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Breathed talks about the upcoming Bloom County Library

ICv2 talks with Berkeley Breathed about his upcoming Bloom County Library collection by IDW.

Some of the strips that will be included in IDW’s Bloom County Library were left out of the previously published Bloom County collections. Why were they omitted? Are you happy to see them included in the new complete collection?

Because the bastards wouldn’t let me publish 400 page books every year, I had to make the painful cuts. I could print about a third of any one year’s strips. I think I just closed my eyes and dropped a dart on the ones to be included. What a relief they didn’t have to ask me to do this again.

Community Comments

#1 Garey Mckee
September/21/2009
@ 5:13 pm

Mr. Doom and Gloom. But I have to agree with him for the most part.

#2 Ed Power
September/21/2009
@ 10:40 pm

I think he’s just being honest. Plus, he predicted the continued shrinking of the comics page back in the 80’s. He had the gang from the meadow as the Star Trek crew being trapped in a shrinking strip until it was nothing but a inky little dot.

Personally, I think papers have about 15 yrears left, but they’ll be a shadow of what they are even today be the time they die out.

BUT all that aside…

I CAN NOT WAIT FOR THIS COLLECTION!!!! ‘Bloom County’ rules!!!!

Now if only NBC would release ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ on DVD or Blue ray.

#3 Scott Kurtz
September/22/2009
@ 10:55 am

Bloom County was the comic strip I graduated to from Garfield. It was such a huge influence on my work when I was in high-school. I just can’t wait for this collection.

It’s so interesting to see how Berke kind of existed as a comic strip creator without ever really being into comic strips or that world.

I think that for the most part, his passion for the medium left before Bloom County ended and he’d been working on Outland and Opus minus whatever fire he had in his belly when he started Bloom County.

I think he’s probably right about both newspapers and webcomics, but I think that Berke could be an outlier online and have way more than 3000 viewers a month.

It’s just a game he’s not interested in this stage in his life, which is our loss, but completely understandable.

I will make it my goal in life to get this collection signed by him.

#4 Garey Mckee
September/22/2009
@ 2:56 pm

I’d be happy with 3000 readers a day. But I’m happy with a few hundred I guess. I just do it for myself and whoever wants to ride along is welcome.

#5 Shane Davis
September/22/2009
@ 7:28 pm

I can’t wait either!

I know I overstate how important Bloom County was to the comic page, but dang it, I really believe it was THAT good!

Back in 1983, casual comic page readers were largely half-awake morning coffee sippers, giggling children, 3rd Grade teachers and â??Cat Fancyâ? subscribers who followed strips like Garfield.

Comic artists, humor writers and future strippers, however, read Bloom County. It simply wasn’t for kiddies – it wasn’t designed to compete like that.

Instead, it was a living, breathing thing that simply did what it wanted and challenged you to go along and keep up, if you could.

It didnâ??t need you, but it would hang out with you in the University lounge. It was the guy that sat next to you in the movies popping off great one liners, mocking the stinko film you’re watching together – it was the MST3K to 1980â??s American culture.

In fact, you could say that Bloom County was â??The Rolling Stones’ to Garfield’s ‘Beatles.’ Just as the Beatles were a better pop band that had broader appeal to pre-teen girls, middle aged mommies and radio station owners, Garfield was the safe strip gently offered to innocent readers. But just as the Stones were the better rock band, Bloom County was the better humor-fueled rabble rouser. It sat on the high throne for the purists and dangerously thumbed its nose at what or whomever it wanted.

Bloom County probably awakened and inspired more legions of true believers, funny papers purple Kool-Aid drinkers and cartoon cognoscenti than anyone else since, except for maybe Mr. Watterson’s strip.

Simply put, Bloom County reached the people who *got* it because IT *got* it.

Well, sorry for the long winded epistle. I just think Mr. Breathed’s work deserves very high praise and a huge thank you not only for his body of work, but for putting them out, COMPLETE, for the first time.

Like I said, I canâ??t wait!

#6 Stephen Beals
September/23/2009
@ 2:27 pm

I love Bloom County, and I can’t wait for this collection, but I think it’s worth noting that readership statistics back then were a bit flawed. If the combined circulation of the newspapers Bloom County appeared in was 70 million, that doesn’t exactly translate into 70 million readers.

Creator’s Syndicate claimed that Johnny Hart was the most widely read writer in the world because they added up the circulation of the papers that carried Wizard Of Id and B.C. (which still fell short of Peanuts and Garfield, but they still made the claim).

Those creators did have millions of readers, but, unfortunately, I know a lot of people who bought newspapers and didn’t read the comics. At least with the web you can get some decent stats on actual visits to your strip.

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