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FAQs

Beta-fresh answers, uploaded weekly

Lets face it, our favorite comic strip is often obscure or inconsistent, and key characters are sometimes left stranded for years. Long-suffering readers are within their rights to demand some clarification. Use the "Ask GBT" form to email us your questions, and we will frequently answer some of the best!

 

Characters

Q.

With the recent decision by SCOTUS regarding DOMA, would it be possible to take a quick step back in time, and see the Sunday strip that showed Mark and Chase enjoying a quiet evening of domestic bliss?

Schuyler Corson | Characters | Ames, IA | July 03, 2013
A.

We are delighted to oblige. Short-lived though it was, we raise a glass to their happiness.

Q.

Concerning the Doonesbury population crisis, rather than a spinoff have you considered the obvious answer of simply killing off cast members? There are lots of interesting story possibilities; death in childbirth, from AIDS, in traffic accidents, in combat, from drug overdoses or simple old age. I have been reading Doonesbury for nearly forty years, but off and on. Has anyone in the story ever died?

Ward Horack | Characters | London, ENGLAND | June 04, 2013
A.

Yes, half a dozen by our count -- not enough to solve the alleged problem: Andy Lippincott, his employer Congresswoman Lacy Davenport, her husband Dick, their friend Alice P. Schwartzman, Mark Slackmeyer's father, Phil, and Mike's mom, Daisy, aka "The Widow Doonesbury." As it happens, two characters died in ways that you suggest, so let's pay homage by revisiting those. In 1986 Dick Davenport suffered a heart attack in his old age, and in 1990 Andy Lippincott died of AIDS.

Q.

I love to see Zonker and Zipper going back to the land to become "farmers." And I recall that Zonker had some great times in his "Thoreau period," and later with his horticultural buddies. Could we have another hit of some of that?

David Dalton | Characters | Saratoga, CA | May 02, 2013
A.

Zonker Harris's strong ties with the botanical world proved extremely productive during the early years at Walden Commune, and his conversational skills bloomed considerably thereafter. Unfortunately, his photosynthetic charges suffered when he left them in the care of Mike while serving as lieutenant governor of Samoa, as chronicled in this series.

Q.

Wait a minute. Zonker got busted, and he was on acid? That's a Flashback I'd like to have. Care to share?

Dean M. | Characters | Ben Lomond, CA | April 26, 2013
A.

Zonker may actually be hallucinating about having hallucinated, but he was surely in deep legal doo-doo. We are happy to re-experience his 1973 ordeal.

Q.

Interesting that Rick is so keen on Alex giving her grandmother a makeover. I seem to remember that the last time Joanie upgraded it blew his mind. Can we please revisit that moment?

Hannah B. | Characters | Minneapolis, MN | February 07, 2013
A.

With pleasure. Back in 1977, Joanie had just finished law school and moved to Washington, D.C. to work for Congresswoman Lacey Davenport. This time the helpful push to change is coming from her granddaughter, but back then it came from her much-older boss.

Q.

Ah, another week stuck in the hell of Zipper and Jeff's loser world. How did these two goofballs get together in the first place -- when did the nightmare begin?

Aaron T. | Characters | Baltimore, MD | January 07, 2013
A.

Fortunately the partnership has not been as unpleasant for them as it has been for you. The two cheerful and enthusiastic future pals were cast together by the Walden College room-assignment gods a mere thirteen years ago, as chronicled in this series.

Q.

In today's strip, Boopsie refers to the Harmonic Convergence as "a total bust," but I seem to recall that she was pretty into it. And I think Hunk-Ra played a part too. Can you please time-travel back and bring us those strips asap, so we can read them before end of the world? Thanks!

Ginger | Characters | Coos Bay, Oregon | December 19, 2012
A.

Yes, the 21,000-year-old warrior known as Lord Hunk-Ra was very much involved. Let us take you back...back...back to a quiet coastal village, in the summer of 1987.

Q.

I applaud the return of Honey, who as I recall was last seen riding a float in the Mardi Gras parade after dumping Duke. Has she been in China all this time?

Chris C. | Characters | Washington, D.C. | July 03, 2012
A.

Actually the indefatigable Ms. Huan was in China when we last saw her, precisely four years ago during the run-up to the 2008 Summer Olympics. For Duke, re-encountering Honey unexpectedly in a professional capacity was traumatic, but we assume readers will find revisiting the episode both timely and enjoyable.

Q.

Did Alex ever graduate from MIT, or did this ultrasmart young woman drop out of college in order to make a happy home for the man she loves? That would be too retro for me. Please tell me I missed a graduation panel somewhere!

Liam | Characters | Brooklyn, NY | May 07, 2012
A.

You did indeed. Although Alex is still at MIT, as a grad student, a June 2010 Sunday strip featured her cap-and-gown day -- and foreshadowed the wedding storyline that is currently unfolding. Enjoy!

Q.

It's depressing to see Rick getting no respect as a journalist. I mean this guy was profiled by David Halberstam, for crying out loud. Right? How about we revisit some of Mr. Redfern's glory days?

Dean Mitchell | Characters | Sacramento, CA | April 10, 2012
A.

We're happy to summon up the August 1979 series you refer to, though at the time Rick failed to see much glory in the interview experience.