Doonesbury gently begins White House satire in the age of Obama, suggests parallels between today’s anger at banks and Matthew 21:12

By Jean Latz Griffin

Doonesbury has been a favorite comic of mine back to just about when it started. I find the political and social satire fresh and right on target. Garry Trudeau’s ability to adapt to the changing times, keep up with new political realities and connect them to history and other aspects of society over nearly four decades is unparalleled.

My oldest son says he learned more about the Vietnam War from reading old Doonesbury comics (I have a collection of the books), than he learned in high school. And this was way before people decried the youth getting their news from The Daily Show.

So this is a “I couldn’t have said it better myself” blog and a tribute to Doonesbury. The first strip begins Doonesbury’s portrayals of President Obama, a tradition that goes back to the Nixon days.


All the presidents have had an icon that represents them in the cartoons (W had two), but Obama has yet to get one, prompting Doonesbury fans to write and email the cartoon’s creator asking when one will show up. By the end of the first week of Doonesbury’s introduction of Obama, even POTUS has become impatient.


Doonesbury often uses his Sunday strip to move away from the ongoing story line, to revisit the activities of Rev. Scot Sloan, and draw more connections between seemingly disparate aspects of society.

Today’s might have one thinking for a long time after the initial reaction to the last panel.


About jeanlatzgriffin

Jean Latz Griffin is the owner of CyberINK, a small business that produces quirky skeleton-themed products. She has finished the first draft of a historical fantasy and received comments from her agent. She has turned to Orson Scott Card for tips on the second draft. She is author of "In the Same Breath," and "One Spirit: A Creation Story for the 21st Century." She has a certificate in creative writing from the University of Chicago's Writers Studio. Griffin is a member of the growing community of former Chicago Tribune reporters, enjoys Weekend Writing Warriors and the Story Studio in Chicago. Her Sheltie, Thunder, likes to "type" on her computer keys, and Dr Wu, a Weimaraner, likes to lick her ear when she is trying to think. Her husband passed in June of 2011. Her three fabulous grown sons live nearby. She plays violin in an amateur string orchestra.

1 Response

  1. >>My oldest son says he learned more about the Vietnam War from reading old Doonesbury comics (I have a collection of the books), than he learned in high school.>>

    Viet Nam and Watergate, as a matter of fact. Public schools in the 1980s didn’t teach much about American History after the Second World War.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s