Nov. 4, 2010, 2:22 a.m. CST
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:58 a.m. CST
Remember when you could read Bloom County & Calvin & Hobbes back to back.... I miss those times.
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:03 a.m. CST
Thx much for the years of smiles and mirth, Mr. Breathed!
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:22 a.m. CST
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:39 a.m. CST
Nov. 4, 2010, 4:12 a.m. CST
They have classic Bloom County of Yahoo! comics and it still makes me laugh out loud after all these years. Even though the names and faces of the people who were poked and prodded by Mr. Breathed's rapier sharp wit have changed or are gone, it's still the same old wacky story....even today!!
Nov. 4, 2010, 4:57 a.m. CST
and I still have the flexi from Billy and the Boingers.
Nov. 4, 2010, 6:21 a.m. CST
Speaking of Breathed's use of digital tools, my favorite Bloom County anecdote involves Xeroxed pictures of celebrities that sometimes appeared in the background. In 1985, President Reagan liked a "caricature" (actually a Xerox) of his wife so much that he called Breathed. Breathed said that he offered Reagan the "original drawing" but "couldn't find it". (Miami Herald, 1/30/85, p. A2)
Nov. 4, 2010, 6:34 a.m. CST
...I never quite expected to see in my lifetime, somehow. Drawn by Watterson and Breathed, no less. I can't see how she'll ever go back to Dagwood now. <p> Bloom County, Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side really did make up the last great age of newspaper comics. Some good stuff has been done since, but they were the last to really shift what the comics page could be before that medium began to die out with the rise of the Internet.
Nov. 4, 2010, 6:43 a.m. CST
I remember that story about President Reagan! Obvious to anyone younger than Reagan's 74 that it was a Xerox of Nancy Reagan. Here's the Bloom County episode -- see for yourself: http://bit.ly/9THkvX
Nov. 4, 2010, 7:06 a.m. CST
by The McPoyle Clan
A pity that later generations are occupied instead with pictures of cats with captions.
Nov. 4, 2010, 7:18 a.m. CST
Ruled...too bad it never made it to series if that was the goal back then.
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:02 a.m. CST
twenty years later and its still hard for me to enjoy the comics page without bloom county in it.
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:21 a.m. CST
Best line ever!!!!!!!!! Opus razing a Hari Krishna....Great stuff
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:59 a.m. CST
real comics that were actually funny. RIP to excellence. The comics now are lame, witless wanna be's.
Nov. 4, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
by Nice Marmot
I love you, Mr. Breathed.
Nov. 4, 2010, 9:10 a.m. CST
Obviously, a lot of the pop culture references are lost to the sands of time, but the basic humor still holds up. Breathed definitely does not give himself enough credit. Interesting that the Weinsteins would buy a property about a talking penguin and then insist that you can't have a talking penguin. Kinda' missing the whole point. Regardless, Mr. Breathed, please allow them to collect Outland and Opus in the same way, so that we can have all of your brilliant work in this wonderful form.
Nov. 4, 2010, 9:29 a.m. CST
Man, this is tough for me. I was in college in the mid-80's, and those three strips were (and still are) integral parts of my life. The ONLY 'anthology-type' books of comics I have ever bought have been of those three comics. I have multiple large-sized books of Bloom County, Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes. each of them in their own way helped create in me a love of looking at the world through the eyes of someone who has no idea what they are looking at, which allows us to see both the beauty and the horror that exist in almost everything. But it is too true, they all three abandoned us to that horror far too soon. I love Dilbert and Pearls and Real Life Adventures, they are truly great, and I don't think the genre is dying, as Breathed insists. I always got the sense from him, even in his youth, that he was bitter and cynical on the inside, and this interview does nothing to dissuade from that position. So now they all three are like the Beatles in their own way - complete finite works, endlessly replayed and re-anthologized. I guess we should just feel lucky.
Nov. 4, 2010, 9:55 a.m. CST
Needs more sex, Bekeley!...
