Doonesbury creator talks war, comedy at IU
Nov 15, 2011 (Menafn - Herald-Times - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau relived four decades of wartime cartooning Monday evening for a crowd of journalism enthusiasts at Indiana University's Alumni Hall.
Trudeau's comics appear in more than 1,100 daily and Sunday newspapers worldwide, including the H-T.
His war strips are about deployment and veteran adjustment; heroism and post-traumatic stress disorder; command rape and superiority. He was the first comic strip artist ever to receive a Pulitzer Prize, in 1975, only five years after creating Doonesbury as an undergraduate at Yale.
On Monday, in his lecture "Doonesbury in Time of War," Trudeau showed slides of his most famous wartime comics, including early-70s cartoons of Vietnam and a historic strip from 2004, when B.D., a classic Doonesbury character who is serving as an Army officer, loses a leg in the second Iraq war and Trudeau draws him without his helmet for the first time in 34 years.
When that strip hit the presses, the Pentagon gave Trudeau open access to the Walter Reed medical center, where he's used conversations with wounded soldiers and veterans to shape how B.D. and other Doonesbury soldiers cope with war issues such as sexual trauma and brain injury.
Trudeau also used those conversations to uncover euphemisms, acronyms and other military language to develop characters' voices, he said Monday.
Real-life soldiers for decades have followed Doonesbury not for its accuracy, Trudeau said Monday, but "because it's about them."
"Life is hard," he read from one of his own early Doonesbury comics. "Entertainment softens the edges."
Trudeau's visit was part of the College of Arts and Sciences' Themester 2011, "Making War, Making Peace."
An exhibition of Trudeau's work will be on display in the Lilly Library through Nov. 14.
Doonesbury in H-T
Read Doonesbury every day in the H-T comics section.
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