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Signed Garry Trudeau/Doonesbury newspaper comic strip

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (241 items)

    For a full week in January of 1987, as the Iran-Contra scandal was at full boil, Garry Trudeau ran a series of puzzle pieces in his daily comic strip so that readers could piece together the Iranscam puzzle themselves. Each day there'd be a new batch of puzzle pieces, and at the end of the week, if you pieced them all together, you got an image with a single puzzle piece missing. The missing piece is Reagan's reply to his special counselor, David Abshire, stating what he knew and when he knew it.

    Here's a link to the full strips:

    Like a lot people, I thought this was pretty cool, both for its political commentary and for the interactive aspect of it. For some reason I really wanted to try to get Garry Trudeau's signature on my "completed" puzzle, but I could not figure out how to reach him. Then I hit on the idea to send it to his wife, Jane Pauley, who was at NBC at the time. So I sent her a note, apologizing for asking her to basically take the thing home so her husband could sign it. Naturally I included a self-addressed stamped envelope. After I sent it, I figured I'd never see it again, but a few weeks later, this arrived in the mail.

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    1. Fred_Seaborne, 3 years ago
      I think the idea of the missing piece was to show that ordinary citizens didn't know what Reagan's answer would be when he was asked about what he knew. And from the appearance of the drawing, it doesn't appear that Gary Trudeau actually ever made the missing piece to begin with... notice how there is just an "empty" --- i.e., blank --- area just to the left of the "t" in the "partial" word "tion" in Reagan's reply, indicating that the cartoonist hadn't actually penned in a letter there on his original drawing before cutting up the image into sixteenth-size puzzle-pieces.
    2. Fred_Seaborne, 3 years ago
      I think that the words shown around the missing piece were implied to be, "Well, David, I was involved", then a word ending in "tion", then two or three words and then the word "and", then two or three more words, and then some word that ends in "meni" --- I'd thought maybe the idea was that he was supposedly saying "Khomeini", since this was the last name of Iran's highly-controversial leader shortly before that time, but the elderly ayatollah's name wasn't spelled with just a "meni" at the end; maybe Trudeau made a spelling-error there; not too many words end with that set of four letters: here's the link to a page that lists English-dictionary words that end with those letters: And then finally, the last word is probably supposed to be "Contra".

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