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST
He is just as smart as you would expect him to be.
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:05 a.m. CST
by TV's Frank
That's all. I gotta go. <p>Bill n' Opus 2012!
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:15 a.m. CST
by Life Proof
Ok. I have one, everyone I know has one, and we have ALL lost our copies of the Billy & The Boingers flexi.
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:29 a.m. CST
I used to cut out each and every Bloom County comic strip and store them in cigar boxes. I felt pretty foolish once they started releasing the books, though. Good times.
Nov. 4, 2010, 12:22 p.m. CST
"Ok. I have one, everyone I know has one, and we have ALL lost our copies of the Billy & The Boingers flexi." Uh, no. I still have mine attached to the original book. I intend to sell this on e-bay one day to finance my retirement in Tahiti.
Nov. 4, 2010, 1:32 p.m. CST
I discovered him back in his "Academia Waltz" days when I moved to Austin in '76. It blew my mind when "Bloom County" came along and was embraced across the universe. I never figured his insanity would work outside the pocket of wierdity that was Austin in those days.
Nov. 4, 2010, 1:35 p.m. CST
I wonder where that is? Could I have tossed in in one of the moves. Say it aint so.
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:04 p.m. CST
I've enjoyed this special on video every year since it debuted, but to this day, I am still stunned at how far off the chosen Opus voice was from my expectations. It just so absolutely doesn't work for me.
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:07 p.m. CST
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:08 p.m. CST
...about how long it takes to finish a strip?
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:33 p.m. CST
Were had reading Bloom County. Full on, burst out loud, gut constricting laughs. Sometimes, all that set me off was Opus giving the reader a blank look. If Breathed is reading this, thanks for giving me SOMETHING to enjoy in the '80s. The good 'ol days...
Nov. 4, 2010, 2:55 p.m. CST
I feel sad that I can no longer glean any new humor from the comics. I actually didn't start reading them until long after they'd left newspapers (I was born in '85), but my parents had a great number of the books and I devoured them alongside their Calvin and Hobbes books. Re-reading them over the years has been an absolute treat as more and more of the funny kept coming out as my mind developed and my knowledge of the references increased. While the jokes themselves reference people and places long gone, if you insert their successors in the same place it's still eerily accurate at times (proof that politics and political humor never changes).
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:13 p.m. CST
by SilentBob X
This set is definitely on my want list for Xmas. And great interview with a great writer and cartoonist. Bloom County kept me sane in the 80s. Thank you, Mr. Breathed
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:21 p.m. CST
...in any medium, actually. From Bill smoking every remaining cigarette at once to Steve tied to the chair to Opus cowering in the toilet, just thinking about it now still cracks me up.
Nov. 4, 2010, 3:39 p.m. CST
but it's humor was perfectly understandable and relatable to me as a kid growing up in the 80's. Not everything has to be for adults in the comic strips. As great as Bloom County is, it made no bloody sense to me until I got older. That and Jim Davis is a lovely man. Have his autograph on my wall.
Nov. 4, 2010, 5:06 p.m. CST
times when I was a kid. Would just pick it up and read and laugh at a few strips, go about my kid business, then read some more later on. I learned about 80's politics by accident, the way some kids today get their news from The Daily Show.
Nov. 4, 2010, 5:30 p.m. CST
I can still picture it vividly.
Nov. 4, 2010, 5:52 p.m. CST
A bird on the face. A tongue, what a disgrace. At best this music can be described as lame. Sure we look disgusting. But whose chops are we busting. In year or a two will seem lame. And three years down the track. Will be a Las Vegas lounge act. Will be back. Will be back cause were the Boingers. God, I'm a old ass nerd.
Nov. 4, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST
even as a kid i didn't like it. If you didn't get Bloom County until you got into your 20s, you were just kinda slow. But Garfield was very popular so you weren't the only one into lame "mainstream" entertainment.
