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IDW Publishing announces The Bloom County Library

Opus, from Berkeley Breathed's "Bloom County"

Opus, from Berkeley Breathed's "Bloom County"

IDW Publishing announced today the release of The Bloom County Library, a five-volume collection of Berkeley Breathed‘s well-regarded 1980s comic strip. The series will debut in October.

The books are part of the publisher’s Library of American Comics imprint, and designed by Dean Mullaney.

“Fans have pestered me for years for this ultimate Bloom County collection in that polite, respectful badgering way that only fans can manage,” Breathed said in a press release. “Thank God I can now tell them something better than just ‘please remove your tent from my lawn.’ I can say, ‘It’s coming!'”

The influential comic strip, which ran from Dec. 8, 1980, to Aug. 6, 1989, blended politics, cultural commentary, fantasy and humor, lampooning everything from AT&T and environmental activists to misguided government policies and televangelists.

The press release can be read after the break.


(San Diego, February 6, 2009) IDW Publishing is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of The Bloom County Library. Beginning in October 2009, each of the five volumes will collect nearly two years worth of daily and Sunday strips, in chronological order. This will be the very first time that many of these comic strips have been collected, and the first time in a beautifully designed, hardcover format. The books will be part of IDW’s Library of American Comics imprint, and designed by Eisner Award-winner Dean Mullaney.

“Fans have pestered me for years,” said Berkeley Breathed, “for this ultimate Bloom County collection in that polite, respectful badgering way that only fans can manage. Thank God I can now tell them something better than just ‘please remove your tent from my lawn.’ I can say, ‘It’s coming!”

Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County is one of the most popular and critically acclaimed newspaper strips of modern times. Premiering on December 8th, 1980 — a month after the election of Ronald Reagan as President — the strip brought to the comics pages a unique amalgam of contemporary politics and fantasy, all told with hilarious humor and wit.

The beloved and quirky denizens of Bloom County include Opus, Steve Dallas, Bill the Cat, Milo Bloom, Michael Binkley, and Cutter John. Breathed was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning in 1987 for his work on Bloom County. The strip was published in an astounding 1200 newspapers.

The phenomenon that was Bloom County spawned a merchandising bonanza, as well as two spin-off strips, Outland and Opus. The first paperback collection of the strip, Loose Tails, sold over one million copies. Bloom County paperbacks cumulatively sold over six million copies. At the height of the strip’s popularity, Breathed walked away on August 6th, 1989.

IDW Publishing Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier conceived the series. “I’m absolutely thrilled to be editing the Bloom County Library,” said Dunbier. “This is a series that I can’t wait to hold in my hands.”

The Bloom County Library will also contain a series of  “Context Pages” sprinkled throughout the volumes. These pages will provide perspective for the reader, presenting a variety of real-life events and personalities that were contemporary at the time of original publication.



Berkeley Breathed’s “Bloom County” is like a friend who you liked in the 80’s but stayed too long in your life. Every time you run into him you want to avoid him. The strip got ruined in the 90’s and the last few years. Berkeley’s shtick got old pretty fast. Some of my local second hand book stores have so many Bloom County books that are begging to be bought at under $2.00. This strip was relevant at the height of Heavy Metal with Opus and his Ozzy/Simmons days. A greatest collection of the best ideas of the strip would be a better seller. I don’t see this working. The strip has not stood the test of time.

Agreed. I love Peanuts, Far Side, etc. but this one dated really quickly and by the end of the original run was desperately unfunny. Breathed was obsessed with Donald Trump and ran that storyline into the ground over and over again. The art had also taken a dive as it looked like he was drawing with a fat marker.

There are some classic strips, mostly not having to do with politics and pop culture, but they are few and far between.

I love Bloom County and welcome this news! The collections that are available are great, but there is a lot missing, notably the Sundays.

This collection should definitely try to include the exclusive material from the books (the photo album, newspaper, and the flexidisc of the Boingers songs)!

Keep in mind, these are Bloom County (great!) reprints, not Outland (fair) or Opus (cancelled by the Post-Dispatch too quickly to tell) reprints.

[…] BLOOM COUNTY ARCHIVES v.1 I couldn't resist, as this was one of three comics I was able to follow from beginning to end.  And as Berkeley Breathed was right there signing them at the IDW booth, I took the opportunity and ran with it.  Though i suppose this is cheating, as it's "What I'm About to Read", not really what I'm reading.  Just yet anyways. […]

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