanuts and Calvin and Hobbes and sorely too few comic strips, Garry's characters are fully fledged and real. There's something quite spellbinding when an artist arranges a few lines and words just right and the end result provides us with living, breathing friends. What an incredible art form, a comforting and rare gift from a master.
Thanks Garry and Brian for presenting us with an extremely fun, very well designed, 261 page Trudeau treasure trove of info and art.