While the world’s greatest living non-reclusive cartoonist, Berkeley Breathed, WAS a guest at San Diego Comic-Con (part of the IDW booth), he did not speak at a panel or on a podium to my knowledge. He may have spoken in a low voice to fans he deemed worthy. Nevertheless, he did manage to drop a few bombshells regardless, in the form of Facebook posts.
First off, somehow through some kind of black magic, IDW managed to convince Berkeley to reprint The Academia Waltz in book form again. This was his college strip, and the forum where he invented Steve Dallas (though it was less an invention and more of a Xerox of a fratboy he knew whom he still refuses to name). Ever since the dawn of 1980, Breathed has done nothing but condemn The Academia Waltz as an embrarrassing, badly drawn, crudely written failure. This despite the fact that it’s what got him the attention that led to his Bloom County contract in the first place, and the self-published book collections he sold of it were profitable enough to pay off his college debts. Folks, despite how he feels, the comic is very very funny.
Berkeley Breathedâ€™s Academia Waltz & Other Profound Transgressions will be released this August by IDW.
And there’s more! Breathed also posted a photo to his Facebook page that suggests not only has he been a lefty this entire time (who knew?) but that he may be considering a return to the digital cartooning table. Again.
We can only guess at this point what “Bloom County 2015” may really be, but a return to papers is unlikely given that he’s cited editor censorship as the number one reason he hung up his pen. My guess is that what we’re seeing is the birth of a webcomic, something that he should have started a long time ago. Berkeley will finally be able to create cartoons on his own schedule, with his own unfiltered thoughts, and produce them at any size. Plus, now that it’s ended three times, the continuity of the newspaper strip is beyond screwed up at this point. Best to start afresh.
A fan wondered on Facebook if this decision was motivated in any way by Donald Trump returning to politics. Breathed’s reply: “This creator can’t precisely deny that the chap you mention had nothing to do with it.”
UPDATE: As of July 13, the webcomic has launched on his Facebook page.