Tag Archives: Doonesbury

Doonesbury/Wes Coverage from NY Times Blog

The New York Times’ Arts Beat blog published a solid roundup of last week’s hilarious Wes-related Doonesbury comic strip, which you should obviously scroll through if you missed it the first time. The cartoons explicitly satirize the administration’s 2008 decision to require that Westco change the name of its two annual music festivals, Zonker Harris Day and Duke Day—both named after Doonesbury characters, and both traditions for over thirty years. More history on this reemerging 2008 shit-storm controversy coming soon in a future post.

Secondly, a note to Arts Beat writer Dylan Loeb McClain: I realize your title, “Doonesbury Creator Makes Fun of Wesleyan, Which Likes It,” makes for a sharp, compelling headline, and a cute note on Wes’s characteristically selfdeprecating culture. But don’t conflate Wes students with the administration on this one. We didn’t banish Doonesbury references from our halls, and we certainly weren‘t on board with the decision to do so. The university may claim to be “flattered to be satirized,” but I don’t see Doonesbury linked on the Wesleyan main page headlines.

Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau isn’t a fan of the decision, either. Not quite a shocking development, but it’s still interesting to see Trudeau’s direct response:

Mr. Trudeau, a graduate of Yale (30 minutes down the highway from Wesleyan), wrote in an e-mail Thursday that he decided to take up the cause because he did not like the way the director of Wesleyan’s Office of Residential Life has recently characterized Duke and Zonker.

“The director of Res-Life called Zonker a ‘hippie-druggie,’ which, of course, he is, but what student holiday is named after a model citizen?” Mr. Trudeau wrote.

Mr. Trudeau also isn’t crazy about the new names, describing the replacement for Duke Day as “awful.” He wrote that Ze Who Must Not Be Named is not so bad, but added, “it doesn’t support my brand as directly as I’d like.”

A statement by the university said it was “flattered to be satirized” in Doonesbury.

Read the full post here, but click past the jump for some choice reader comments.

Doonesbury Update: The Plot Thickens

This may be my personal favorite thus far.

As Zonker gets filled in on the debate, will he intervene? Will he take action? Will he address this horrible oppression and injustice that has occurred unbeknown-st to him until this point? ALL THIS AND MORE WILL BE REVEALED IN THE NEXT ISSUE (Dun Dun DUH)…

Check out the user comments on these strips from GoComics.com to get your third-party perspective on the whole deal.

This Is Getting COMICALLY* Blown Outta Proportion


In day three of Doonesbury’s Zonker Harris Day story line, Trudeau teasingly refers to the controversy over the name change, bringing Michael Roth (you know, that guy from the Wesleying banner) into the mix.

Looks like Garry (freaking) Trudeau has established his position in the debate.


*I could have resisted but I didn’t.

PS. An editors note on the Doonesbury website clarified the Wesleyan College vs. Wesleyan University thing stating:

Wesleyan is indeed a university, but it also has a college — whose undergraduates are the ones responsible for celebrating Zonker Harris Day.

Well done Trudeau, you’ve subtly stroked our liberal arts egos while implying that your choice of words was intentional.

Well done indeed.


WestCo’s two annual music festivals, 8th Day of the Week and Ze-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named-Day, were at one point referred to as Duke Day and Zonker Harris Day, an homage to characters in Garry Trudeau’s nationally circulated, Pulitzer Prize winning comic strip, Doonesbury. Wesleyan’s administration insisted WestCo change the names several years ago, with the impetus being psychedelic associations with the comic’s characters.


Today’s (11/29) Doonesbury strip (via Slate) is not only terrific, but awesomely/astoundingly/affectingly Wes-related.

Welcome back to campus!


Weekly comic strips tend to be thematic in nature, perhaps we’ll see more in the coming days…