I'd already owned all of the Bloom County and Outland books, this being my last purchase. I had seen it in the bookstore when it was published, but figured I already had the strips contained therein - why spend the extra money? I happened one day to be flipping through the book when I read the introduction, specifically the first page of said intro. There, in color bolder than life, was a painting from, Breathed claims, his early years, entitled Geshundeit. It was precisely this abrupt style of humor that brought me into the BC fold. The golden years of Bloom County, with Breathed's pithy observations of the late 80's, kept me there. If you want to understand the following Breathed has, this volume is the perfect place to start.
This is a fun -- but not exhaustive -- mixture of B&W daily and some color Sunday comics from the concluding years of Berke Breathed's renowned BLOOM COUNTY comic strip, before it changed to the Sunday-only OUTLAND format. Enjoy Opus the Penguin, his ghastly cat sidekick Bill and the other Bloom County denizens as they wrestle with the cutural and political currents of Reagan's America. Used volumes can be had cheaply.
This volume is a collection of the newspaper comic strip "Bloom County" from 1986-1989 including pages of four black and white daily four panel entries and pages of two full color 6 panel Sunday entries. If you are a fan, this book provides additionally an introduction called "Last Word" containing some biographical information, Breathed's first cartoon penned in the 10th grade, his one 1977 political cartoon for the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, and 16 strips from his "Academia Waltz" submissions to the University of Texas' Daily Texan college newspaper in 1978-79. The fan who enjoys this volume may also want to read Berkeley Breathed's Outland: The Complete Collection which picks up where Bloom County leaves off in 1989 and contains all the Sunday color strips for "Outland" through it's end in 1995.
10 years ago I found this at a used bookstore for $5 and I have read it more times than I can count. I regularly post copies of the strips at the office and people are constantly requesting more. Steve quitting smoking, Bill and Opus in 88, Cat-Sweat Hair Tonic, and the chronicles of 'Billy and the Boingers' are just SOME of the storylines my where my co-workers have refused to wait to see what happens and demanded I post the remaining strips immediately.
But for all the laughs, I still get tears in my eyes when I reach the last pages and see the departure of the cast.
I was a fan of Bloom County and purchased this book when it first came out. A couple of weeks ago I picked it up and started looking through it once again, and I ended up reading the whole collection. A few of the topical references to the 1980s (Gary Hart, Tammy Faye Baker) are artifacts of the time-period, but I am amazed how well most of the Bloom County strips have held up over time. The ones dealing with Donald Trump are just as relevant today as they were 25 years ago, while many of the strips deal with timeless themes. The title "Classics of Western Literature" is obviously meant satirically, but the title actually strikes very close to the truth. A work of genius.
This is an entertaining collection of strips from the old "Bloom County" series; it covers a pretty wide variety of the strips from that period (1986-1989). If you already have all of the books that this selects strips from, there may not be any new material here, but if you don't, there's a good chance that you'll find something new. In any case, it's as highly amusing as one would expect of a "Bloom County" collection.
Good stuff! This collection is from the last years of the Bloom County syndicated comic strip, selected story-lines and strips from its mid-80s peak right up to the last panel created for Bloom County.
I bought a copy of this book in 1991, I loved Bloom County and thought it was one of the best,freshest and most entertaining comic strips I had ever read. I still have the book and reread it every year or so and I can honestly say I still enjoy it as much as the first time I ever picked it up. True... some of the references are terribly dated, and don't have the same punch they once did but the same thing could be said about a lot of us.
I recommend Bloom County (this edition or any other) for anyone who likes irreverent and silly humor.
EDIT 3/3/14: Recently I got a message from someone telling me this review was completely worthless as I said nothing at all that would inform someone who was unfamiliar with Bloom County as to what it was about... I agree, I kind of phoned this one in so I'll try to give a better account of what Bloom County was all about.
Bloom County was all about skewering society, the powers that be and, to some extent, barbecuing sacred cows. It was irreverent, funny, frequently laugh out loud hilarious and on rare occasions a little bit hit-and-miss in its humor. Imagine if the comic strip Doonesbury, or better yet Peanuts (as the vast majority of characters in Bloom County were either children or talking animals) were written by the people who did Family Guy or The Simpsons and you're getting close to how the Bloom County comic strip came across back in the '80's.
Much of the content was topical so people who are unfamiliar or not very familiar with the politics and pop culture of the 1980's probably won't find it anywhere near as funny or poignant as those who are... it's been nearly 35-years since the comic first appeared and it does tend to show its age a bit.