What can you say about a new Bloom County book?
No. Really. New strips and everything. Then again, if Berkley Breathed had managed to get them published in newspapaers’ comic strip pages, would you know?
IDW swears that these haven’t been published before this collection, so let’s go with that. If you are familiar with Bloom Country, Breathed has brought back all of the Bloom County residents and in this collection lets fly with the emojified explitives. If not, well then strap into your wheelchair, it’s gonna be a funny night.
Opus and Bill the Cat remain that center of most of the strips and face off against each other on the political divide, as well as compete with one another for corporate endorsements. But along the way, Oliver Wendell Jones discovers that aliens scooped out Trump’s brains in the late 1980s; Steve Dallas takes on the Russian hackers/White House operatives real or imagined; and Michael Binkley and his father adjusting to the new realities of raising children in modern America.
It is interesting to see how after taking a long hiatus, Breathed has managed to relaunch these characters in modern times dealing with the changes in society all around them. But that is the advantage to all of his characters. They were outside of society in the 1980s and 90s, so it is nothing new for them to be our funhouse mirrors on moder issues.
If you aren’t familiar with Bloom County through the news papers or the original collections, you will be if you have read funny web comics over the past 15 years. They have steadily been dependent of the themes of Bloom County to such an extent, it is hard to know if new artists even know where they are getting their themes from.
Hopefully, after reading this, people will be inspired to go back to pick of the collections of his works when they they were part of the cultural zeitgeist. You should read Bloom County: Brand Spanking New Day. Then go back and find classics like Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things and The Night of the Mary Kay Commandos.
Writer & Artist: Berkely Breathed
Publisher: IDW Publishing