Recently, Marvel decided that it wanted a funny variant comic book cover for its Star Wars title, and approached Bloom County artist and writer Berkeley Breathed about submitting a piece to promote the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Of course, Breathed, a long-time Star Wars fan, complied, but warned Marvel that Lucasfilm probably wouldn't appreciate his brand of humor, particularly when it came to the Star Wars franchise.
It turns out that Breathed was right: Lucasfilm outright rejected the variant cover, which was to never see the light of day.
"Recently, the publisher of the Star Wars comic books requested a special 'funny' promotional cover in honor of the coming movie," said Breathed on his Facebook page. "I cooly explained that Lucasfilm would never, ever find anything I concocted funny. The comics guys found this idea absurd, nay, impossible—a sweet, gentle thought. Below is the instantly rejected cover art, lovingly referred to in legend as the 'Pooper Scooper Trooper' edition ... the fastest rejection in licensed comic book history."
Of course, this is Breathed, who is often known for his irreverent sense of humor, so he went ahead and released the cover art he created for the Star Wars comic on his Facebook page, where he also posts his near-daily Bloom County strips (Breathed recently brought the strip back to life via social media after a 25-year hiatus).
Bloom County fans are familiar with Breathed's Star Wars-inspired artwork, as it depicts an ongoing story common in the strip since its debut in 1980. The characters in the strip often play-act their own version of Star Wars, with their adventures resulting in much hilarity.
Of course, it's apparent that Lucasfilm doesn't think that Breathed's parody is all that funny, and it's a shame, because most Star Wars and Bloom County fans would find his Pooper Scooper Trooper variant cover hilarious: it's likely that cover might have become a comic book collector's dream.
Although Marvel hasn't yet commented on Breathed's Facebook post, Comic Book Resources did verify that his story is, in fact, true.
Perhaps most the interesting detail about this, though, is that Breathed points out that Kathleen Kennedy, now the head of Lucasfilm, once produced a Christmas TV special starring Opus, one of the main characters in the Bloom County strip.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in theaters on Dec. 18.