Nov. 2, 2009, 1:28 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2009, 1:30 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2009, 2:05 a.m. CST
Would like to see them run it on TV again this holiday season.
Nov. 2, 2009, 2:31 a.m. CST
That's for sure. Glad to know there's a lot of this stuff I haven't read yet.
Nov. 2, 2009, 2:50 a.m. CST
Great piece! Best thing I've read on here in ages.
Nov. 2, 2009, 3:03 a.m. CST
this is what AICN should be about. bloom county is cool and geek in a way that couldn't exist today. probably the smartest strip from the 80s and culturally relevant in a way that cartoons, comic strips and comic books aren't any longer in American culture. the talkback also reflects how stupid and ignorant this site can be. 2nd post :" Fox Trot is still best." Fox Trot has nothing to do with Bloom County which was political satire and commentary. It's like some idiot comparing Family Matters to Archie Bunker.
Nov. 2, 2009, 3:28 a.m. CST
The only one left for me is Doonesbury (although I do like Foxtrot, I probably won't buy a hardcover collected version). If they release two year volumes every 6 months of that it will be a long time before it's all collected even with the hiatuses.
Nov. 2, 2009, 3:29 a.m. CST
between buying this now, or waiting until the second edition comes out with the complete versions of the Sunday strips.
Nov. 2, 2009, 3:43 a.m. CST
but it has nothing to do with Bloom County. it's also on a lower tier along with For Better or for Worse or any number of other popular strips. by sales and influence the big 3 were Calvin and Hobbes, Far Side and Bloom County. Foxtrot was funny but it was basically a family comic like Family Circle. Bloom County was political like Doonebury but more creative and less didactic. Calvin was child-centric like Peanuts. Probably the one innovation Foxtrot had fully true tonal voice. The kids talked and thought like kids not little adults and shit like the iguana just being a fucking animal eating bugs instead of speaking and cracking jokes.
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:13 a.m. CST
by JT Kirk
Until that day, no collection will be complete. Of course, I have the original so I'm just making trouble, but it's great to hear Bloom County complete is getting out there after all these years (sorry Outland, but you didn't do it for me).
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:24 a.m. CST
Grew up with the big three myself...Bloom County, Far Side, Calvin & Hobbes. The comics page was full of talent then. Now it's mediocre pap churned out without anyone noticing or caring for the most part.
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:38 a.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
I loved it as a kid, but I enjoy it now mostly out of nostalgia. Calvin & Hobbes holds up as well today as it did twenty years ago.
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:42 a.m. CST
It always struck me as Doonesbury Lite. And that's over-complimenting it.
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST
also grew up on it.. i remember looking for something to take it's place after it ended, but nothing ever did. ( i dont know why i never read doonesbury, i know it inspired bloom county. i was probably too young and didnt connect with the characters.) I lost track after Outland though, and would love to get there.
Nov. 2, 2009, 5:34 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2009, 5:35 a.m. CST
Long gone are the days when Americans would tear open the paper right to the funnies before anything else to get the daily fix. I remember laughing my ass off to the social commentary/observations on those pages back in the day. These days when you can sit through 30 minutes of the Office or an hour of Leno without getting a true laugh, it's a lost art how truly talented artists could make you laugh out loud with 4 panels of black and white ink(or 1 in the case of Far Side). Where did that talent dissipate to? It's truly a lost art.
Nov. 2, 2009, 5:43 a.m. CST
and that out show wasn't cancelled.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:03 a.m. CST
The changes that the DOONSBURY characters went through during the 18-month sabbatical gap - graduating college, entering the job market, getting married - were all covered in the short-lived Doonsbury Broadway musical. I still have the cast album and the book they published with the script.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:15 a.m. CST
by The McPoyle Clan
is the one who's a complete recluse, like Hughes and Salinger. Funny how there's no mention that Breathed is currently writing children's books. With the big 3, that was truly a great time for comics.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:23 a.m. CST
I Voted for Bill and Opus!
