G🙂D🙂N CHRISTMAS ANGELS
January 3, 2020 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Berke Breathed is still back in Bloom County and is at it again with his end-of-year story line, It's Never Too Late For A Wonderful Life. Starring Steve Dallas and Opus The Penguin, it's about life choices and how they affect the world. Episode 1, in which Steve Dallas is confronted with his life circumstances.

Episode 2, Lying angels
Episode 3, One Special Other!
Episode 4, Death Dealer
Episode 5, Dork Angel
Interstitial
Episode 6, Peaches
It's Never Too Late For A Wonderful Life
And Lo! It Came To Pass

Bonus: a little peek behind the scenes: "A secret to the cartooning sauce: one writes backward. I start with the end and work in reverse, both in stories and in particular strips. Some time ago I made the sketch of an abused ex-fighter in late flight from a horrific life, now safely under Steve's exhausted neck. Then I wrote the Christmas story and finished the painting. I thought some of you might like a sketched and personalized print, hence, we're overseeing the careful printing of a handful. A confession: I had a startling, blubbery reaction when I finally added the scars to my broken bull terrier. Came out of nowhere-- hasn't happened before. Age. Sheesh. --bb"
posted by hippybear (17 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
I’m fucking sobbing. Be warned, dog lovers and humanity lovers.
posted by kimberussell at 9:13 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


But it’s beautiful.
posted by kimberussell at 9:13 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


bah... dangit... I wasn't crying tonight. Now my goobers are wondering what went wrong.
posted by drewbage1847 at 9:29 PM on January 3 [2 favorites]


Showing my age here: I've always loved Bloom County. I love the dry humour, the amount of life the characters have, the way Breathed draws, the colouring when it's done in colour, the way he portrays his politics.

When Breathed turns his characters into people I get all warm and fuzzy inside, and this Wonderful Life segment falls right into what I love about him. And then there's this.

Thanks hippybear.
posted by ashbury at 9:34 PM on January 3 [8 favorites]


For the Facebook-less of us, Bloom County is also on GoComics...but that lags behind a couple days, so the story isn't complete yet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:40 PM on January 3 [1 favorite]


Every now and then Breathed breaks out something extra special, especially around Christmas. This self publishing format just flat works for the strip. He’s always had a thing for the critters who have been left behind and neglected in life. We’ve taken in several dogs that have had rough lives, and this particular storyline is quite satisfying, because after a while you learn that it doesn’t matter how long they have left so much as it does how you can make those days better for them. This dog may not have much time at all left, but now, it’s safe, spoiled, and happy. You can’t get that time back from the past, so make the moments count.
posted by azpenguin at 10:17 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


I will always have a place in my heart for Breathed because I once lived kittycorner from the Bloom County boarding house.

That and the now mostly-outdated farewell strip to Iowa City that used to hang in Bushnell’s Turtle, chronicling that the water used to taste like the cleanser Spic N’ Span.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:27 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


The (fan run, not official) @bloomcounty account on Twitter has posted all the strips, though they are not threaded. Scroll down to the first one with the red banner text, then work your way back up.

Avoiding spoilers, but the “without velocity” panel is really fucking my shit up. Heartbreakingly good writing.
posted by FallibleHuman at 11:50 PM on January 3 [5 favorites]


Perfect. I am of the age where pulling out the comics section of the Sunday paper over breakfast was a ritual. Breathed. Watterson. Best of times.
posted by pipoquinha at 1:54 AM on January 4 [9 favorites]


Perfect. I am of the age where pulling out the comics section of the Sunday paper over breakfast was a ritual. Breathed. Watterson. Best of times.

That was my idea of the Golden Age of Newspaper Comics.
posted by tommasz at 4:16 AM on January 4


In a similar vein, Flawed Dogs The Year End Leftovers at the Piddleton Last Chance Dog Pound.
As Heidy was entering the front doors of Madison Square Garden to judge that year's Westminster Best-in-Show Award, she encountered a shivering three-legged streetdog she later named Sam the Lion (pictured on page 34). A faded ear tattoo suggested a past life in a research lab. Witnesses remember that Sam licked her chin and lay his head in the warmth of her cupped hand. And then - still standing on his three remaining feet - he fell asleep.

We still don't know exactly what the spark was, but the fuse to Heidy's inner powder keg had been lit.

Minutes later in the dog show, the spotlight found Heidy holding up Sam the Lion - dripping mud and still snoring - with the Best in Show ribbon attached to his ragged collar.

You'll recall that the well-dressed mob then tore out most of the Garden's seats before the fire hoses restored order. Heidy retired from the professional dog world that afternoon and retreated to the Vermont mountains, buying a crumbling grain elevator and transforming it into the Last Chance Dog Pound - a refuge of hope where the doomed and most desperate are sent from other shelters around the country for a final try at getting adopted into a world that worships perfection.
ALSO, I got through the holidays watching Hope for Paws rescue videos on YouTube. A selection:
Abby
Yara, a difficult pit bull rescue
Brutus, an easy pit bull rescue
Mabel and her pups
Donkey rescue in Israel
posted by Glinn at 8:03 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


As Heidy was entering the front doors of Madison Square Garden to judge that year's Westminster Best-in-Show Award, she encountered a shivering three-legged streetdog she later named Sam the Lion (pictured on page 34).

Oh dear lord, sudden tears! Sam The Lion in Bloom County.
posted by hippybear at 9:36 AM on January 4 [2 favorites]


Damn. And here was me missing a pupper (some pictures) I recently spent time with. Unfair, I say!
posted by scruss at 9:54 AM on January 4


I loved the original Bloom County during the 80s, and a small part of me died when Breathed ended the strip. I never really got into the spinoffs or the revival - whatever magic the strip held for me had faded and never really came back.

Then there’s this one. Goddammit. Almost made me cry. Definitely wanted a longer, fleshed-out tear-jerker.
posted by drivingmenuts at 1:15 PM on January 4 [3 favorites]


gocomics.com is running the current Bloom County strips on a full one-week delay, which makes the seasonal themes just that much harder to follow. In addition to a fan-run twitter account, there's a sub-reddit at r/bloomcounty that is very good at keeping those of us who can't face facebook fully up to date.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:46 PM on January 4


My local newspaper (small, small town, Doonesbury was published on the editorial page to keep it away from young prying eyes) did not publish Bloom County when I was growing up, so I became a fan after I left my hometown. And Lo It Came to Pass broke me for several minutes. The writing is excellent.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 6:04 AM on January 5 [2 favorites]


Definitely wanted a longer, fleshed-out tear-jerker.

I think the "longer, fleshed-out" part happens if you read the strip across years as it comes out. Steve's been on quite a journey over the past few years, and the arrival of Death Dealer in his life, at the point he is at, with Opus insisting he take her on... There's a deeper poignancy there having been on his journey, I think.

But yeah, he could have built to this point across two weeks and I'd have welcomed it.
posted by hippybear at 8:45 PM on January 6 [1 favorite]


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