Tuesday, August 24, 2010

17. A Tad Overweight, but Violet Eyes to Die For (1980)


This collection overlaps with the next book and reprints 124 daily strips from:
Jan 1 1979 to June 16 1979
July 9 1979 to July 21 1979
32 strips from the period are not included (see comment for list.)

As the 1970s draw to a close, international politics become more important to the strip than in recent years. Trudeau starts things off with the brilliant tactic of moving Honey to Dr. Kissinger’s class at Georgetown. Unfortunately, most of their headbutting plays out in the Sunday strips, but this book contains a few choice moments. In Southeast Asia, Viet Nam invades Cambodia (or is it Kampuchea?) and China invades them right back, keeping Ambassador Phred quite busy at the United Nations.

The book’s title comes from a week of strips tweaking John Warner, who began a three-decade career as US Senator from Virginia in January, and who was at the time married to Elizabeth Taylor, she of the “violet eyes to die for.” The book’s back cover suggests that Virginia Republicans were incensed by the mocking – neither Lacey nor her husband, who threatens to stay in the car, are much impressed by their new Senate colleague – but Trudeau is pretty even-handed doling out the harshness during this period. Warner doesn’t get it nearly as roughly as Ted Kennedy and the political “cult” in Massachusetts that Roland spotlights in an ABC News special, and California governor Jerry Brown really takes it on the chin for weeks. Carter’s Secretary of Symbolism, Duane Delacourt, returns to resign from the White House and move to California, sharing a flight with Zonker, to work with Brown’s “Mellow Mafia” and investigate – slash – announce, not a candidacy, but a context for his candidacy.

Duke’s time as the Redskins manager comes to an ignoble end. He briefly entertains a plan to murder the team’s owner in Miami, but flies home to Colorado instead. A whole week of this is cut, but we do learn that his wife has divorced him before the NRA recruits him to testify on behalf of gun owners before a Senate judiciary committee. Another week cut from the book has Ginny and Clyde trying to provide a little support for an unemployed friend.

Other stories for the other regulars include Jimmy Thudpucker retiring from the music industry in order to return to school, and Boopsie posing for Playboy’s “Girls of the Ivy League” feature, much to the overprotective Zonker’s horror. Interestingly, the gang’s alma mater has still not formally been named as “Walden College” at this point. It’s likely that Trudeau was just quietly treating the place like Yale and simply not naming it at the time, but I suppose we can retcon Walden as being the smallest of the Ivy League schools in the Doonesbury universe.

1 comment:

Grant, the Hipster Dad said...

The following strips were omitted from this book:
Tue. Jan 2 1979
Sat. Jan 6 1979
Tue. Jan 23 1979
Wed. Jan 24 1979
Thu. Jan 25 1979
Fri. Jan 26 1979
Sat. Jan 27 1979
Mon. Feb 12 1979
Tue. Feb 13 1979
Wed. Feb 14 1979
Thu. Feb 15 1979
Fri. Feb 16 1979
Sat. Feb 17 1979
Fri. Mar 9 1979
Mon. Mar 12 1979
Tue. Mar 13 1979
Wed. Mar 14 1979
Thu. Mar 15 1979
Fri. Mar 16 1979
Sat. Mar 17 1979
Sat. Mar 24 1979
Fri. Mar 30 1979
Sat. Mar 31 1979
Sat. Apr 14 1979
Thu. May 3 1979
Sat. May 5 1979
Sat. May 12 1979
Sat. May 19 1979
Tue. June 5 1979
Sat. June 9 1979
Fri. June 15 1979
Fri. July 20 1979