Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time by G.B. Trudeau

The Long Road Home: One Step at a Time
by G.B. Trudeau [741.5 Tru]

I have been a fan of G.B. Trudeau’s work on Doonesbury since the early 1970s. Peopled with a vast and varied cast of characters, Trudeau took a comedic poke at all of society’s conventions, usually with a liberal slant. Fron the zoned-out Zonker, to the Hunter S. Thompson parody Duke, to the titular Mike Doonesbury, the characters all have multiple layers to explore. This particular collection gathers the entire storyline of ex-football player B.D. — he who always wore his football helmet in the strip, even after college — as he goes to serve in the military in Iraq. When his humvee is blown up by an RPG while on patrol, B.D. ends up losing his leg, beginning a long journey of recovery, both physical and emotional. B.D. eventually gets a titanium prosthetic leg — this series of comic strips, spread out over a year’s time, tells of every step of his recovery process…sometimes in humorous tones, but often with very serious entries. For a comic strip that usually is satirical, Trudeau is able to treat a very sensitive topic with humor and honesty. Great work! It turns out that The Long Road Home is merely the first of four books in a set that Trudeau put out that tied into soldiers’ experiences in war and their reintegration into society. The War Within continues to follow B.D., as he deals with PTSD and the emotional stresses of being a survivor. Signature Wound: Rocking TBI features B.D. serving as a mentor to one of his former soldiers, who suffered a traumatic brain injury (and lost an eye), and who faces unique challenges fitting back into society. The fourth volume is Mel’s Story, which tells the story of a female military chopper mechanic, who is the victim of rape by a fellow soldier but who works through the healing process enough to re-enlist for another tour of duty in the mideast. These latter three volumes are not owned by the libraries but would be available through our InterLibrary Loan service.

[If you enjoy this, you may also wish to try Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe, by Tom Batiuk — a sensitive and heartbreaking treatment of a family’s experiences with terminal cancer in the Funky Winkerbean comic strip; and Remembering Farley, by Lynn Johnson, the story from puppyhood to passing of the beloved dog in the For Better or Worse comic strip.] 

[ official Doonsbury web site from author Garry “G.B.” Trudeau ]

Recommended by Scott C.
Bennett Martin Public Library

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