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on October 29, 2010
I became a Bloom County fan during the summer of 1984 (courtesy of a friend of mine that picked the strip up even earlier), so the strips in this collection represent the first occasions when I was reading the strip in real time.

After I first got interested in Bloom County, I went back as far as I could go in a newspaper microfilm library, and tracked the history of the strip almost from the beginning. I was thus generally familiar with the early years of the strip, including the material that wasn't printed in the early collections.

I had forgotten, however, that even into 1985, the book collections of Bloom County still weren't printing all of the strips that originally appeared in the newspapers. In this book, you will find instances where an individual strip from a story arc was left out of the book reprint for some reason. You will find story arcs where some or most of the newspaper strips didn't make it into the book reprint. There is at least one entire story arc that didn't make it into the earlier collections. And there are Sunday strips that weren't reprinted either (some with interesting stories to tell).

I wasn't expecting for there to be so much stuff in this volume that hadn't been previously reprinted. I like the format of these collections, and I like getting the interesting comments from Berke Breathed about the background behind some of the strips, so I would have bought the collection anyway. But if you have only encountered Bloom County in book form, then you're in for a treat, because there is stuff here that you haven't seen before.

A comprehensive collection of a classic comic strip, with annotations and interesting asides from the original artist -- it doesn't get any better than this. Keep it up!
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on June 7, 2011
If you're even looking at this version of the book you already know what a brilliant man Mr. Berkeley Breathed is, how influential his particular brand of anthropomorphic animal, absurdest, surrealistic, political humor has been on a generation of comic strip fans. As such, you don't want a recount of the plot, don't need an introduction to Milo or Binkley, Opus or Bill. What you want is an an actual book touched and signed by the man himself - for a reasonable, discounted price.

Out of all three volumes released so far released, I can't help but think this is the best. Unlike the previous two the makers have abandoned the sizable sticker on the back altogether and, like Vol 2, the autograph is set within the book itself. (For the record, Vol 1 had the plate pasted onto the second page, just after the inside cover). The parts that remain the same throughout this series are the high quality paper, strong binding and the absolute best presentation of Mr. Breathed's work ever released.

The best part of it all is that this particular volume has been reduced to a fraction of the others by 50%. That's right! Goodbye 1000 copies; hello 500! Why the sudden change? I don't know. Maybe Mr. Breathed's signing hand cramps easier these days. Maybe it took longer for the previous editions to sell out than the makers would have wanted. Either way, you better snatch this up quickly before it sells out. Judging by previous editions' price on the secondary market, your pocketbook will hate you if you wait.
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This is a high-quality compilation of Bloom County strips that ran in newspapers in the 80s. It is the most complete collection of them made so far--even the paperback compilations don't have all of these. It's hard to understand why the omissions were made--the restored strips are terrific!

Though this is Volume 3, readers do not need to have read the first two books to understand or appreciate this one. The characters are immediately recognizable and relatable and just as fresh and relevant now as they were in the 80s. An ensemble cast of young children, talking animals, and childish adults interact with the issues of their day: religious encroachment, non-substantive politics, scientific inquiry, and heavy metal music. Those issues haven't changed much since these strips were new.

I especially liked Breathed's occasional liner notes on the strips; it was neat to get a little insight as to what he was thinking at the time.

Those of a delicate constitution (or Republicans) will probably not like this book very much, but for the subversives among us, it's a godsend in an increasingly dogmatic age. Definitely recommend.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon January 21, 2011
If you love Bloom County, then this is the 3rd chance to have a volume to complete a collection. Even if you have previously published paperback collections, there are some strips missing from them.
This book is sturdy, easy to handle, has a ribbon bookmark and presents the strips in an attractive manner.

Dates are put in very small print on the pages. There are explanations for some facts that might not be known by some, or forgotten, for example, a note to explain what the ERA was. There are some personal comments and statements from Berkeley Breathed which make for some very interesting reading. There are 3 daily strips on a page and one full page in colour for the Sunday strip. This volume covers 2 July 1984 to 23 February 1986.
It is nice to see a complete set of these comics made available in such a good form and manageable size.
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on April 6, 2016
As a relatively young reader (I am currently a College Student), I discovered Bloom County in 2014 on While some humor relating to politics and popular culture may seem dated at points, this comic provides plenty of laughs that stand the test of time. The author and editor provide commentary regarding the creative process behind some strips, as well as to explain some facts that will help new readers understand what person or aspect of politics/popular culture is being poked fun at. Often, the commentary is just as funny as the comic itself.

