On Writing About Bloom County

Life is strange sometimes.

This morning, I’m writing an article about Bloom County. Growing up in the 1980s, I loved Bloom County. Sadly, at the span of twenty years since its ending, I remember very little of its original run, except for the extended sequence of strips where Bob Woodward wrote an expose on the life and senseless death of Bill the Cat. Yet, I remember reading Bloom County religiously. I remember the characters, even the ones who didn’t make the leap (or, at the least, not a significant leap) into Outland or Opus.

In October, the first of IDW Publishing’s Bloom County collections comes out. Hence, the need for an article about Bloom County: The Complete Library.

Naturally, to refresh my memory, I needed some research. Naturally, I turned to Wikipedia’s article on Bloom County.

Here’s what struck me as strange.

Bloom County debuted on the same day John Lennon was murdered.

There’s no connection, obviously.

In a way, though, there is.

Bloom County was one of the defining comic strips of the 1980s, chronicling and skewering the excesses of the Reagan era — from consumerism and Wall Street wildcatting to the politics of Reaganism and the rise of the religous right.

Lennon almost certainly would have skewered the Reagan years. Maybe not with the same humor that Bloom County achieved, but that era would have met with his withering wit. The pretensions of yuppies, the selfishness of the decade, Lennon would have cast scorn upon them, much as Bloom County did.

At least, I’d like to think so. I can’t imagine the author of “Imagine” accepting the Gordon Geckos of the world.

All this, because of the coincidence of a date.

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