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April 20, 2004

Doonesbury Highlights Perils of War

Doonesbury highlights perils of war
BY AILEEN JACOBSON | STAFF WRITER April 20, 2004

Doonesbury took an alarming turn yesterday, when it seemed that the character B.D., a former football star now serving in Iraq, might be dead or seriously wounded. Today's comic strip shows he's alive, and tomorrow's reveals his injury - as well as the first look ever at perennially helmet- wearing B.D.'s hair.

Creator Garry Trudeau "thought it was time" to look at the plight of the 4,000 wounded service people in Iraq, said Lee Salem, editor of Universal Press Syndicate, which distributes Trudeau's comic to 1,400 papers, including Newsday.

"I'm simply trying to show what a grievous wound might mean to one soldier's life. B.D. will go to Germany, and then stateside for recovery and rehabilitation, a journey of healing I'll try to track in some detail," Trudeau said.
"It didn't surprise me that he chose that subject," said Salem, who discussed the sequence with Trudeau. "The way he decided to address the status of a whole war was startling to me."

An editor who served in Vietnam told him, Salem said, that the panels "brought flashbacks. Garry had done his homework." Trudeau said he has, and that "most of the troops I met in Kuwait simply seemed pleased to have someone so interested in what they were going through. So that's what this is about - not forgetting their sacrifice."

Fans are e-mailing concern to www.Doonesbury.com's Town Hall section, said David Stanford, who posted some of them. "People care about these characters, and seeing one imperiled ... is distressing."


Watch who pulls Doonesbury after this one - or exhibits strong signs of fake outrage. That is to say, those who support our soldiers but don't want to see what is sometimes the result.

Of course, those publications the strip might offend pulled it Jan. 21, 2004 after Clinton got out of office.