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:30 a.m. CST
occasionally political, but to compare it to Doonesbury is inaccurate. Granted, I soaked in a lot of 80's politics as an 11 year old that I wouldn't have cared about at all otherwise, but the Bloom County storylines covered everything under the sun (and some outer space ones as well). Hadn't thought about this strip in years. Wish I could post some of my favorite strips on the talkback to show people just how great BC was.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:34 a.m. CST
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:35 a.m. CST
Foxtrot got the "family" dynamic right for the first time in a daily comic. At least in earlier years, the kids and parents and their situations and relationships rang true.<br><br>Foxtrot simply does not have the genius for commentary that Brethed managed so well.<br><br>Remember when the meadow party nominated Bill and Opus to run for the Pesidency? Attracting the attention of a Mondale support who asks who they got to go against Reagan the tell him "Dead cat", Mondale's guy looks over his shoulder, mutters "what the hell" and joins them. <br><br>Still makes me chuckle 20+ years on.
Nov. 2, 2009, 6:36 a.m. CST
I nevur lerned much about tyupng
Nov. 2, 2009, 7:03 a.m. CST
I want to buy the volumes, but am nervous about doing so if there's stuff missing that a second or third printing will include.
Nov. 2, 2009, 7:45 a.m. CST
bloom county. <p> been looking for some strip that makes me want to read it everyday since. never found another strip like bloom county. it was an addiction. <p> boondocks and sinfest are the closest strips i've found over the years. and still miss bloom county. i always will.
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:13 a.m. CST
Trudeau was more pointedly political He talking about Vietnam, Communist China and even had his characters interact with members of the Administration. Doonesbury was a darling of the Left because he took those shots they wish they could at Nixon, etc. Bloom County was more social commentary... oil drilling, book burnings, materialism, McCulture etc. Occasionally Opus and Milo would be in some directly referenced political storyline but Bloom County's commentaries were more generally observant about America in general, whereas Doonsbury was more literal in terms of lecturing what Trudeau thought about specific issues. For example, if pictures of Reagan were in Bloom County it wouldn't necessarily be a direct Leftist comment on some policy but more because he was this funny looking smooth talking old man who so heavily influenced yuppies like Steve Dallas. They were both social and political commentary but if Trudeau was Jon Stewart Daily Show, Bloom County was more South Park. Although South Park sucks shit, and is 1/20th as funny, subversive or original as Bloom County... I've always thought both it and Family Guy owe a lot and are evocative of the social commentary (and randomness) you used to find on the comic pages. 20 years ago some of the shit like making Bill the Cat a surrogate for commentary on Michael Jackson's weirdness was totally random, but somehow true and also groundbreaking. Or seeing Opus walk ass backwards to get embroiled in some major political row totally random wasn't something you'd see on TV or in the comics but which is old hat with the 2 kids on South Park.
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:16 a.m. CST
Loved Bloom County, and the three genius strips of the 80's were definitely it, Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes. The story arc format of Bloom County combined with biting satire and just plain silliness into such a wonderful creation.
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:19 a.m. CST
I'm 28 and got into Bloom County through the Billy and the Boingers Bootleg collection (complete with record) that I got at a white elephant sale at a Convent (which is kinda weird). Breathed's series was extremely influential for me and was my window into understanding a lot of more adult news items and concepts (how else would I have known or cared who Lee Iacocca was unless a cockroach had a song and dance number about him?). Larson and Watterson have all recieved their due, but Breathed deserves some recognition. I'm so happy about this set coming out...
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:45 a.m. CST
A part of me has been dead since the big 3 left.<p>Wish I had the cash for this.
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:58 a.m. CST
And if you don't know by now, Bill bit the head off a cow.
Nov. 2, 2009, 9:18 a.m. CST
by Mr. Nice Gaius
I know there are some out there who will probably disagree with me on this but I believe it to be true. BLOOM COUNTRY covered so much ground and had so many memorable characters and running stories/gags. I think CALVIN & HOBBES is more of a nostalgic affair and most of the people who started reading it (folks my age and younger) never had a chance to experience BLOOM COUNTY in its heyday. (From what I remember, its run came to an end just as C&H was starting to take off.)<P>From Opus to Cutter John...Steve Dallas to L.H. Puttgrass...Bill the Cat to Hodge Podge...to Binkley and his Anxiety Closet. You really can't beat it.
Nov. 2, 2009, 9:48 a.m. CST
...I've read from start to finish in a looooong time. More stuff like this please!
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:09 a.m. CST
"...but I love you!" I still have my stuffed Bill the Cat (who used to hang from a noose in my locker in high school). I seem to remember the Star Trek parodies being my favorite - "Set phasers on slaughter!" Great to see this on AICN.
