What do you think you would be if you weren’t the guy who made up all this cool stuff?
Listen, you asked. I can only presume that my ability to draw penguins would translate into sexual attraction.
You want to know why Bloom County was set in a rural, small-town environment? To Kill a Mockingbird. Maycomb, Alabama, was where I naturally dropped all of my imagination when it needed a setting. A therapist might help explain why, but there it is. I will say that Opus is really Scout from Mockingbird in many ways. He’s a motherless innocent, adrift and wandering about in an adult world of confusion, betrayal, and incivility. We experience it through both their eyes.
"I have committed other thefts with a clean and unfettered conscience. Garfield was too calculated and too successful not to freely raid for illicit character cameos. Calvin and Hobbes was too good not to. Calvin creator Bill Watterson took these thefts in stride and retaliated in private with devastatingly effective illustrated salvos, hitting me in my most vulnerable places. Bill's sketch is an editorial comment on my addiction to the expensive sport of power boating and the moral compromises needed to fund it. That's me doing the kicking. The chap on the dock represents my cartoon syndicate boss, which says it all, methinks." (via)
The strip elicited the following response on official stationery from the Department of Defense:
Dear Mr. Breathed,
Many a morn I've longed to see
A comic strip be kind to me.
On 30 March, before my eyes
A penguin watched a warm sunrise.
In this land of so much bounty
Could I have that great Bloom County?
Raised a vegetarian in postwar Croatia near the River Dungh, an unschooled and unkempt Berke Breahted began drawing and selling his humorous sketches of the local kelp divers as a way to supplement his family's meager income from fishing. Arriving on the shores of South Carolina during the infamous Myrtle Beach boatlift of 1964, the young artist wandered the eastern cost of this country earning money by carving nude caricatures of local politicians out of tar balls until in 1979, he was discovered by Al Leeds, then a night janitor at the Washington Post Writers Group.
Introduced in 1980, Bloom County is now read in over 6700 daily and college newspapers all over the world...nearly but not quite as many as Nancy. A major motion picture based on the comic, directed by Brian De Palma and starring Prince, Yoda and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Opus is set to be released in time for Christmas 1986.
Boasting a catalog of over 3300 lines of licensed Bloom County merchandise in addition to two best-selling cartoon anthologies published by a company who is normally above such things, Berke Breathed is easily earning well into eight figures and consequently has the commercial clout to permit him the rare privilege of writing, unedited, the promotional notes on the back of his books.
zed@box:~$ ack --thppt
U ack --thppt!
i remember seeing that in a few recent Bloom County collections he re-edited and tweaked a bunch of strips. anyone know if that's the case with these collections? i'm reeeeeally hoping these are the originals.
RUSSELL: You've obviously had some obsessive readers -- me for one -- noticing some differences between the wording in a few of the strips you've collected and the strips published in the collections by Little/Brown. What was the decision process there?
DUNBIER: We used what we had in the source material. For instance, I told you we used that handmade collection one fan gave to Berkeley; that fan collection contained the strips published in newspapers. I went and checked the strips in our book against them, and that's how the strips were published.
In the first book, we were missing a lot of the original art, compared to what we have for the second and third book. What I suspect is that the printer's proofs contain a lot of the changes made at the syndicate level. Those changes may or may not have been made on the originals.... I don't know.
What I can tell you is that in the second book, we have almost every original. For instance, of all the dailies in the second book, we're only missing 47 originals out of nearly two years' worth. And then for the Sundays, we have 79 out of 92 original Sundays, and we have proofs for the other ones. And for Book 3, we have even more. Those will be closer in intent, I believe, to the way Berkeley had originally done them.
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