Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years

1984, first edition, from Holt, Rinehart and Winston
G. B. Trudeau
Doonesbury Dossier: The Reagan Years
Bought newish for $12.95
Worn paperback

Although the "Reagan years" were far from over, the last Sunday page of this collection shows the "set" of the White House exterior being "struck," with this exchange.
REAGAN:  Oh, boy, another vacation!
STAFFER:  No, no, Sir, not you.

The strip was going on hiatus, Trudeau was going on paternity leave, in January 1983 because wife Jane Pauley had twins.  I think this is why he has middle-aged Joanie and Rick have a baby soon after their marriage.  Two of Joanie's children have been retconned out of existence, with Joan Jr. her only child till now.  Meanwhile, Joan Jr. has started seeing Mike, who, along with a very reluctant Zonker, finally graduates from college.  Zonker is somehow only 20 in 1981, but the gang is growing a bit older now.  Joan Jr.'s roommate Honey still carries a torch (and now a student debt) for Zonker's Uncle Duke, who, alas, is released from Iran soon after the other hostages.  Mark seems to have abandoned politics, except to shake his head over his father's corporate greed.  Bernie becomes Zonker's tanning coach, which gives him more to do than Nichole, Boopsie, and B.D., if less than two of Joanie's former daycare girls, who are now 6 and campaigning for the ERA.  A few of Joanie's ex "boyfriends" show up, Rev. Scot and Andy the gay guy.  Joanie's employer's husband Dick Davenport gets some plots of his own as James Watt's threats to the environment upset this normally apolitical (though Republican) man.

So, yeah, the strip should probably have been retitled Joanie and Zonker five to ten years before this point.

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