Not a comic book, but worth noting nonetheless: Ownership of the long-running newspaper strip Doonesbury changed this weekend. That doesn’t mean that creator Garry Trudeau is no longer working on it; it means that Mike Doonesbury has “retired” as the central character in the strip, with daughter Alex taking over.
The changeover was announced in Sunday’s strip, and the daily strips since then have centered around the changes Alex plans to bring to the strip. It’s a weirdly fascinating sequence, and well worth paying attention to if you’re a fan of the newspaper strip format.
I haven’t followed Doonesbury daily for years – but I do check out the collections on a fairly regular basis – so I found about the changeover via Think Progress’ great culture blogger Alyssa Rosenberg, who has a short essay up about the switch:
It’s true that this has been an ongoing transition, and that Doonesbury has, unlike other strips that keep its characters preserved in amber, always allowed its characters to age and die, and achieved some of its finest artistic, emotional, and political moments in those departures. But there’s still something moving about seeing Mike formally announce that it’s Alex’s time, that she’s ready—and then to take it back as she, breaking the fourth wall, demands a cuter nose and that the aging hippies give pride of place to the kids they raised, who grew up to be programmers, and novelists, and world-class slackers.
Will Trudeau be able to make that change and stay relevant as he writes about a generation younger than his? My curiosity about that is just the kind of thing that’ll have me paying a lot of attention to the next few weeks (and months!) of strips, to see just how much of a generational strip he can successfully make it.