Saying that newspaper comic strips aren’t as influential as they used to be, Garry Trudeau will put daily production of “Doonesbury” on long-term hiatus beginning Feb. 24. Instead, he plans to focus on “Alpha House,” an original Web series that he’s helped create for Amazon. Trudeau will continue producing his Sunday strip, his syndicate Universal Uclick confirmed Tuesday.
“It’s now become common — even necessary — for my colleagues in art and journalism to move laterally as the media landscape changes,” Trudeau wrote in an e-mail Tuesday. “The comics were once an enormously influential part of the cultural conversation, but now it’s streaming video that’s a leading edge. We all have to adapt. I do plan to return to the strip — I see myself as a lifer — but the field obviously isn’t as robust as it was when I was starting out.”
Trudeau acknowledged the risk of suspending the daily strip, but he did put it on hold for several months last year while concentrating on “Alpha House.” Beginning March 3, the syndicate will offer older strips, in chronological order, that revisit key periods in the evolution of “Doonesbury.”
The strip currently appears in approximately 1,400 newspapers worldwide, including the Globe. About 13,000 “Doonesbury” strips haven’t been seen since they were originally published, according to Trudeau.
“I realize I leave at my peril — an established comic strip is the closest thing to tenure that popular culture offers — but creating the show was a joy,” the 65-year-old cartoonist said. “After years of working mostly on my own, it’s a pleasure to engage with other artists in a common project. I can’t wait to get back into the studio.”
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