“A return after 25 years. Feels like going home.”
With those words, and the image of cartoonist Berkeley Breathed at his computer screen, working on his first “Bloom County” panels since 1989, another beloved newspaper comic strip from the 1980s has come back from the dead but dearly never forgotten.
Breathed attended Comic-Con in San Diego last week to “hoping to meet all of you and and sign your Bill the Cat ass tattoos. There’ll be 50 advance copies of the most reprehensible, embarrassing book of my career: The Academia Waltz Collection (my college comic strip done when I was of the emotional age of about 9).” That strip, from Breathed’s days as a student at the University of Texas, had introduced his character of Steve Dallas. Dallas would become the leading man in “Bloom County” — Breathed’s syndicated newspaper strip that ran in the funny pages from 1980 through the summer of 1989 — along with a 10-year-old boy reporter, a penguin named Opus and Bill the Cat.
In July 1989, Breathed made his own cartoon version of Donald Trump — not to be confused with the real-life cartoon that is Trump — the ultimate villain of “Bloom County,” buying the comic strip and firing all of the characters. Breathed sent his characters off into other strips, and started a Sunday-only strip, “Outland,” followed by a second Sunday strip, “Opus,” which ended in 2008.
Breathed posted the photo of himself working on 2015 “Bloom County” on Sunday, which prompted tens of thousands of Facebook likes, and an early commenter noting that “with Donald Trump returning to the Political Spectrum, I believe it is only fitting” to see the gang return. Breathed’s reply? “This creator can’t precisely deny that the chap you mention had nothing to do with it.”
With Bill Watterson drawing publicly again in the wake of a documentary film on him and the influence of “Calvin and Hobbes,” and now Breathed breathing new life into “Bloom County,” has anyone heard from the other legendary comic strip artist of the 1980s, Mr. Gary Larson of “The Far Side”???