Strip ‘clicks’ with Devon man

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APLYMOUTH man was cel­e­brat­ing to­day af­ter be­com­ing the first ever hu­man be­ing to “get” a Doonesbury comic strip. Melvin Carstairs, 42, was com­plet­ing the Guardian Su­doku yes­ter­day when his eyes flick­ered down­wards to­wards the pop­u­lar in­com­pre­hen­si­ble Amer­i­can car­toon.

Carstairs told re­porters: “I usu­ally have a quick, baf­fled glance at Doonesbury, and won­der idly whether it’s sup­posed to be funny or clever or what, and then just carry on about my busi­ness.”

“But this time, some­thing just clicked,” Carstairs con­tin­ued. “Those nor­mally cryp­tic three pan­els sud­denly made per­fect sense to me for some rea­son. I didn’t laugh ex­actly, but I sort of went, ‘Ahhh. Mm-hmm. Yep.’”


Carstairs added that he wouldn’t bother ex­plain­ing the mean­ing of the comic strip to the as­sem­bled press be­cause they prob­a­bly wouldn’t get it. “It’s some­thing to do with Water­gate and Viet­nam and stuff,” he con­firmed.


Doonesbury cre­ator Garry Trudeau has re­acted to the news that a hu­man be­ing has fi­nally grasped one of his car­toons with great ex­cite­ment.

Speak­ing to jour­nal­ists from his New York home this morn­ing, Trudeau said: “I’m de­lighted that af­ter all th­ese decades, some­one has fi­nally made head or tail of a Doonesbury.”

“I’ll be hon­est, even when I’m draw­ing them, the strips tend to go com­pletely over my head, so it’s com­fort­ing to know that some­body out there is get­ting some sense out of them.”

Cracked it!: Carstairs recre­ates the magic mo­ment (below) and Doonesbury cre­ator Trudeau (left).

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