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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 09:55 AM
Original message
Heads up, Doonesbury fans
Gene Weingarten
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 23, 2006; 12:00 PM

Revealing more about himself than he ever has, "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau gives us tantalizing clues about what's behind his venerable comic strip's recent burst of genius, and pain.

In this week's Washington Post Magazine, Gene Weingarten profiles the publicity-shy Trudeau, who with his strip's searing storyline of an Iraq War amputee, is getting new attention.

Today, Weingarten will be online fielding questions and comments.

Read the article: Doonesbury's War.

Submit your questions and comments before or during the discussion.

Gene Weingarten is a staff writer for the Post Magazine and hosts a regular Tuesday discussion, Chatological Humor.

Previous DU discussion thread on this article:
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Greybnk48 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. A question for you n2doc
that you may know the answer to. If I want to use a Doonesbury cartoon in the body of an essay, how do I go about getting permission to use it?
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Go to this site /

And see what they say. Typically it depends on what you want to do. Use it in a classroom and reprints are usually free. Use it in a paid publication and there will be a royalty. Anyway, it varies by artist and agency.
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Greybnk48 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Thanks so much!
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Democrat 4 Ever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. He submitted to an email interview with Pam Platt in the Louisville
Courier-Journal in yesterday's paper.

Trudeau's Sandbox: blog for troops -Pam Platt

Garry Trudeau is best known as the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist whose long-running "Doonesbury" strip is carried in hundreds of newspapers including The Courier-Journal. Trudeau also has, an interactive Web site for fans.

The latest addition to his Web site is The Sandbox, a blog by real, active-duty soldiers who write from their posts or bases around the world.

The Sandbox was announced in the Oct. 8 "Doonesbury" panel, when cartoon character Ray Hightower, a soldier, noted the growing dangers of reporting on the war and how the public "feels increasingly disconnected from troops in the field." His announced solution: The Sandbox.

Trudeau, as channeled through Hightower in the introductory panel: "At The Sandbox, contributors can operate in a clean, lightly edited debriefing environment where all content, no matter how robust, is secured by the First Amendment. So if you support the troops but haven't a clue what they're actually up to you owe it to yourself to log onto The Sandbox."

I second Ray Hightower. What you'll find in The Sandbox / is not remotely cartoonish. It is thrillingly and chillingly alive and haunting, words, sentences and stories shared by those who fight and serve, people in harm's way whom most of us don't know but may come to know through this blog.

I was so taken with The Sandbox, and so curious about this new arm of "Doonesbury," that I contacted Trudeau. He was kind enough to answer the following questions in an e-mail interview for Courier-Journal readers.

So, some important background before you find your way to The Sandbox, and getting to know some of our real troops a little better, thanks to a cartoon strip:

Q: When did you get the idea for The Sandbox, and why did you decide to do it?

A: Over the past couple years, we've received some rather compelling posts from servicemembers on the Blowback page of About six weeks ago, it occurred to me that maybe we should have one place on the site dedicated to the posts of active-duty troops.

I'd been reading milblogs sporadically, but had been frustrated by the poor wheat-to-chaff ratio that plagues most blogs. The uneven quality understandable given the constant pressure to update doesn't make for a very efficient use of reader time.

So we decided to be a compiling site, bringing together the best of what we could find. For the first offerings, we contacted a number of milbloggers and cherry-picked from existing content, but now most of what we're posting is original.

Q: In your visits with troops, was there one soldier or one anecdote that stuck with you, a spirit or story that spurred the endeavor?

A: I don't know as you can draw a straight line from my conversations with wounded soldiers to The Sandbox, but the story I still find the most compelling was one I heard at Walter Reed. A female MP, in her mid-20s, was tasked to defend the roof of an Iraqi police station by herself.

While she's setting up behind sandbags, two RPG's tear into her position, slicing through her forearm and burying her in sand. The others in her squad rush to the roof, pull her out, and take her down to a HMMWV, where she's stabilized by a medic.

Meanwhile, against orders, two of her buddies return to the roof, search through the sand, retrieve her dismembered hand, and remove her engagement ring, which they bring back downstairs and place in her remaining good hand. "I could have gotten another ring, it was just a thing," she told me, "but it meant so much to me that they would do that for me."

It was a tale of gratitude, not loss. It was the first story I heard, and it took my breath away.


You can read the rest at:

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OnceUponTimeOnTheNet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Those letters on The Sandbox
are very moving to read. Reminds me of Hacksworths old site.
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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 11:21 AM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you for pointing out the article
I was quite surprised over some of the points brought out in the article. Very interesting how our politicians are often offended...too bad one doesn't read.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:00 PM
Response to Original message
6. Incredible stuff
And it makes me admire trudeau even more than I had before.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
8. Great piece. K & R
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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-23-06 01:38 PM
Response to Original message
9. OK, so the Q and A is up at the Wash post- Good Reading!
Gene Weingarten: Good afternoon.

One question many of you are asking involves the cover the magazine: Yes, Trudeau drew that specifically for The Post. The general idea was mine - having B.D., with his missing leg, ruminating on the nature of "The Creator." There's a funny story behind this.

Once my editor, Tom the Butcher had approved of the idea, I needed to broach it to Trudeau. We were together in Tucson at the Vietvet conference. But first, I phoned Tom to work out one final detail. Here is how the onversation went:

Me: So, how much can we pay him?

TtheB: Pay him?

Me: For the illustration.

TtheB: I don't think we can pay him anything. We can't pay the subjects of our stories. You know that.

Me: We're not paying for the story! We're paying a world-famous artist for a cover illustration.

TtheB: I know. But it looks like we're paying for the story. We can't do it.



Me: Okay, let's do a little thought experiment, shall we?

TtheB: Let's!

Me: Do you agree that an original illustration by Garry Trudeau is an item of some intrinsic value? Worth thousands of dollars, in fact?

TtheB: Sure.

Me: Okay, then. So, by asking him to do this illustration for free, we are in effect asking him to give us money.


Me: In other words, HE is paying US to write the story about him.



TtheB: Okay, this is above my pay grade.

So Tom the Butcher went to discuss this with great and powerful people at The Post. Scenarios were discussed. Options were weighed. And so forth. Finally, it was decided that we would not pay Trudeau for the art, but we would donate a substantial amount of money, in his name, to the charity of his choice.

So, that's what happened. I tell this story mostly because it illustrates the sometimes comical super-serious degrees to which this newspaper is willing to wrestle with issues of ethics and angels on pinheads and so forth -- and also why I would not want to work for anyone else. Trudeau, by the way, took my idea for the cover and improved my wording hugely, giving it Mamet-like sparseness.

He's donating the money to Fisher House, which is a program to provide free or low-cost housing for the families who are visiting injured soldiers.

In case you're feeling generous yourself:

Fisher House Foundation

1401 Rockville Pike

Suite 600

Rockville, MD 20852

I've gotten many interesting letters so far. This is my favorite:


A while back John Kerry sent me a thick packet of neatly copied Doonesbury strips. It was B.D's story and, unknown to John, I'd been following it closely. John sent it without comment, but I knew instantly why he had.

Like B.D. it takes some of us longer to deal with it than others. Some of us never do.

Nice piece on Trudeau, the therapist. The letter was from Jim Rassmann.

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