ack! thppt!
August 15, 2016 8:25 AM   Subscribe

Political Animals Last summer, after a decades-long hiatus, Berkeley Breathed resurrected his beloved, prescient comic strip ‘Bloom County’ — on Facebook. Can a Reagan-era political cartoon make sense of the internet age? posted by the man of twists and turns (28 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
The Facebook strip is more like Outland than the original, more satirical Bloom County strips from the early 80's...
posted by My Dad at 8:31 AM on August 15, 2016

Ok, I'll read it... but Facebook, really? *sigh*
posted by Huck500 at 8:34 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

They're also on GoComics, albeit a week behind.
posted by deezil at 8:38 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

You can also find the strip on twitter if you're not a facebook person.
posted by jazon at 8:41 AM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Or (that other place)/r/BloomCounty.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:43 AM on August 15, 2016

I've been enjoying it.
posted by Atreides at 8:49 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I've been enjoying it. It's not '80s Bloom County but it's still pretty good.
posted by octothorpe at 9:10 AM on August 15, 2016 [3 favorites]

Weird article, though. I get the sense that the author only kind of gets the an archeologist might, rather than being a true fan. For instance:

A very early new strip showed Opus moping as his dear old friends all stared at their iPads and iPhones, and the effect was viscerally, enormously upsetting. These people (and animals) don’t belong here. They’re too good, too pure.

All I have to say about that is: pbthppt.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:15 AM on August 15, 2016 [12 favorites]

Metafilter: pbthppt!
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 9:23 AM on August 15, 2016 [6 favorites]

Not to mention the rampant ageism.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:25 AM on August 15, 2016

I've always wondered why, of the two comic strips that started at The Daily Texan while I lived in Austin, Bloom County had the greater success. Sam Hurt's Eyebeam is so much better. I pull out my stack of them and read them all every few years.
posted by Bee'sWing at 9:33 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

So glad he is running new strips. I've been enjoying them.
posted by terrapin at 9:34 AM on August 15, 2016

The new Bloom County is one of my daily refresh tabs in my browser. Breathed is really happy not to be living with the "do a new one every fucking day" deadline of being a syndicated comic. And he's been really sharp and on-point with a lot of his political cartoons while also doing charming and insightful character development for all the beloved characters of years past.

Also, just this past week, he brought back Rosebud.

So... Yeah. Bloom County is back. (Breathed just published his first new collection of BC and was at Comic Con promoting it.)

It's worth refreshing every day. I'm not even on Facebook, but thank goodness for public-facing FB pages.
posted by hippybear at 9:35 AM on August 15, 2016 [2 favorites]

Today's strip. Can we stick to ridiculousness?
posted by hippybear at 9:39 AM on August 15, 2016

I always liked Eyebeam as well. I wouldn't try to compare it with Bloom County, or rank one above the other, but I suspect that BC made it big because Eyebeam was a little too weird for mainstream comics at the time.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:42 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by praemunire at 9:54 AM on August 15, 2016 [10 favorites]

It's not the same as it was in the 1980s...but none of us are, either, nor is America. *shrug* The new strips would be less interesting (and way less relevant) if his worldview and temperament were stuck back then.

I am damn glad to have Breathed and the gang back!
posted by wenestvedt at 10:13 AM on August 15, 2016 [4 favorites]

Damn. It's bad enough that a close friend chose to share updates on her husband's cancer solely on FB, now this. I refuse to go back on FB. I tried twice and I just cannot do it again.

*quietly seethes*
posted by kinnakeet at 10:33 AM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Thanks, Bee'sWings, I just fell down the Eyebeam rabbit hole!
posted by corvikate at 11:16 AM on August 15, 2016

Bloom County was a gateway drug for me, but by the end, even before Outland, it had kind of stopped being a delight. It was very Dude-POV (even with girl characters), and Old Dude, at that. There are so many sharp comics out there that I read already that say so much more to me these days, I am reluctant to go back and find Bloom County is not what I remember it to be.
posted by emjaybee at 12:10 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

I wish I could say I've enjoyed the new strips, but I haven't really. Some things are best left finished, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:17 PM on August 15, 2016

I am reluctant to go back and find Bloom County is not what I remember it to be.

Given what you said about what BC was, it's possible that you would rather find BC to be something different, which may resemble what it is now.
posted by hippybear at 12:29 PM on August 15, 2016

I'm thrilled Berkeley Breathed and Bloom County have returned. I've read every new strip (not on (ACK) Facebook, but on the aforementioned /r/BloomCounty). But can it ever again reach the heights of this?

The wind doth taste of bittersweet / Like jasper wine and sugar / It no longer blows through others' feet / like those of Caspar Weinberger.

Maybe not, but I still find myself enjoying the current version. Even if it never replicates the highs of the 80s glory days, a revived Bloom County is still better than the vast majority of strips out there.
posted by bawanaal at 12:37 PM on August 15, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yes, it's not the same. Yes, that's good. He gets to make butt, fart and poop jokes, of which a little goes a long way. But he also updates on his time, adds colors where he wants, and throws in bits of whimsy to taste. It's not Bloom County of the 80s, but then again, nothing really is. It's still something wonderful. And if you want to argue that, all of my counterarguments are going to be Sith Lord Sexypants.

If you didn't tear up for the Christmas when Steve Dallas's heart grew three sizes, we can't be friends anymore
posted by aureliobuendia at 12:48 PM on August 15, 2016 [10 favorites]

When I got onto GoComics, years ago, I subscribed to both the Calvin & Hobbes and Bloom County reruns. The Calvin & Hobbes were re-readable, but BC was not. The new strips, though, are just fine. I think Breathed has done a fine job of updating for the Internet age. As long as Opus remans befuddled, he's heading in the right direction.
posted by lhauser at 1:27 PM on August 15, 2016

When Trump announced his candidacy, I thought "We need Bill." (Bill the Cat switched brains with Trump in a later story arc). I had been missing Berke and The Meadow since the horribly cynical late 90s, but this really drove it home. It's like an old uncle had been sending telegrams, and suddenly stopped, and started again. I'll take all the time I can spend with him, in whatever condition he's in.

That's kind of weird. Fuck it, you guys get the hell out of my anxiety closet.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 10:19 PM on August 15, 2016

The pages are public facing and you don't need an account to read the strips.
posted by hippybear at 12:33 AM on August 16, 2016 [1 favorite]

I should have much to say since I actually got paid for an internet article about the "Opus Comic Revival" in 2003 (my 'Wendell' era), which indirectly led to a personal email from Mr. Breathed himself.

Currently in, a "one-week delayed" version of Bloom County 20156 (kinda like NBC Olympic coverage) sits alongside the Bloom County Reruns (currently in March 1981, the strip's first year and pre-introduction-of-Opus) AND reruns of his original 'college comic' The Academia Waltz (which is almost illegible due to his early bad wordballoonmanship and its small reproduction size).
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:58 AM on August 16, 2016 [2 favorites]

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