The Story of a Generation

The cartoonist Garry Trudeau discusses his characters and how they've grown up, in a passage adapted from his book 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective.

Mark Slackmeyer: As a born provocateur, the snarky student radical Mark Slackmeyer knew that it’s not about the stunts you pull—it’s about the buttons you push. When he took to the airwaves to declare Watergate conspirator John Mitchell “Guilty! Guilty, guilty, guilty!!,” the manic grin he wore told the tale: he was looking for blowback. Mark may have shed some of his merry-prankster perversity over the years, but he still lives to mix it up. That he would be allowed to do so at staid NPR pushes credulity, but without its moderating culture, he might well have evolved into just another shock jock.

Click strip to enlarge

May 29, 1973

Click strip to enlarge

March 11, 1981

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Garry Trudeau created the Doonesbury strip 40 years ago this month. He’s the author of the forthcoming book 40: A Doonesbury Retrospective, from which this article has been adapted.

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