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'Doonesbury' still on hold after 2½ years

In the MT, the note that states, " 'Doonesbury' creator Garry Trudeau has taken a hiatus from producing the strip. It will return when he does” appears every day beneath the placeholder comic, “The Grizzwells,” yet a contemporary “Doonesbury” strip appears each Sunday in the comics supplement to the MT. What gives? Is it a case of “Who’s 'zooming’ who”? Please advise.

— Joe D., MT subscriber

No zooming here, Joe, honest. Here's the deal:

In May 2013, Garry Trudeau announced he planned to put "Doonesbury" into hiatus through that summer while he worked on his streaming video comedy "Alpha House," which was picked up by Amazon Studios.

Trudeau and his syndicate, Universal Uclick, offered "Doonesbury Flashbacks," which were basically reruns of previous strips. Having already paid for those strips once, we here at the Muted Trumpet opted not to take them up on that offer and instead added the "placeholder" strip you referred to, along with the note that we would pick up "Doonesbury" when it returned with current content. 

Trudeau partially lived up to his word, bringing back new Sunday strips in the fall of 2013, but the daily strips' hiatus was extended until November 2013. Then Amazon agreed to pick up "Alpha House" for a second run, and Trudeau announced that he would produce only Sunday strips for the foreseeable future.

So here we are, Joe, 2½ years later, with a placeholder strip. Maybe it's time to choose a permanent replacement, ya think? (Our editor, Bob Hunter, ever the glutton for punishment, says you can send ideas to his email, bhunter@mailtribune.com.)

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