Faq_toon

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!

 

Storyline

Q.

Newt Gingrich talking about the child labor laws and proposing that kids work as janitors in their schools struck a Doonesbury chord with me. Didn't Newt have some role in helping Duke set up his orphanage?

R.S.K. | Storyline | Santa Cruz, CA | December 07, 2011
A.

How quickly we remember. Then-Speaker Gingrich was indeed instrumental in supplying the initial funding for the former Ambassador's "Nothin' But Orphans" project, as chronicled in this 1995 series of strips.

Q.

I am loving Jeff's book tour, and I recall that a loooong time ago Zeke went on one as well. Could we please have a reprise of that?

David Dalton | Storyline | Saratoga, CA | December 01, 2011
A.

Duke's prolonged MIA status after parachuting into Iran on a secret mission for Universal Petroleum led to him being declared legally dead. After accidentally burning down Duke's estate and being left out of his will, caretaker Zeke Brenner was inspired to author a biography of the former Ambassador. The publication of Duke: Portrait of a Mentor was chronicled in this 1980 series.

Q.

In the 10/13/11 strip, Alex's interaction with Siri on her new iPhone reminds me of Mike's somewhat less successful experiences with his new Apple Newton. Can we see a pointer to those old strips? They were great.

Bill (a former Newton user) | Storyline | Berkeley Heights, NJ | October 14, 2011
A.

In the wake of Steve Jobs' passing it's a pleasure to revisit the strip's 1993 "egg freckles" series, as well as a 1995 New York Times follow-up story which explains how "what was once intended as nonsense became a bit of computer history."

Q.

In the 9/11 anniversary Sunday strip Zonker seemed surprised to know that B.D. had been at Ground Zero. I thought he visited him there, no?

Steve | Storyline | Ithaca, NY | September 26, 2011
A.

Yes! Zonk certainly knew B.D. had been on the pile; the revelation was that he had been suffering sleepless nights over what he saw there ever since. Here are several weeks of Ground Zero strips from 2001, culminating in the memorable image that graced the cover of Peace Out, Dawg!

Q.

This week's storyline about Trff crashing with Duke for 134 days reminded me of the time Zonker, in his trippy wig, overstayed his welcome at a castle in England. Can we revisit please?

S.B. | Storyline | Menlo Park, CA | August 12, 2011
A.

Indeed, Duke is not the only Duke to have had his hospitality taken advantage of. We are pleased to revisit Lord Z's four-month residency in Scotland, as painfully chronicled in this 1988 series.

Q.

Hey, seeing Jim "Obscene Profits" Andrews sure takes me back. Can we please get a Flashback of Andrews and Duke plotting to free the Iranian hostages? I seem to remember Duke saying "I see you've got a phone and everything." Thanks!

Brian Corby | Storyline | New York, NY | July 01, 2011
A.

You're welcome. We are happy to flash you back to the summer of 1979, and the planning of the operation that led to Duke becoming known as "the 53rd hostage."

Q.

I enjoyed Zonker's line about Linus today. A long time ago there was another Schulz reference in the strip, with Snoopy's doghouse. Can you please dig that up?

Camille | Storyline | LA, CA | May 21, 2011
A.

With pleasure. The Peanuts shout-out you are thinking of appeared on January 9, 1997. Enjoy.

Q.

It's been an intense few days with so many TV flashbacks to 9/11. How about an FAQ Flashback to what was going on in the strip back then?

Paul M. | Storyline | New York, NY | May 03, 2011
A.

Good idea. Let's revisit that game-changing era with a series that begins at Ground Zero.

Q.

I'm glad to see that Lord Zonker is attending the Royal Wedding this week. If memory serves, he was also at the marriage of Lady Di and Prince Charles, right?

Ben D. | Storyline | Syracuse, NY | April 25, 2011
A.

Alas, in 1981 the Prince of Inner Space had not yet become the Viscount St. Austell-in-the-Moor Biggleswade-Brixham. But five years later he was invited to attend the marriage of Prince Andrew and Sarah "Fergie" Ferguson -- a sojourn which involved not only high-class cultural clashing, but also a breathtakingly brief brush with romance, as chronicled in this 1986 series.

Q.

The strips on politicians carrying handguns reminds me of the time Mike was involved in a subway shootout, where everybody was carrying and everybody opened up. As I recall, it was inspired by the Bernie Goetz case in New York City. How about sharing that blast from the past?

H. Soto | Storyline | Brooklyn, NY | January 29, 2011
A.

Good memory. You are thinking of the 1985 "Subway Avenger" series, in which a simple question led to an action-packed storyline. To read the sordid tale, click here.