I was a loyal reader of Bloom County for a long time but somehow I lost touch with Breathed and what he was doing. Turns out he was doing quite a lot. Here's an excerpt from Hero Complex, LA Times.s
Berkeley Breathed, drawn back to 'Bloom County' but looking forward
October 3, 2009 | 8:38 am
TODAY: Berkeley Breathed is appearing at the Long Beach Comic Con.
Berkeley Breathed, the creator of the comic strips “Bloom County,” "Outland" and “Opus,” lives on a high hilltop in Santa Barbara — yes, the money from all those Bill the Cat T-shirts has added up nicely — but on a recent afternoon when he looked down at the churn of the blue-gray ocean, he seemed to feel the undertow of nagging regret.
“When you’re young, you miss things, you just don’t see them,” said the 52-year-old Breathed, who walked away from comic strips last year because the Digital Age had eroded his newsprint audience and, worse, his artistic vigor and sense of whimsy. There are other pursuits now: Breathed has written and illustrated an entire shelf of bestselling children’s books, including last month’s “Flawed Dogs: The Novel,” and he has some promising Hollywood ventures in play. But a lavish new collection of his past work, “Bloom County: The Complete Library,” stirred up some bittersweet reflection as he gave a tour of his home studio.
“Not to sound like someone swinging their cane, but in the 1980s there weren’t a thousand other voices screaming to be heard at the same time,” Breathed said of the decade when his “Bloom County” was featured in more than 1,200 newspapers and he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning. “There was a quiet in the room that made being a commentator very exciting. There was no Web, there was barely any cable TV. If you were looking for humorous topical commentary, you would go to the Johnny Carson monologue, ‘Saturday Night Live’ and ‘Doonesbury.’ That was it. After you have the silence of that room, you get really weary with the screaming it takes today. There’s also this bitterness in the public square now that is difficult to avoid. I never did an angry strip, but in recent years I saw that sneaking in.”
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