The book itself has fantastic build quality; each page has very clear printing on it and the hard cover is well built. The spine looks very neat when the book is put on a bookshelf.

As I mentioned before, I'm relatively young (as I was born after the 1980's), but I still became a huge fan of this strip. Fans of comics shouldn't hesitate to give Bloom County a visit.
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on August 6, 2013
I was always a Bloom County fan, but now sharing it with my teenagers is so much fun. This book runs in chronological order the way the comics were published at the time with the Sunday editions in full color. It's like a history book for 80's pop and political culture. My kids actually learn a lot from it. "So, who was Ed Meese?" Makes me have to think a little, too! Big fun.
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on February 3, 2011
This hardcover collects Berkeley Breathed's "Bloom County" comic strips that originally ran from July 2, 1984 to February 9, 1986. Most of these were previously collected in trade paperback form in the second half of "Penguin Dreams and Stranger Things" and "Bloom County Babylon". Strips appear in sequence, three dailies to a page, with Sunday strips each spanning one full-color page. Breathed provides annotations throughout the book, explaining both his thoughts about the strips and pop culture references that young readers might find obscure. The familiar cast of characters is here: Opus, Milo, Binkley, Steve Dallas, Cutter John, Oliver Wendell Jones, Hodge Podge, Portnoy, etc.
I got into "Bloom County" a couple years after these strips appeared, devouring the aforementioned trade paperback collections in junior high school. Rereading these strips two decades later revealed some previously unappreciated jokes. Some charmingly dated 1980s references inspire nostalgia, but the majority of this material remains culturally relevant. Breathed gently satirizes both the political left and right. I enjoyed this collection just as much as Volume 2. Very strong cases can be made for both "Calvin and Hobbes" and "The Far Side", but "Bloom County" remains my favorite comic strip of the 1980s.
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on November 6, 2013
Great daily comic from the 80's. Berke Breathed is a good artist and his political and life views are right on, even 30 years later. This is my second favorite daily comic of all time, second only to Calvin & Hobbes.
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on August 30, 2014
The greatest Cartoon strip of all time will always be a tie between BLOOM COUNTY, PEANUTS, and CALVIN AND HOBBES.
BLOOM COUNTY was one of kind. It is rare. In fact, SUPER RARE, for a cartoonist to be brilliant in both his writing AND images. That isn't usually the case. Berkley Breathed made me love comics and take them seriously. I never considered them. I just stumbled upon BLOOM COUNTY one day in a local paper when it started and watched this world (forgive the pun) bloom. For outsiders, BLOOM COUNTY was not all about Opus the penguin or Bill the cat, any more than PEANUTS was all about Snoopy and Charlie Brown. It was a meticulously peopled world all its own, with many great characters. I remember as a young kid, that it was like DOONESBURY without all the politics I didn't give a hoot about, but really smart in its smart alecky approach. It was a humor very much off the wall in a Monty Pythonesque way. I never failed to be amused by characters habitually breaking the 'fourth wall' and talking directly to me, the viewer, letting me in on the joke.It felt like revolutionary work. Both warm and fuzzy, but also kinda subversive in a non threatening way! We would find later, after the likes of Bloom County and Calvin & Hobbes said goodbye, that we were in fact, in a Golden age....THE golden age of comics as we knew it. It was hard to say goodbye. Even when Breathed went on to his OUTLAND strip, he kept bringing in elements of Bloom County until it seemed as if even HE could not resist the pull of that universe. OUTLAND almost became a veiled version of Bloom County.
But we at least have the memories in these volumes. They are as lovingly created as any fan would hope.
For posterity. One of the greatest comic strips the form has ever seen, and probably will never see its kind again.
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on March 5, 2012
Well, I bought all five of these because I'm a dork, so I guess that means I have to review them all, one by one. They're all great, still funny, and Gary Trudeau should go back to writing them again.
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