The Origins of ‘Doonesbury’ Chronicled in ‘Yale Daily News’ Story

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By: E&P Staff

The very beginnings of “Doonesbury” were discussed in an article published today in the Yale Daily News.

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau is a Yale graduate who recently received the Mental Health Research Advocacy Award from Yale Medical School for his storyline about the B.D. character’s difficult recovery from losing a leg in Iraq.

Raymond Carlson’s story, which included e-mailed comments from Trudeau, chronicled the beginnings of “Doonesbury” in this way:

“It was early September, 1968. A tall, lanky junior wandered into 202 York St., home of the Yale Daily News, holding a handful of hand-drawn comics — a series about the football team called ‘Bull Tales.’

“Nervously, the young man greeted Executive Editor Reed Hundt. After rifling through the first three or four comic strips, Hundt shrugged. He was impressed with the artist’s humor, but less so with his drawing ability.

“Still, Hundt agreed to run the strip. ‘Sure. We print pretty much anything,’ the young man recalled the editor saying.”

“Bull Tales” would become “Doonesbury,” which entered syndication with Universal Press in 1970. (Trudeau is currently on sabbatical.)

The Yale Daily News story was mentioned today on Tom Spurgeon’s Comics Reporter blog and Dirk Deppey’s Comics Journal blog “Journalista” .

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