Frank is my new hero
August 7, 2017 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Dateline: Bloom County: Steve Dallas started caring for Sam The Lion, a young boy undergoing cancer treatment, I think because he was trying to impress his mother, or something similarly shallow. But he got emotionally involved. The thing is, Sam was in the ICU when a bad storm started.

It was a scary storm. And Sam's mom couldn't get to the hospital. Steve, meanwhile, was distracted. But still promised that Sam would not be alone. 11:03pm.

Opus was also distracted, but he's not Steve. So he headed out into the storm. But he couldn't get in to be with Sam. And Steve was actually concerned about Sam going through this scary time alone.

But he wasn't alone, because of Frank The Custodian. [beautiful full painting]

Steve did finally show up. And he's not happy to learn about Frank, whoever that is. The nurse he talks to about it knows exactly who he is. But Steve needs to defeat this Frank somehow. [read the top comment]

What they discover will shock you! [another beautiful full painting]
posted by hippybear (40 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
 
What boggles me is the turnaround time on that final piece. That was done in a DAY????
posted by hippybear at 10:02 PM on August 7, 2017


This may be the finest Breathed series ever. It's very dusty in here...
posted by Marky at 10:09 PM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


that's nice and all but I feel like I"m missing some sort of context that would take it from nice to freaking amazing, which seems to be other people's reaction. Could someone fill me in?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 10:12 PM on August 7, 2017 [3 favorites]


Not necessarily in a day, hippybear. Artists generally do strips months in advance. Sometimes years in advance.
posted by MexicanYenta at 10:38 PM on August 7, 2017


Steve's changed a bit since the original strip, I take it.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:41 PM on August 7, 2017 [1 favorite]


MexicanYenta: the top comment that I told you to look at was done at 4:30 on Sunday morning. The new painting was posted around 5pm today.
posted by hippybear at 10:41 PM on August 7, 2017


Chrysostom: Steve's still a selfish prick, but he has this boy that he seems to love now even despite himself. He's changed, but then, haven't we all over the decades?
posted by hippybear at 10:43 PM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


Except for Bill The Cat. He's still exactly the same. Bless him.
posted by hippybear at 10:43 PM on August 7, 2017 [18 favorites]


If I get my wish, and I somehow find the means to change careers and become a nurse in a pediatric ward, I will carry that painting of Frank sitting by Sam's bedside with me wherever I go. Bless Bloom County.
posted by Hermione Granger at 11:32 PM on August 7, 2017 [2 favorites]


The predictive comment left out one important detail - he made the table, and the tutu, and everything else, from what he had to hand. I'd say 'it might as well be real' but he put so much himself into it that it is real.

Roald Dahl once said that people who do not believe in magic will never find it. And I think I know why: because they will never make it. (Self-made wonders are actually a recurring theme in his books.)
posted by BiggerJ at 12:10 AM on August 8, 2017 [11 favorites]


God I love Bloom County. And bless Berke Breathed for bringing it back (and giving us Sam and Frank) when I really needed them.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:42 AM on August 8, 2017 [3 favorites]


You know, custodians aren't so bad...

Why, you ask, would I say that? [checks to see if he still smells like disinfectant spray]
posted by Samizdata at 3:16 AM on August 8, 2017 [3 favorites]


Date of publication isn't necessarily the day it was created.
posted by MexicanYenta at 3:18 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Taken from a FaceBook comment, no idea if there is any truth to it: "BB wrote "Patti-- in 1986, I lay in an Albuquerque critical care ER after I cracked up a small plane, my spine shattered. I was on a bizarre rolling, rocking bed, designed to keep pressure moving on my back. A guy who kept all the machines working-- a tech janitor, in essence-- noticed my tortured facial expression. He walked over when the docs had left, leaned down and whispered into my ear "Gonna make sure you stay out of pain, pardner. It's my private real job." He disappeared and talked to the nurses, who remained acutely vigilant over my narc levels in the following days. (My real dad would eventually take over such advocacy duties.) I tried and failed in finding the chap after my release. I call him Frank."
posted by Jane the Brown at 4:09 AM on August 8, 2017 [27 favorites]


Is there a way to read this without Facebook? It keeps popping things up over my screen.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:34 AM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


Oh, damn, hippybear, that last image has me weepy. We do what we can, with what we have, for one another.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:37 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


If I Only Had A Penguin:

Google "Bloom County" and start reading.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:41 AM on August 8, 2017


Google "Bloom County" and start reading.

Should they start with the first run (which appears to be broken), or the recent revival?
posted by zamboni at 5:51 AM on August 8, 2017


If I Only Had A Penguin -- ultimate eponysterical username. (Binkley might disagree, but the truth is, Binkley looks like a carrot.)
posted by duffell at 6:16 AM on August 8, 2017 [4 favorites]


Date of publication isn't necessarily the day it was created.

