Garry Trudeau leaving 'Doonesbury' to focus on 'Alpha House'

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"Doonesbury" fans may have less to laugh about soon: Cartoonist Garry Trudeau has announced he is taking a hiatus from the long-running political comic in order to focus on "Alpha House," an Amazon web series he co-created.

"It's now become common -- even necessary -- for my colleagues in art and journalism to move laterally as the media landscape changes," Trudeau writes in an e-mail quoted by the Boston Globe. "The comics were once an enormously influential part of the cultural conversation, but now it's streaming video that's a leading edge. We all have to adapt. I do plan to return to the strip -- I see myself as a lifer -- but the field obviously isn't as robust as it was when I was starting out."

This doesn't mean that "Doonesbury" will disappear altogether. Syndicated to about 1400 newspapers, the Sunday strip will continue to appear, while weekday editions will contain older strips running in chronological order. Trudeau's hiatus from "Doonesbury" will begin Feb. 24, and strip reruns will first appear on March 3.

Available on Amazon Instant Video, "Alpha House" is the story of four congressmen who share a house in Washington, DC. John Goodman, Matt Malloy, Clark Johnson and Mark Consuelos play the roommates while others appearing in the first season include Bill Murray, Cynthia Nixon, Haley Joel Osment, Amy Sedaris and Wanda Sykes. Amazon has already announced a second-season pickup for the comedy.
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