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IDW Publishing had become known as the home to some very high quality classic comic strips reprints — Terry and the Pirates, Dick Tracy, the upcoming Rip Kirby — but they are now turning to what might be called a “modern classic” with The Bloom County Library:

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 merchandizing 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.

1 COMMENT

  1. I remember haunting the humor section at Waldenbooks, searching for unusual comics like Bloom County, Life In Hell, Raw…
    Not to mention the Graphic Albums from DC and Marvel, and Elfquest in science fiction.

  2. Fantastic news. I figured Breathed’s third and final retirement from comics meant this announcement wasn’t far off. It does bring up a few questions:

    1. Will the collections contain the inserts found in the classic trade paperbacks — that issue of the Bloom Picayune and the “Billy and the Boingers” LP single?

    2. Will the infamous strips that more or less directly (and apparently subconsciously) copied “Doonesbury” — the ones in which Milo talks to himself in the mirror, if memory serves — be included, with context?

  3. And 3. If this does well, will “Outland” and “Opus” get the same treatment? You could argue that both strips ended up turning back into “Bloom County” at the ends of their runs anyway….

  4. Very cool! One of the worst things about the previous releases of Bloom County was that every single volume was a different size and shape. It’ll be nice to have a big, uniform collection of all the strips, one of my absolute favorites growing up.

    And if it came with that terrible, terrible Billy & The Boingers 7″ again, well, that’d just be the icing on the cake.

  5. Price, anyone?

    Give me a hint, please. $49.99? I’m there. $75.00? Probably. $99.95? Maybe, but I’d have to see one first.

    I haven’t worked in 18 months, so I really need to watch my spending. I can save up for upcoming special items, but I need to know soon.

  6. Given the laundry list of complaints regarding the C&H/Farside Omnibuses (too bulky/heavy, making them unreadable and generally filled with altered and omited strips that makes the claims about them being “definative” to be lie)?

    I’m glad IDW is aping the Peanuts HC line instead.

  7. A bunch of us are having a QUICK drink Friday evening at Hudson Yards (10th Ave @ W.35th St) between the Futurama and Wonder Woman screenings. All are welcome to drop by and say hello, and to come early or stay late, depending on whether or not you were planning on attending either of those screenings.

  8. Okay, this is one my husband will want! Bill the Cat is his favorite comic strip character; he totally wore his Billy and the Boingers tshirt until it fell apart. I bought him a new Bill the Cat tshirt more than a year ago, and he loves that.