(SPOILERS)

Timeline (according to FB timestamps that FB is showing me)
August 6, 6:00 AM - Berkeley Breathed posts this image to facebook
August 6, 6:30 AM - Someone makes this comment in response to that image
August 7, 8 PM-ish - Berkely Breathed posts an image that was 100% inspired by a comment made like 36 hours ago

Yes, sometimes artists have art created waaaaaay before they show it to people, but this seems to be an artist using a facebook comment from a fan of what they imagine a character doing as the basis for the next day's strip.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:07 AM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


I don't know why it's the tiniest little things that get you, but that plastic pitcher is the exact shade of hospital pink....
posted by telepanda at 7:07 AM on August 8, 2017 [2 favorites]


For context's sake, it should be pointed out that Frank first appeared a couple of months ago when Opus was in urgent need of a little parental affection for Fathers' Day
posted by briank at 7:14 AM on August 8, 2017 [7 favorites]


For anyone who appreciates BB's use of magical realism to find the sentimental beauty in an otherwise shitty situation, his Christmas book Red Ranger Came Calling is overflowing with it. I highly recommend it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:19 AM on August 8, 2017


Enthusiasticlaly seconding Red Ranger Came Calling.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:38 AM on August 8, 2017


You know, custodians aren't so bad...

Why, you ask, would I say that? [checks to see if he still smells like disinfectant spray]


Some of them are. [Hoovers a couple lines of crushed urinal cake]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:49 AM on August 8, 2017


that's nice and all but I feel like I"m missing some sort of context that would take it from nice to freaking amazing, which seems to be other people's reaction. Could someone fill me in?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 1:12 AM on August 8


EponOpusterical!
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:08 AM on August 8, 2017 [3 favorites]


Yes, sometimes artists have art created waaaaaay before they show it to people, but this seems to be an artist using a facebook comment from a fan of what they imagine a character doing as the basis for the next day's strip.

I think it's actually less likely that Breathed painted that image on such short notice than that the commenter simply predicted, with remarkable accuracy, what Breathed's punchline was going to be.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:58 AM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


Honestly I tried to go back to when Steve met Sam and got attached in order to provide context, but I don't think those strips are online anymore. They're possibly in the newest Bloom County book.
posted by hippybear at 6:03 PM on August 8, 2017


EponOpusterical!

Alright, so it has something to do with penguins?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:38 PM on August 8, 2017


You didn't actually look at any of the links, did you?
posted by hippybear at 8:09 PM on August 8, 2017


Me? I did. I saw that there was a penguinish creature attempting to break into the hospital to be with the boy. My comment about something do with penguins was a sort of joke, unless there's more to the penguin angle than the fact there's a penguinish creature trying to break into the hospital.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:24 PM on August 8, 2017


Bloom County can be read on the GoComics website, usually several days or longer after Berke posts on Facebook. I honestly don't know if it's on a schedule or just whenever he gets around to it (Frank beside Sam's bed is the latest posted there, as of this morning).

I'm so glad this has been revived. I read Bloom County religiously in its original run, but I found (unlike Calvin and Hobbes) it didn't age well. The new incarnation is wonderful.
posted by lhauser at 8:26 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


The revival of the strip is not on a schedule. Sometimes he'll drop strips for a couple of weeks straight, sometimes days get skipped. He's been pretty responsive to news cycle stuff, so he's obviously working in real time.
posted by hippybear at 8:29 PM on August 8, 2017


It's fair to say it didn't age great. But we'll always have the Caspar Weinberger poem.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:31 PM on August 8, 2017 [1 favorite]


I think Bloom County has aged as well as Doonesbury, really. The bits that are very "of the moment" feel flattened by the passage of time, while much of the rest of the strip still works.
posted by hippybear at 8:36 PM on August 8, 2017


And the GoComics posting is supposed to be exactly one week after the Facebook posting, which didn't work well for recent holiday-themed strips, but we'll see how the beautiful prints show up next to all the low-res dead tree comics at GoC.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:02 PM on August 8, 2017


Steve is still angry.
posted by hippybear at 10:06 PM on August 10, 2017


I have to post the updates through this week.

Sam and Opus shared. Sam learned about fear, Opus faced one of his. Meanwhile, Steve came in on Monday to see Sam. He wasn't entirely welcomed.

Frank had everyone on the sunroof on Monday morning. And that's because Frank is magical. [beautiful full painting]
posted by hippybear at 9:06 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


And now the more I sit and think about those last two strips... the more dusty this room gets.
posted by hippybear at 9:11 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


If you have the money and love the paintings, Berkeley has things for sale now.
posted by hippybear at 8:21 PM on August 23, 2017


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