Friday, June 25, 2010

16. We’re Not Out of the Woods Yet (1979)

This collection reprints 124 daily strips from June 26 1978 to Dec. 30 1978
37 strips from the period are not included (see comment for list.)

After several years, Trudeau finally found something to do with Boopsie. In one of the era’s most delightful sequences, she takes a two-week trip to Graceland on the first anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. From here, Trudeau finds a real voice for the character as a great way to comment on celebrity trends. Also among the Walden regulars, Mike and Zonker visit Studio 54, and Zonk takes Kirby, his often-confused teammate, under his wing as the bespectacled receiver tries to find his place in the era.

In Washington, Duke finds complications besetting his tenure as manager for the Redskins. In a week’s sequence cut from the book, we learn he’s not paying much attention to the NFL’s regulations on gambling. That he’s not paying any attention to their regulations on steroids and dexedrine is a given, but he has plenty of complications, as Lava-Lava Lenny makes a suspicious number of tackles, and a linebacker, Eddie, popped to the eyeballs on speed, clotheslines two quarterbacks. This prompts his assistant Riley, the fifteen year-old nephew of the owner, to go to the papers. Interestingly, the last line of the September 16 strip had Riley threatening to “go to the feds,” but this was changed to “papers” for the book.

Of course, the biggest complication of all comes when Duke attends a reception for Chinese students at Georgetown and learns, on November 9, that Honey has come to the States. He hasn’t entirely figured out that she’s in love with him – there’s some question as to whether he ever does – but nor does he ever figure out how to get away from her.

Also in Washington, Joanie’s old law school nemesis, Woody, gets a job with the House ethics committee, earning $6000 more a year than her. Much of the Washington material is cut from the book, including an entire three-week sequence in December where Rick is assigned to figure out just how in the world all the incumbents involved in the Korean scandal managed to get re-elected in the midterms, but we do get a couple of weeks of Roland hosting an ABC special on the Camp David summit, Cabin Fever: Footpaths to Glory.