Media Monday -Back to the Future

Jul 20, 2015

Bloom County is pop culture works it's way through the evolutionary electronic keyhole of technology. Opus and Bill the cat who is still dead are now both living and breathing the creative breath of Mr. Breathed.

Back in the last century the funny pages lost the three paragons of the art of making people laugh with their ink on paper creations and imaginative story telling.

The three were Gary Larson of the Far Side, Bill Watterson of Calvin and Hobbes and Berekley Breathed of Bloom County. All three were published daily in over a thousand newspapers.

During the last 25 years America would only see glimpses Watterson and Larson...but it was only enough to wave to everybody and then they were gone as quickly as they appeared. Breathed tried to continue his characters in Sunday only features entitled Outland and Opus.

Last week was different, Opus and friends did NOT appear in any newspapers in America. Then how could Bloom County be declared.... back? Bloom County is back....just not in newspapers.

Reading between the lines about his past experiences with his strip and dealing with newspaper editors... the PC police of popular culture may explain it. There seems to be more Breathed love for the strip, the characters and story lines...not so much for the editors and deadlines. SO Berekley decided to revive Bloom County for the fun of it on Facebook. No editors or deadlines....just do it whenever the fancy strikes him.

A lot of print ink slingers are curious about how much fun it's going to be for a cartoonist who is used to receiving major financial returns for his efforts.

The questions are- does he have a separate agreement with FB for posting Bloom County whenever he cares to....? Two- is Bloom County purely the love of producing the strip, meaning he's financially set the rest of his life and his time doesn't have to generate any kind of a financial return....? Three, is FB going to be paying him or does Berekley hope to generate revenue via the Google AdSense route.....? The latter would require his site to have a blog as Google AdSense is based on search words from a blog.

Or is he going to do WEB comics publishing model...where there is no money for the comic strip. The WEB comic publishing model is supported by using your comic strip to attract people to your site so you can sell product - such as prints, originals, books, t-shirts and whatever else you can market.

These are the questions that are facing all newsprint graphic entertainers and commentators. Hopefully, Breathed's Bloom County FB experience can shed some light for the rest of the cartooning how to best navigate the digital future to survivability.

Whatever path Breathed chooses, I hope Bloom County is a lot more fun for him this time. 


-Milt Priggee

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