“Bloom County” is back. Comic strip fans woke up Monday morning to the news, posted as a single new strip on author Berkeley Breathed’s Facebook page. The new comic is labelled “Bloom County 2015” and shows penguin Opus awakening from a nap, turning to his human friend Milo and asking, “How long was I out?”
“Twenty-five years,” Milo replies.
One of the iconic newspaper strips of the 1980’s, it ran alongside legends such as “Calvin and Hobbes,” “The Far Side” and “Doonesbury” before ending its run. “Bloom County” will now appear on Breathed’s Facebook page. Breathed said his hatred of deadlines contributed to the decision to publish primarily online. “Like my departed friend Douglas Adams used to say, the only part of deadlines I enjoyed was the whooshing sound as they sped by,” he wrote in an email to The New York Times.
Known for their lighthearted quirkiness, Breathed’s comics also addressed social issues. In several storylines, “Bloom County” lampooned apartheid, took a stand for strikers, and poked fun at Donald Trump.
But Breathed had editorial differences with newspaper editors. In a Facebook post that appeared roughly ten days before “Bloom County” re-debuted, Breathed recounted a dispute with a newspaper editor shortly before he quit cartooning. “Yes, these two little events were organically connected,” he said in the post.
The post also said he would upload unpublished drawings and censored strips on his Facebook page “nicely out of reach of nervous newspaper editors, the PC humor police now rampant across the web… and ISIS.”
Breathed gave more details on his return to comics in an email to The New York Times:
“Deadlines and dead-tree media took the fun out of a daily craft that was only meant to be fun,” Mr. Breathed said. “I had planned to return to Bloom County in 2001, but the sullied air sucked the oxygen from my kind of whimsy. Bush and Cheney’s fake war dropped it for a decade like a bullet to the head. But silliness suddenly seems safe now. Trump’s merely a sparkling symptom of a renewed national ridiculousness. We’re back baby.”