G. B. Trudeau shows why he’s been a fixture on the comic strip pages for over forty years. The Weed Whisperer is the newest collection of his Doonesbury strips. The title refers to longtime character Zonker’s plan to move to Colorado and get rich selling marijuana legally, but there are several other amusing, and often hilarious, ongoing storylines, as well as a generous dollop of contemporary political and social satire. There are trenchant reflections of modern life—journalist Roland Hedley’s inane tweets, riffs on the effect of smartphones on personal interaction, and, of course, the effects of the legalization of marijuana. Trudeau also tackles meatier subjects like the treatment of women in the military and the difficulties faced by educated women who also want children.
It’s a treat to see even Trudeau’s daily strips rendered in color here. While some creators’ comic strips are daily islands unto themselves, Doonesbury is one that benefits from being read sequentially. The experience of reading a collection like this one, instead of one strip per day in a newspaper, is even more valuable in light of Trudeau’s past sabbaticals and his current policy of reprinting old strips daily, offering new ones only on Sundays. There may be less new Doonesbury forthcoming, but The Weed Whisperer shows that Trudeau’s wit is as strong and merciless as ever.
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