says topics in his ''Doonesbury'' comic strip that were at
first shocking to some readers are not so anymore, such as
one character's revelation 30 years ago that he was
''Now I can
pretty much write about gay issues and not hear from
anyone,'' Trudeau told students at the Center for Cartoon
Studies in White River Junction, Vt., on Monday.
''Certainly popular culture has a role to play in
cartoonist talked about his work process and the
challenges he has faced over his nearly 40-year career.
''I find it
really hard,'' he said of his work. ''It's no less hard than
when I started.''
Trudeau said his
syndicated political satire, which has 30 ongoing
characters, has been pulled from newspapers over the years
because of its content and political themes.
But Trudeau does
not see it as censorship: ''I've been careful not to
call it that...I call it editing.''
He said a
newspaper in Maine ''got so freaked out'' about a strip that
showed a man and woman in bed together in the '70s that
editors replaced it with the weather report. Another
paper yanked the whole strip for a week.
backfires for them,'' he said.
Trudeau, who won
a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, still draws the strip in
pencil and sends it to a man who inks it and another
assistant who adds color.
In recent years,
with his children grown, Trudeau said he has had more
time to do research.
He has met with
soldiers and created a military blog called The Sandbox
on his Web site for their stories, collecting the best
entries in a new book.
Trudeau said he
decided that ''the one thing the global war on terrorism
doesn't have is its own literary magazine.''
In an effort to
dramatize the seriousness of war, he had B.D., one of his
main characters, lose a leg while fighting in Iraq. But just
as shocking to readers was that the veteran character
was missing his signature helmet.
''I heard over
and over that that was what really hit people,'' Trudeau
said. (Lisa Rathke, AP)