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:23 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
Glad to hear so many of us agree on what is the "Big Three." Because of this talk back I'm finally shelling out the money for that complete Calvin & Hobbes. Also getting all of my old "Big Three" compliation books back from my thieving sister.
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:33 a.m. CST
There is and always was a lot of social commentary in Doonesbury. It's hardly a political polemic. It sounds like you have not read much Doonesbury over the years.
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:36 a.m. CST
It seemed like he just stopped appearing eventually. Was he simply phased out?
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:38 a.m. CST
By the way, I did not mean to say there weren't overtly political strips and to say it was more overtly political than Bloom County is correct. It's just your description makes it sound like a lecture.
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:46 a.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:54 a.m. CST
Just a perfect strip. I laughed hard and marveled at the talent behind it. I have every compilation I could lay my hands on. I will get this one as well.
Nov. 2, 2009, 11:03 a.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
Bloom County wasn't in my daily newspaper. I consumed it exclusively via the books. Started reading it at a pretty young age.<p> What's funny is that I'd re-read the books every year or so, and every time I'd get a joke that had completely escaped me earlier, because I was too young when I'd first read it.<p> Like, at first I just liked the funny kids and animals. Tee hee, they're silly!<p> Then the satire would filter into my brain with each passing year.<p> Like, I never got into Doonesbury because it was so clearly targeted directly at adults. But Bloom County could speak to kids and adults on different levels.<p> I have a feeling a lot of readers experienced Bloom County this way.
Nov. 2, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST
I'll buy it. I've been searching for the original books without much luck, but this is perfect. Bloom County is my all-time favorite comic strip, bar none.
Nov. 2, 2009, 11:31 a.m. CST
One of the top three greatest (funniest) strips of all time. The other two slots belong to far side and Calvin and Hobbes. Everything else sucks.
Nov. 2, 2009, 12:36 p.m. CST
Still makes me laugh. Loved the "Fat-bellied Stogie Sucker" and "Elvis on the State Road Crew" strips, too.
Nov. 2, 2009, 1:32 p.m. CST
Bloom County was by far my favorite comic strip when I was a teenager. While I was collecting that, my brother collected Garfield. I think I win that battle. <p> </p> Along with Bloom County, my favorite comic strips are Calvin & Hobbes, Foxtrot, Zits and a fairly new twisted comic I've discovered called Lio. For Better or for Worse also has a lot of charm to it. <p> </p> By far the WORST comic strip ever written is Sylvia. Oh dear LORD that's a horrible strip. Why any newspaper prints it baffles me.
Nov. 2, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST
I had never seen Bloom County here in the UK. I picked "Bloom County: Babylon" (which seems like a pretty substantial collection in itself) for a dollar at a New Jersey flea market whilst on holiday in 1990 and loved it! I'm glad there will be annotations in this because even in 1990 a lot of the 80's political stuff was lost on me (hey I was a 16-year-old Scottish boy, what did I know of Jeanne Kirkpatrick?) but I still realised that Bill the Cat = GOD!!!
Nov. 2, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST
I can't remember, now I'm all confused...
Nov. 2, 2009, 3:55 p.m. CST
always loved bloom county, meet him once while i was working at midas in redlands, ca. he was super cool, steve dallas-esqe shades on, an aroma of liquor, and he was nice enough to sketch out an opus for me on a napkin.
Nov. 2, 2009, 4:46 p.m. CST
by Star Hump
Nov. 2, 2009, 7 p.m. CST
Something came up about Michael Jackson and I spent about an hour trying to find the strip where Binkley wakes up his dad in the middle of the night and says, "You know, I've been thinking: Michael Jackson really needs to start dating." Funny and prophetic back in 1984.
