© 2024 New Hampshire Public Radio

Persons with disabilities who need assistance accessing NHPR's FCC public files, please contact us at publicfile@nhpr.org.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Purchase your tickets now for a chance to win $35k toward a new car or $25k in cash, and our next prize of an electric bike!

Trudeau Compiles Dispatches from 'The Sandbox'

Cartoonist Garry Trudeau's latest book is <em>Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox</em>, a compilation of blog postings by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cartoonist Garry Trudeau's latest book is Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox, a compilation of blog postings by U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau has never been to Iraq or Afghanistan. But for years, his strip has chronicled the wars in those countries, with the stories of characters like Ray Hightower and B.D. — the football coach and Vietnam vet who went to Iraq with the National Guard.

Trudeau's latest project involves real-life soldiers. Doonesbury.com's The Sandbox is a compilation of writings by U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan that were posted on a blog at Doonesbury.com.

Trudeau tells Michele Norris that his goal was to provide a general audience the "flavor" of what life is like for troops overseas.

He asked soldiers to provide writing that "spoke to the texture of quotidian, day-to-day activities of [their lives]" and that were not rants about the war or the politics of the war.

Dark humor characterizes many of the blog posts.

"That black, M*A*S*H-like humor has traditionally been the thin membrane between these guys and insanity," Trudeau says during a recent book signing at the Pentagon, located just outside Washington.

"They have to look at horrible things and somehow detoxify them, and often they'll do that with humor."

Trudeau says his views on Iraq and Afghanistan didn't evolve so much as deepen as a result of the project.

"I just hope these guys get the credit that's due them," Trudeau says. "If it also helps people understand what these guys are going through, on a day-to-day basis, I think that [will be] a contribution."

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.