Nov. 4, 2010, 7:22 p.m. CST
by Sir Loin
I used to clip and save many of them as a teen, as I'm sure some of you did, to put on my walls at home and then in college. I've never literally laughed out loud at comics at any other comic. Breathed is a genius and his outlandish ideas were great and are still funny today! Oliver using show & tell in school to talk about Halley's Comet impacting the earth...LOL
Nov. 4, 2010, 8:56 p.m. CST
Thanks AICN. You dun good.
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:16 p.m. CST
by frank cotton
and when i'm old and feeble i'll read them again, and maybe die laughing. there are a few good strips out there - GET FUZZY, and ARGYLE SWEATER come to mind
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST
Add Aaron Mcgruder to that list...<p> Seriously...all I have to do for a fucking living and to continue being a huge success is come up with six jokes a week and a slightly bigger one on the seventh? Who walks away from THAT?!<p> Charles Schulz almost had to die before he quit, only two months before he passed away. Scott Adams is still chugging and topical, and Wiley Miller more than makes up for Breathed's absence with NON SEQUITUR. You want to be relevant, keep working.
Nov. 4, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST
I like the "Waterson=Disney Breathed=Termite Terrace" comparison. It's a good illustration of why I always prefered Bloom County over Calvin and Hobbes. Except for Pearls Before Swine and occasionally Non Sequiter, nothing has come close to Bloom COunty in my eyes since.
Nov. 4, 2010, 11:36 p.m. CST
Have you ever done a creative thing in your life? These guys all said what they wanted to say, and then left when they didn't. Breathed had a great run, and quit when he felt he needed to. Schultz kept going until he died, and guess what? Good for him! Not everyone has to run on the same career track YOU think they should. Also, not one of them gives a fuck whether you think they are relevant or not. They didn't get into this to be relevant to you or anyone else. They simply wanted to make a living making people laugh. They were lucky enough to succeed during their time where thousands failed.
Nov. 5, 2010, 12:33 a.m. CST
the early strips, the ones that Jim Davis actually drew, were funny and different. This was when he was a fat cat with a little bitty head, he was an abrasive smartass who stole his owners food and pushed the dog off the table. Funny shit because he was the opposite of all the sweet little cartoon animals. The anti-Snoopy.
Nov. 5, 2010, 12:35 a.m. CST
That was some funny stuff, too
Nov. 5, 2010, 1:55 a.m. CST
Bloom County, Calvin & Hobbs, The Far Side. The Comic Strip Trinity! I miss them all! <p> And yes, my copy of Bloom County Vol.3 is ordered and will soon join my copies of Vol.1 & 2. and the rest. <p> And, again, yes, I was wearing my "Don't blame me, I voted for Bill n' Opus!" T-shirt when I voted Tuesday! <p> Forgive me. It's the only way I can vote with a straight face and no tears. <p> While I'm on the election, Hey California! You went from The Govinator to Governor Moonbeam!?! It's like watching a WWI fighter that's been spiraling to the ground, suddenly erupting into a fireball and continuing it's death spiral, but now with a really cool trail of black, sooty smoke! <p> Way! To! Go! O-Hi-O! Do-Do-Do-Dooooo!
Nov. 5, 2010, 7:12 a.m. CST
and would read Bloom County religiously in the Stars & Stripes every day. Funny as hell and still makes me smile.
Nov. 5, 2010, 7:13 a.m. CST
Nov. 5, 2010, 11:48 a.m. CST
I think my favorite strip, and this happened some time before John Lennon was murdered, was Milo and the Colonel having a discussion of great men in history, the last of which was Lennon. I still have Opus and Bill T. Cat stuffed animals that I bought at some Hallmark store, long ago and far away. Bloom County changed my perspective in so many ways. I hope that maybe someday, I will be pleasantly surprised to find an online (less edited or not edited at all) Berkeley Breathed comic strip somewhere. Thanks for sharing Berkeley Breathed.
