GT: With both the strip and the show, I generally fill in the backgrounds of characters on an as-need basis. I’ve always been reluctant to get locked into anything that might limit where I take a character in the future. The simplest backstory decision can have a profound impact down the road. For instance, I made Louis a Mormon, which has all sorts of implications for how I write him. His strong identification with his faith group informs much of his behavior. Alpha House has no show bible, no inventory of established story and character points, but it probably should. Doonesbury is notorious among close readers for its inconsistencies.
This isn’t Trudeau’s first TV show—he was also involved with Tanner ’88 back in the day. He’s been on an extended leave from Doonesbury while he worked on the series, but new strips began this week.