For a generation of readers --- some of whom, and I'm speaking from experience here, were probably way too young to get the political satire and realize that Steve Dallas was meant to be an absolutely terrible person --- Berkeley Breathed's classic Bloom County was one of the most influential comic strips on the newspaper page. While Breathed continued to do other strips until 2009, Bloom County itself ended in 1989.
Until last July, that is, when the strip made a surprising return online as Bloom County 2015, reviving the characters for more weird satire and the occasional exploding cat. And now, IDW has announced that it will be releasing printed collections of the strip starting next summer.
Ever since Bloom County became a sensation in the early '80s, Berkeley Breathed has had an incredibly varied career. He followed Bloom County's initial success with two more popular comic strips, Outland and Opus; he won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning; he wrote and illustrated best-selling children's books; he adapted his own stories into a pair of animated TV specials, and he provided art for various environmental and animal-wellfare charities.
In recent years he's shifted his primary focus to film (production art and original projects), while also overseeing IDW's comprehensive collected editions of his strips. He recently teamed with IDW again for Berkeleyworks, a retrospective volume collecting a number of his paintings, sketches, and illustrations – and last month, he made a rare convention appearance, playing to a packed room at San Diego Comic-Con. ComicsAlliance spoke with Breathed about his career in cartooning, his work in other media, and his upcoming projects.
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