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Censored/Bowdlerized Versions of some Bloom County Strips in this Volume

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 26, 2009 8:30:08 PM PDT
Having been a Bloom County fan since 1982, I was eagerly awaiting the
publication of the _Bloom County Complete Library Volume 1_. I've been
reading the book over the past couple of days. While I have enjoyed
revisiting old strips and seeing some for the first time, my
excitement about the book is mixed with disappointment because it
seems that a number of the strips in the book are bowdlerized

The lines in some strips didn't match my memories of those strips, so
I pulled out my old Bloom County books to compare. I haven't gone
through the _Complete Library_ strip by strip to compare with the old
collections; I'm not that OCD. :) These are just the strips that
didn't match my memory from the old collections: Here's what I found:

(LT - _Loose Tails_, BCB - _Bloom County Babylon, CV1 - Complete
Library Volume 1)

05/21/1981 - Panel 1
LT: a license plate that spells out "Horny"
CV1: a license plate that spells out "Hey Baby"

08/03/1981 - Panel 4
BCB: Oh God... birth control pills!!
CV1: Oh my, pills!

08/06/1981 - Panel 2
BCB: When was the last time you two slept in the same bed together
CV1: When was the last time you were together 24 hours

08/11/1981 - Panel 1
BCB: Judas priest.
CV1: Omitted.

03/03/1982 - Panel 4
LT : Go. I don't converse with pagans.
CV1: Go. I have no son.

03/16/1982 - Panel 4
LT : That old toilet bowl is going to look damned silly
CV1: That pecan tree is going to look damned silly

03/27/1982 - Panel 2
LT : Penguin lust
CV1: Penguin love

I'm really curious as to why these bowdlerized versions were used in
what is supposed to be the definitive collection of Bloom County. I've emailed the publisher and asked for an explanation/clarification.

Posted on Oct 5, 2009 5:20:54 PM PDT
Scott at IDW responded promptly to my email about these changes in the
cartoons. We had a great conversation on the phone, and he explained
to me how and where these changes probably happened.

The cartoons that IDW used to produce this book came from a number of
sources, including original artwork and syndicate proofs. The
syndicate was known to make changes to cartoons that they felt would
be offensive. Where the cartoons differ in the Complete Bloom County
Library from the versions in the original collections, the source for
the cartoons in the Complete Library were likely the syndicate proofs,
probably because the original art was not available.

In short, the differences are not IDW's fault. They are using the
artwork that has been made available to them.

Many thanks to Scott @ IDW for taking the time to call me and explain.

Posted on Oct 6, 2009 9:53:23 AM PDT
D. Felty says:
The older Bloom County books also had many changes to the original strips. Check out this neat site for an overview:

Posted on Oct 8, 2009 1:49:50 PM PDT
"In short, the differences are not IDW's fault."

How so? It sounds like they didn't do their homework; text changes should be quite easy to restore.


Posted on Oct 9, 2009 4:05:52 PM PDT
FangsFirst says:
Seriously disappointing. I found this thread because my memory of the strips is good enough (from having read them endlessly) that I noticed "Hey Baby" immediately.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 2, 2009 2:28:29 PM PST
ifean says:
Follow this link, and read the interview with the editor of the collection. If the homework wasn't done, then Berke Breathed was the one at fault, which isn't the case. They did an exhaustive search, and a pretty good job. The simple fact is: sometimes art goes missing. When the originals can't be found, proofs are sometimes the only option.

Posted on Nov 3, 2009 8:05:32 AM PST
M Chandler says:
Go help them out, Mr. Kirksey- I'm with you! I remember each line as published. For each strip there's an original (possibly lost), a newspaper version (often censored), and often one or more book published versions. I can excuse them not being able to access original art, but the newspaper and book versions are everywhere, and so comparisons must be made. "Pecan tree"???? What the hell? This project calls for obsessive careful fan input. Fix vol 1 and I'll buy a second copy of it and give this one to a friend who is less picky:)

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 3, 2009 8:10:27 AM PST
M Chandler says:
Yes, but that doesn't apply to strips published in hundreds of thousands of books. they have to compare each strip in all versions, and keep in mind that Breathed has partially lost his mind in later years and started trying to make all his strips "less wordy" when he republished them- resulting in the utter ruination of many classic strips when they appeared in Opus:25 Years, or as prints on his site, etc. I really wish he'd take a deep breath (pun intended), pick up Douglas Adams and re-read the Hitchhiker's books until he remembers that funny absurd complex wordplay is a valid form of humor in its own right:-)

Posted on Mar 3, 2011 5:18:07 PM PST
There's another factor to consider, and I think it's important . . . As noted, it's quite common for cartoonists to take the opportunity available when publishing a collected edition of their strips to return them to their original version . . . but frankly, I've often wondered what exactly was published originally!
I have to admit, while I'd like, ideally, to have both versions of altered strips in the same collection, this information actually makes me feel BETTER about having "re-bought" all the strips I already have copies of, having already amassed all the original collections ages ago.

-Dr. D.

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 12:26:30 AM PDT
David Stone says:
What?! No Penguin Lust?? Epic fail. This was one of the catch phrases of the early strip in the 80's. Heck, I still have my licensed Penguin Lust t-shirt I bought back in college stored somewhere.
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Participants:  8
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Sep 26, 2009
Latest post:  Oct 23, 2012

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Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1: 1980-1982
Bloom County: The Complete Library, Vol. 1: 1980-1982 by Berkeley Breathed (Hardcover - October 6, 2009)
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