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‘Bloom County’ blooms anew online after 25-year absence

NEW YORK » Opus the Penguin and his comic strip world of "Bloom County," absent for a quarter-century, are back along with the ridiculous times that suit them, creator Berkeley Breathed said.

The popular character from "Bloom County" made an unexpected appearance in a strip posted Monday on Facebook by Breathed. In it, Opus awakens after what he discovers was a 25-year nap.

In an email, Breathed said the time is right to revive "Bloom County."

"Bloom County operated on far less bile than people suspected, and far more whimsical effervescence. The last two decades were not the most conducive to stirring the latter," he said. "Ridiculousness has settled in again, so it feels safe for a gentle penguin in Jockey briefs applying bikini wax."

A Facebook photo of Breathed shows him at his computer with the caption "A return after 25 years. Feels like going home."

The whimsical strip, which viewed politics and culture through the lens of a small town in Middle America, began in 1980, appearing in newspapers daily. But in 1989, Breathed called a halt — until now.

Breathed said the strip will be seen only on Facebook and reposted "who knows where — as the gods intended comics to be. Free, uncensored and eternal. Damn the free part."

"Bloom County" will be seen on a "reasonably regular" basis, he said.

"Deadlines were the final nail in Bloom County’s coffin in 1989," as they are for many artists, he said. "I will draw because it’s fun."

After the prolonged absence, what differences might readers see?

"The only change I absolutely know — is that there will be no Starchair Enterpoop. Some cultural references need decapitation, like a proper zombie," Breathed said.

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