November 22, 2008

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The Congresswoman from California

November 22, 2008

I always enjoy Garry Trudeau’s Doonesbury, and the last couple of weeks (Nov. 10 to 22) have been a real treat. Trudeau is digging into some of my favorite parts of the strip’s history, doing a mini-retrospective on the late, lamented Lacey Davenport, a Republican legislator from California. If I were ever to put together a list of Great Women Characters of Comic Strips, Lacey would be right at the top. She embodied a lot of the things I like about the series — its ability to be topical and personal at the same time, the philosophical diversity of its cast, the handling of the passage of time, and the way it always managed to mix and match a sprawling cast of characters for thoughtful comic effect.

Here’s a great sequence of strips where liberal, newly minted lawyer Joanie Caucus (who campaigned for Lacey’s opponent) goes to work for Lacey.