Mercy. Forty-six years ago (October 26, 1970) Doonesbury debuted in 29 newspapers.
Andrews McMeel Universal co-founder John McMeel often tells the story of being in the office of The Baltimore Sun pitching Doonesbury to the editor. The editor read through the first six weeks, dropped the sales kit to his desk and paused for a moment to look down his glasses at John.
After another moment, the editor asked, "What's a good Catholic boy like you doing selling crap like this?"
One Pulitzer Prize, 1,400 newspapers, a Broadway play, an NBC TV special, A Reuben award, dozens of controversies and pulled strips later, Doonesbury has lived to tell one of the longest narratives in the history of humankind.
Garry Trudeau is "one hell of a cartoonist, but he is also one hell of a guy" (John McMeel's words). When more established and deeper-pocketed syndicates came calling, Garry stayed loyal to Universal.
And Garry's latest Doonesbury book Yuge! is still lighting up the best seller lists. Yuge is a spot-on chronicle of Donald Trump that covers more than two decades and will blow you away with its dead-on accuracy of this remarkable presidential candidate.
We could not be prouder that Doonesbury was the first comic launched by Universal Press Syndicate. It established the company as a syndicate that did things decidedly different than the other syndicates at the time (and mostly attached to large media corporations).
So today we say thank you and happy birthday to the strip and the man that helped make us who we are today. HBD, GBT!
Viva La Doonesbury! Viva La Trudeau!