milimod (milimod) wrote in faceblind,
milimod
milimod
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Doonesbury

Reading Hunter S. Thompson's biography, which led me to catch up with Doonesbury. I don't get a newspaper, and have missed a lot of the strip as a result. Slate.com has it, going back about a year and a half, so I've been cruising through, having a great time. Trudeau is still freaking brilliant.

But it's caused me to notice something: I've always had a slight problem distinguishing his characters. Zonker's pretty easy since he never cut his hair. Duke is usually hallucinating (as indicated by the little stars that surround his head). Mike's daughter Alex has her unique hairstyle. But unless I'm really focusing and paying attention to context, it can take me a little time to recognize B.D. (who no longer wears his trademark helmet and has gray hair like Mike), or to distinguish Joanie from Sam from Boopsie (who are all blondes). Jeff Redfern and Leo (Toggle) are relatively new characters; they're young guys, and both frequently show up in a war context. So I've had to work on telling them apart (Leo has the eyepatch and blond hair; Jeff is a redhead, who often helpfully dresses in his "Red Rascal" getup).

While it's slowed my reading down a little, I'm finding this exercise useful because it's a non-pressure situation. Nobody's asking me "Whatsamatta? Don't you recognize me? I'm offended..."

Duke doesn't care if I don't recognize him. It would probably make him happy if he did know.

Anybody else have trouble with the way comic-strip characters are drawn? How do you deal with it?
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