Nov. 2, 2009, 7:04 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
I read & collected strips "live" as a teenager as well back then, and still have them. Wasn't Steve's perm a jab at the feminization of men that began in the 80's? Can't remember, think he got brainwashed into becoming more sensitive or something. Hilarious. Eventually he ends up sitting on a fire hydrant, buck naked, then reverts back his old self. Breathed's social commentary was unmatched!<p>Also enjoyed the jabs at Burger King's RETURN OF THE JEDI tie-ins, with Binkley saving Princess Pistachio from a Darth Vader Death Glass. LOL
Nov. 2, 2009, 7:32 p.m. CST
If you haven't read it before, take a gander at one of the collections of "Pearls" comic strips at your local bookstore.<br> <br>Goofy, funny, often dark. I think Stephan Pastis has picked up the torch from Breathed and ran with it quite well.<br> <br>As a side note, does anyone remember "Arnold" by Kevin McCormick? A truly strange strip that ran for six years which was also required reading for me along with Bloom County, Far Side and of course Calvin. I always wished for an Arnold collection, alas it never happened.<br> <br>Long live Bill the Cat! "OOP, ACK!"
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST
by Royston Lodge
...was the strip at the very end of Bloom County's run where Steve Dallas gets a job as a Cathy guest star.
Nov. 2, 2009, 8:44 p.m. CST
Such fond memories of this strip in the 80s. I loved all of the subplots and story arcs. I was so excited to get my Bill the Cat stuff animal. Still have it somewhere. <p> "Run with the devil, shout Satan's might; Deathtongue! Deathtongue! The beast rises tonight."
Nov. 2, 2009, 9:56 p.m. CST
but Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy absolutely NEVER cease to just crack me up any time I read 'em.
Nov. 2, 2009, 10:09 p.m. CST
was living in iowa city during the bc peak years. so was i. rumor had it, a local lawyer, an acquaintance of mine, was the inspiration for steve dallas.
Nov. 3, 2009, 12:27 a.m. CST
by frank cotton
THEY'RE CHEWING ON MY BRAIN! hey, where's the GET FUZZY love?
Nov. 3, 2009, 10:32 a.m. CST
Yes it's a fairly "new" strip but it can have some pretty biting commentary. Again, not in the same category as Bloom County and certainly not on the level of Doonesbury, but pretty consistantly funny social commentary, often satirical but sometimes (sadly) not. And BTW Happy Boy, no I wasn't saying Fox Trot was in the same category as Bloom County in my second post. I was saying Fox Trot was a better comic strip imo. It's like saying you liked Spiderman 2 more than you liked What's Eating Gilbert Grape. They are in nowhere near the same categories, but they're both MOVIES. Same scenario.
Nov. 3, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST
"in a hot tub..filled with warm Jell-o!" That was the best moment for me, for this follow-up incident. Berke Breathed won the Pulitzer and was interviewed in NYC on Good Morning America. That day filling in for Joan Lunden was THE Kathleen Sullivan. As she was reading the telepromter plugging the upcoming interview, they showed the panel with the above quote. Live on the air, Sullivan stopped, and said "Whoa, uhhh, oh my!" and got red faced as the rest of the studio started to laugh hysterically. She then tossed it to the news anchor Edie Magnus, who was in DC, and she was laughing maniacally with her mouth wide open. Berke did the interview about 10-15 minutes later with Sullivan. One of my favorite moments of Live TV.-----later-----m
Nov. 4, 2009, 4:40 a.m. CST
Study up some history. Chuck started off with WB as an animator... working for the real deals like Isadore Freling and, the main man himself, Bob Clampett. It wasn't until later that Chuck took it upon himself to (a phrase that is woefully all-too often used these days) "re-imagine" other animators' works into his own. Chuck Jones is/was a hack who, like Newton, stood upon the shoulders of geniuses. Hell... he even put his "own spin" on Tom & Jerry and left that shitty looking until Gene Deitch came along with his own, and original, psychedelic spin on the classic. Will people quit extoling the undeserved virtues of a copy-cat like Chuck Jones and realize that there were far superior animators/directors working for Warners back then? Long live Clampett and Freleng and McKimson!!!
Nov. 4, 2009, 4:49 a.m. CST
Hells yes, Bloom County was, easily, one of the funniest and most topical strips of the '80's. Doonsbury stood the test of time... Calvin & Hobbes, sadly (and easily the best we've ever had) had to disappear with all of our collective innocence... but BC (no, you knobs, the other one) will always be one of the best-illustrated, best-written & best conceived strips of all time. DEATH TO THE MARY-KAY COMMANDOS!
Nov. 4, 2009, 4:58 a.m. CST
Did you seriously just reference the warm, milktoast strip that is "For Better or for Worse" as a "good strip?" Really? You need Juan Valdez and half the coffee in Columbia to stay awake after reading one of those!