Nov. 5, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST
Still my favorite. Still influences every drawing that I do. And if you love Larson's Far Side (like I do) you owe it to yourself to look up Kliban's stuff to see how big an influence he was on Larlon's cartoons.
Nov. 5, 2010, 12:03 p.m. CST
If Breathed took a look at any of the popular webcomics, from Natalie Dee to Questionable Content to MegaTokyo and everything in between, he would know that there's virtually no censorship in what any of them are saying. He could easily publish himself, sitting on that fat stack of bills from Bill'n'Opus merchandising, and say whatever he wanted, make the drawings as large as he wanted. He could draw for himself, rather than an audience or an editor or a deadline. I'd like to see what he came up with. In the meantime, I need to get Bloom County Vol.3.
Nov. 5, 2010, 12:04 p.m. CST
Nov. 5, 2010, 4:01 p.m. CST
Best comic of all times to me. Nothing else comes close.
Nov. 5, 2010, 5:17 p.m. CST
...and I had NO IDEA what any of the characters were talking about or what current events references were being made. I just loved Opus and Bill the Cat and Steve Dallas and the rest.
Nov. 5, 2010, 5:24 p.m. CST
Berkley Breathed to me was an eternal class act, even if the fight over who owned Bloom County wasn't. I find it unsurprising that Breathed has had such a mixed opinion of both his competition and going into Hollywood, but I suppose he just might be too nice a guy. Nevertheless, I see what he meant about being "pissier" as he aged. Outland and Opus just never achieved the same type of affect for me.
Nov. 5, 2010, 6:33 p.m. CST
shoulder-blades. I learned so much about the grown up world from these strips. I used to collect them, until I figured out my parents would sometimes buy me the books. I once got beat up at school. My lip got stuck to my braces and I had to have minor surgery. Afterwards, in a haze of fear and pain, I still managed to get it together to look all sad eyed at my mom and say, "I think if you bought me 'Night of the Mary Kay Commandos,' it might take my mind off of things. She bought it, and you know what. It did make me feel better.
Nov. 5, 2010, 7:50 p.m. CST
by Mr. Nice Gaius
No doubt in my mind that BLOOM COUNTY was the greatest comic strip of all time. Has there ever been a better comic-ensemble cast?!<P>I never really understood the fascination with CALVIN & HOBBES...especially when BLOOM did everything so much better - touching upon tons of social-political issues while delivering the zany time after time. Such great stuff.<P>Great interview, guys. Well done.
Nov. 6, 2010, 8:22 a.m. CST
by Jack Burton
Bloom County is the greatest ever. Thanks, that interview made my day. The only ones in papers that I think come close to the classics now are Pearls Before Swine and Get Fuzzy. And I know both of those guys are big fans of the 80's Holy Trinity (Breathed, Watterson, Larson).
Nov. 6, 2010, 9:36 p.m. CST
"Have you ever done a creative thing in your life?"<p> Yeah, I AM a freelance artist, fuckhead. I'd fucking KILL for the recognition and success these guys have managed, with what likely amounts to about two hours work a week...and they walked away from it.<p> Fuck them and fuck you.
If you think its only two hours of work a week, you don't understand a thing about the process, the craft, or the art involved. <p> I'm not saying its the most strenuous job in th world, but there's more to it than you give credit for.
Nov. 9, 2010, 10:22 a.m. CST
The only reason I subscribed to newspapers during the 80's and 90's. Opus 'n' Bill were the greatest Sunday comic strip characters ever. R.I.P., guys. You are sorely missed every day.
Nov. 17, 2010, 10:30 p.m. CST
Whatever else you say about Schulz, sitting down and reading his work, up to the end, in huge--like, three years at a time--style chunks makes you really appreciate what the guy accomplished. It's a frickin' masterpiece, the entire output of his work. And so is Breatheds and Watterson's, et al. I just wish I had 50 years of Gary Larson or Calvin and Hobbes to peruse in my retirement. Because peruse it I would.