After a 25 year hiatus, cartoonist Berkeley Breathed's beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning comic strip Bloom County looks like it's making a comeback.
Breathed posted two panels on his Facebook wall earlier today, which more or less allude to the second-coming of the strip.
Syndicated in major American newspapers from 1980-1989, Bloom County is considered a classic alongside indelible contemporaries Calvin & Hobbes and Far Out. Breathed's cast of characters featured prodigious children and anthropomorphic animals, all of them whom are depicted as deeply-developed, wise-cracking, three-dimensional mouthpieces that weren't afraid to slyly critique contemporary American culture.
Breathed was awarded a Pulitzer for the series in 1987.
The cartoonist's latest strip features original protagonist Milo Bloom, a 10-year-old newspaper reporter who acts as the main character and binding centrifugal force for the series, and Opus, a herring-addicted penguin and major fan favorite.
Other notable characters in Bloom County include Bill the Cat, an orange tabby meant to parody the lasagna-loving (and less edgy) Garfield, the bigoted groundhog Portnoy, and the womanizing, heavy metal-rocking, chain-smoking defense attorney Steve Dallas.
While Bloom County has been out of commission for a quarter of a century, the characer Opus has not. The penguin starred in an eponymous strip that ran from 2003-2008. Breathed officially retired from comics with the conclusion of the strip, announcing it online in a panel parodying the children's book Goodnight, Moon, fittingly titling it "Goodnight, Opus." Breathed cited his reason for retiring from political cartooning was to focus on his work in children's literature.
Bloom County fans caught wind of the strip's possible return when the not-so-retired cartoonist posted a picture on his Facebook page which depicted him illustrating a panel, captioned, "A return after 25 years. Feels like going home."
Despite this, the return of Bloom County is surprising, given Breathed's documented and curmudgeonly wariness of the state of comics today, newspaper or otherwise. When asked in a 2003 interview with the AV Club about a possible return to writing newspaper strips again, Breathed's outlook on the fate of the modern comic was rather bleak:
Pity the poor modern comic page. Frames the size of thumbnails. It started as the first mass-market entertainment medium in a world that didn't yet know television, film, or even radio. Its comic heroes were America's first celebrities, known coast to coast. Now, it's just a page of inky blur that only a 10-year-old's eyes could focus upon. It's the buggy whips of this millennium: quaint and eclipsed, sad to say.
As of now, Breathed has not released a follow-up statement on his post.