Doonesbury is an American newspaper comic strip written and drawn by Gary Trudeau which mixes political satire with college satire and later soap opera plots. A long runner (42 years, 40 years if you don't count the two year hiatus), the series involves a cast of hundreds.The series began as a college satire (featuring nerdy Mike Doonesbury and his perpetual helmet-wearing jock roommate B.D.) in 1970; within a couple of years the main cast expanded to feature Zonker Harris (a hippie slacker), Mark Slackmeyer (left-wing radical), JJ Caucus and Barbara Ann "Boopsie" Boopstein (Mike and B.D.'s respective girlfriends), and Zonker's uncle Duke (who was a stand-in for writer Hunter S. Thompson). While it had its genesis mocking Ivy League college life, the series found its footing when the strip expanded into full-blown political satire. B.D. joined the military (to escape having to write a term paper) and Uncle Duke got himself an ambassadorship to China, which led to him getting his own sidekick, the long-suffering Honey Huan.Despite the expanded scope of the series, the characters remained college students for about 13 years, with the only real change being the group moving off campus into a commune. This changed with a two year Series Hiatus in 1983-1984; Gary Trudeau came up with the idea of doing a musical based upon the strip which centered around the graduation of the characters from college. After a brief run on Broadway, the strip returned, now moving in real time as the characters grew older, married, had kids, divorced, and died. The strip also became more biting with its political satire, with new characters like Roland Hedley (who was introduced prior to the hiatus) and surrealistic storylines like Hedley's tour of Ronald Reagan's brain and Mr. Butts, a life-sized talking cigarette who shills for the tobacco industry.This strip won a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, and is generally considered liberal on the Strawman Political scale. It's so well-known for its political content that some papers choose to run it on the editorial pages rather than the comics pages, sometimes opposite Mallard Fillmore. (And for some inexplicable reason, the Washington Post runs the strip on its gossip page.)In Britain, the strip is carried in The Guardian, which tried to drop it in 2005. This did not go down well.The official website can be visited here. A Doonesbury archive dating back to at least 1970 can be viewed at GoComics.com.
This strip includes examples of: