In the rarified universe of political cartoonists, one name and one name alone, towers above all others, bestriding the genre and its not exactly stars like the Colossus of Rhodes actually didn’t bestride Rhodes apparently. (trust me, there was a really interesting History Channel Documentary about it) And, no I don’t mean either Berkeley Breathed or Aaron McGruder (you blasphemous louts) ...Garry Trudeau has been writing "Doonesbury" for thirty-four years, commenting on American political life and foreign policy since Vietnam with the help of a dizzying cast of deadpan characters and a Greek chorus of real-life political figures. He's even been nominated for an Oscar for his animated "Doonesbury Special", and his was the first daily comic strip ever awarded the Pulitzer Prize. He's also been badmouthed by virtually every member of the Republican Party.

Now he's set to tackle a new job as a screenwriter. He has previously written Doonesbury specials and mini-series, but now Phoenix Pictures and Walden Media have tapped Trudeau to script their as-yet untitled project about a teenager who becomes mayor of his small town. The film, which will supposedly be a bi-partisan tirade (despite Trudeau's daily right-wing-aimed potshots), its story will be loosely based on the true accounts of a pair of teenagers who were actually elected mayors of their respective towns, one a liberal democrat and the other a conservative republican. The idea is that the film will take a semi-serious look at the difficulties of running a town and serving the public while also finishing high school, going to prom and dating.

Trudeau is also keeping himself busy penning an HBO mini-series for "The Company"s Robert Altman to direct, providing him with a nice little sideline when the cartooning gets too much.

Brian B.