Garry Trudeau Dominique Paul Noth - Essay

Dominique Paul Noth

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Trudeau is funny, pertinent and incisive and] daringly hard to categorize. At the same time [his work is] nothing new—at least in terms of bringing political statement to the comic pages. Trudeau, however, may be the best, the most plugged in to society of a long line of cartoonists with messages to drop. And instead of disguising his points within a whimsical swamp, Dogpatch or adventure, Trudeau uses today's locales….

[Trudeau] has an uncanny radar that sweeps up material across the American scene. While many readers presume a leftist bent to his views, Trudeau has taken on the sacred cows and semantic bull of all sides. He has poked at both Nixon and the press, activists and reactionaries. He has looked with a strange mixture of sadness, love and humor at his own generation….

[Trudeau rejects] the idea that his work ought to be isolated in some safe, adult compartment of a newspaper. He once wrote:

I am often infuriated by the editor who responds to the cry that comics should remain irrelevant and sanitized to encourage moral rectitude on the part of the adolescent comic reader. Why the double standard? The same adolescent comic reader can watch "Mod Squad" in the evening, a kid shooting up in the playground and can even, God forbid, browse through the rest of the newspaper, where topics forbidden on the comic page abound in great numbers.

Dominique Paul Noth, in Milwaukee Journal (© 1975, by The Milwaukee Journal), May 20, 1975.