October 26, 2004
Because the syndication date for Bloom County
is commonly reported as 1981, the title of the new Berkeley Breathed book Opus: 25 Years of His Sunday Best
seems to be jumping the gun a bit. But as it ends up, not by much: publisher Little, Brown says that they're going with a December 1980 date favored by their author.
The profile of cartoonist Breathed
in support of the book appearing in Monday's USA Today
yields a few items of note.
(1) Breathed's ongoing comeback with the Sunday-only strip Opus currently puts him at 185 clients, a respectable but not breakaway number.
(2) The piece intimates that hit Bloom County
, despite its cultural currency and paperback book success in the 1980s, never squeaked past 400.
(3) The Pulitzer Prize winner really does feel it's tougher to do a strip today, and not just because strips are watched more closely. Times have also changed:
"For topical humor in he media, you essentially had Doonesbury, Saturday Night Live, and Johnny Carson's monologue. Today, we are tush-deep in snarky commentary on things that happened not last week but a few minutes ago."
posted 10:23 am PST
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