Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau


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Brian Walker

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An exciting look at the artistic evolution of the iconic style of Doonesbury on the 40th anniversary of its publication.

Best known for his wry and incisive takes on American life and politics, Garry Trudeau is among the world’s most widely read cartoonists. Trudeau began shaping Doonesbury as an undergraduate contributor to the Yale Daily News in 1968.Today, the strip is syndicated to a daily readership of nearly 100 million.

Trudeau’s work has been anthologized before, but this is the first book to assess the art of the comic strip and the ways that Trudeau’s iconic style has evolved over the past four decades. Brian Walker, an expert on the history of comics, sheds light on Trudeau’s early influences as well as on his creative process, from research to pencil layouts to finished artwork. In addition to revealing how Doonesbury is crafted each week, the book also examines Trudeau’s magazine illustrations, animation drawings, posters, and product designs, as well as rare and previously unpublished works. Walker’s historical text is complemented by insightful commentary by Trudeau and his collaborators, Don Carleton, George Corsillo, and David Stanford, making this book appealing not only to Doonesbury’s many fans but also to those looking for an approach to the work of a master comic strip artist.

Brian Walker organized the first major exhibition of Garry Trudeau’s work, The Doonesbury Retrospective, at the Museum of Cartoon Art in 1983. He has served as curator for more than sixty-five cartoon exhibitions and has written numerous books on comics including The Comics: The Complete Collection, The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy, and Barney Google and Snuffy Smith: 75 Years of an American Legend.

"Lavish . . . an eclectic romp by a scion of a great cartoonist family ("Beetle Bailey," "Hi and Lois") and one of America's foremost comic-strip historians."—Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair

"Fresh and riveting. . . it is a thrill to see Trudeau's never-before-published pencil drawings. . . . This inside look at Trudeau's on-demand creativity. . . induces new and intensified appreciation for this phenomenal endeavor."—Donna Seaman, Booklist (starred review)

"There are few books that I unequivocally state should be on every cartoonist's book shelf, but this is one of them. Anyone wanting to better understand cartooning at the level of an American master should own this book."—Alan Gardner, The Daily Cartoonist

"Doonesbury and the Art of G.B. Trudeau provides a rare glimpse of the artist's original drawings and sketches."—Chip Kidd, Rolling Stone

"A must-have for every Doonesbury devotee."—Connecticut Magazine

"Handsomely produced and eminently readable . . . a sheer joy."—Tom Tomorrow, Yale Alumni Magazine

"[A] rare book . . . presents the artwork in an elegant, high-quality format and adds considerably to what we know about the artist. Brian Walker is an ideal chronicler."—Christopher Arnott, New Haven Advocate

"Intriguing . . . fascinating . . . Trudeau stands revealed as a thinking visualist with a keen and innovative style."—Steve Bunche, Publishers Weekly

"This is the mother of all Doonesbury books . . . beautifully assembled . . . easily the gift book of the year for folks who've been sentient over the past 40 years."—William Kowinski, North Coast Journal

". . . elegantly chronicles how the strip's graphic aesthetic evolved."—Michael Cavna, Washington Post

"An elegant collection."—John McMurtrie, San Francisco Chronicle (Holiday Books selection, Comics/Graphic Novels category)

"Eloquent, well-researched and honest. . . . Walker is a masterful storyteller."--Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters

"If you're a fan of Doonesbury, without question you need to own this book."—Mike Rhode, Washington City Paper

“A feast for Trudeau groupies and food for thought about his creative processes and the import and impact of his satire.”—Glenn C. Altschuler, The Australian

“[An] affectionate tribute . . . the ideal scrapbook for the Doonesbury aficionado . . . [Walker] knows the artistic side of Doonesbury better than anyone.”—Bob Duggan, Big Think

"Walker is a masterful storyteller; don't skip the text."—Catherine Ramsdell, PopMatters

"This is a fine introduction to Trudeau and a delight for those who are already familiar with and appreciate him."—K. Marantz, CHOICE

"The first book to assess the art of the Doonesbury strip, its impact, and the way Trudeau's style has evolved over four decades."—Book Passage

"A handsome, heavyweight volume. . . . Walker chronicles it all with care."—Jonathan Richards, Pasatiempo

“‘Walker’s book offers an in-depth view of the Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip…Trudeau’s work in 1983, also examines the creative process and Trudeau’s evolution as an artist.’” —The New Haven Register


"To call it satire is only half right. 'Doonesbury' has taken on all the topics you'd expect- from vietnam to Iraq, from drug use to gay marriage. But satire has a short shelf life.'Doonesbury''s big heart and moral compass are what give it staying power."
—Cullen Murphy, Vanity Fair

"This comprehensive book is a beautiful addition to any Doonesbury fan's collection."—Jessica Harrison, Desert News

A Holiday Books selection in the Comics/Graphic Novels category, San Francisco Chronicle

Chosen by PopMatters as a Best Book of 2010

Winner of the 2011 New York Books Festival in Comics, presented by JM Northern Media

Finalist for the 2010 Connecticut Book Awards in the non-fiction category

2011 Best Book Finalist, Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards
ISBN: 9780300154276
Publication Date: November 2, 2010
272 pages, 11 1/2 x 9 3/4
130 b/w + 360 color illus.