Forty years ago this morning, nerdy freshman Mike Doonesbury met his roommate at Walden College, and since that day, the funny pages haven't been the same.
Created in the throes of '60s and '70s counterculture, Garry Trudeau'sDoonesbury comic strip blurred the lines between comics and the editorial pages, and produced some of the most memorable cartoon characters ever sketched.
Trudeau started drawing Doonesbury in 1970 as a Yale undergrad. "It was basically a sports strip," he tells NPR's Renee Montagne. But he soon had to scramble to find a way to sustain the strip's humor on a grander scale.
"Comic strips are like a public utility," Trudeau says. "They're supposed to be there 365 days a year, and you're supposed to be able to hit the mark day after day. And I had no idea whether I could do that."
A coffee table book retrospective of 40 years of Doonesbury is out today through bookstores and on-line stores,