Back when my age was still a single digit and reading the funnies section of the newspaper was an act of daily devotion, I had one true love: Bloom County. You may or may not remember a post I wrote last year about my nerdy t-shirt. In that post I wrote about how I still own the vintage Bloom County t-shirt that I got by using an order form in the back of a Bloom County book. That's how long I've been devoted to this strip. A few other things you should know about my love for this title before I share a few favorite memories from the work of Berkeley Breathed:
- I bought and own Secondhand Lions mostly because the art of Berkeley Breathed had an important role in the film.
- When I need to give myself a pep talk, I frequently recite a line from A Wish for Wings That Work to get myself motivated. Telling myself, "I can do this. I can fly this thing," almost always does the trick. (By the way, I own that short on VHS. Still watch it on occasion, too, even though I pretty much know it by heart.)
- In 1984, when I was in elementary school, our teacher taught about democracy by having us vote for presidential candidates. Neither Reagan nor Mondale stood a chance: Bill the Cat and Opus won the election in my grade because of a campaign that I and some friends ran.
Now, some important highlights that will give you a bit more insight into my sense of humor than I should probably provide.
Pear Pimples for Hairy Fishnuts
|click to embiggen, it's worth the effort|
I know that strip by heart and yet it still makes me laugh when I read it. The confusion of Opus and the increasing frustration of the Hare Krishna disciple combine so perfectly.
Positive Portrayal of Disability
Cutter John, the gentleman in the wheelchair, is a doctor who has a great girlfriend and who is one of the more popular characters in the fictional municipality of Bloom County. His wheelchair is definitely part of the story, but it's not the only thing about him. He is more than his disability.
Pop Culture References
Very little escaped the notice of the characters. Apple Computers, Kiss, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Donald Trump, Vietnam, Michael Jackson, and so on.
For those of you who have fond memories of this comic strip, please share a favorite moment in the comments. And I quote that great philosopher Bill the Cat as a way to leave you: "Oop. Ack."