Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

October 26, 2004

Opus, Too?

imageBecause 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 | Permalink

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