June 12, 2003
Will Bloom County ride again?

Via Mark Evanier comes this feature article about Bloom County creator Berke Breathed, who appears to be inclined to get back into doing a weekly strip.

"I can't say it wouldn't be appealing to bring back Opus to the Sunday pages," Breathed told National Cartoonists Society (NCS) meeting attendees here. "It was painful to sit through the war without a public voice." He added that a cartoonist has more control when doing a newspaper comic than when collaborating on, say, a movie. Breathed is currently working on a film featuring the penguin Opus, while continuing to do children's books.

Even though Bloom County was running on fumes the last year or so - I can recall at least three times when Bill-the-Cat-with-Donald-Trump's-translplanted-brain joked about selling an item of Ivana's so they could feed Africa for some period of time - I'll welcome its return with open arms. As fertile a decade as the 80s were for Opus and the gang (and please, in the name of all that's holy, bring back Milo and Binkley and Oliver as well as Steve Dallas), I have to believe that there's plenty of inspiration nowadays as well.

This tidbit alone is worth the time to read the whole thing:

One 1980s Washington resident, Ronald Reagan, was a periodic "Bloom County" target. Once, Breathed put a photo of Nancy Reagan in his comic for no particular reason. The president liked it, and phoned Breathed for the original of the strip. The cartoonist received the call while in the shower, and wished he had possessed the nerve to say: "Mr. President, I'm not wearing any pants!" When Breathed told Bill Watterson about this, the "Calvin and Hobbes" creator sketched a naked Reagan replying: "That's quite a coincidence, Berke."

How much would you pay for that sketch that Watterson gave him?

(Side note: I cannot believe that it's been fourteen years since Bloom County hung it up. I am so freaking old.)

Posted by Charles Kuffner on June 12, 2003 to Society and cultcha | TrackBack

If I remember correctly, the Nancy Reagan picture was used as part of a Sunday strip regarding anxiety closets. Nancy Reagan was pictured with Richard Nixon singing "I Just Want To Be Your Everything".

If you bring back Binkley, you need to bring back the Snorkelwhacker and the anxiety closet (Can you imagine what would be there now?). As long as Ronald Ann is not brought back, I'll be happy.

If you bring back Oliver Wendell Jones, would he using a Pentium 4 3 Ghz computer, or an Macintosh G4 Cube?

Finally, if you're old, I'm old. (OK, I admit to being old.)

Posted by: William Hughes on June 12, 2003 10:27 AM

Oh, come on Coach Buttermaker, you're not that old.

And I'd pay more for that Watterson sketch than any set of 20 of Warhols or Pollocks. Cartoonists have mad skills.

Posted by: Patrick on June 12, 2003 10:38 AM

Bring back Senator Bedfellow!!

Would he were living at this hour!

Posted by: Chris Quinones on June 12, 2003 2:13 PM

Old senators don't die, besides, Senator Bedfollow was too well preserved (from alcohol) to die.

Now kids, remember that the most important thing in politics is "Money Talks!"

Posted by: William Hughes on June 12, 2003 2:33 PM

Ah... I still own all the Bloom County and Outland compilations. I really started collecting at the tail-end, though -- fourteen years ago I was eight or nine years old, and when Outland quit, I think was still a pre-teen.

THAT should make you feel really old. :)

Posted by: Owen Courrèges on June 12, 2003 3:23 PM

That's great news!
Another cartoonist who needs to come out of retirment is Jeff Shesol who drew the brilliant but short-lived strip "Thatch."

Posted by: Mike T. on June 12, 2003 4:51 PM

Another cartoonist who needs to come out of retirment is Jeff Shesol who drew the brilliant but short-lived strip "Thatch."

Damn straight. He went to work as a speechwriter for Bill Clinton, which is when he stopped the strip. Don't know what he's doing know, but I really miss "Thatch".

Even worse, most of his comics were never collected into a book. I actually have a copy of Thatch: Featuring Politically Correct Person, but none of his more recent strips are in there. Sigh...

Owen, all you college kids make me feel old. Now get off my lawn!

Posted by: Charles Kuffner on June 12, 2003 5:14 PM

I've just seen this thread.

I love Bloom County. I would sacrifice people to have it back.

Posted by: arseblogger on July 9, 2003 4:16 PM

Wow. I am so excited! I just found out today that Bloom County is back! It brings tears to my eyes.So, what was the deal at the end? I was 14 at the time and didn't read all of the strips... So, did he get fired?

Posted by: scabjer on August 3, 2004 4:12 PM

I just found the Opus strip in the local paper it blew my mind i guess i been living in a cave for the last few years i had no idea this was being brought back in some form absolutely brilliant .
For me the most exciting part is that BILL is back he is by far my favorite of all the Bloom County characters ...

Posted by: Dave on December 20, 2006 12:53 AM