Berkeley Breathed

Berkeley Breathed at Comic-Con International 2016

Writer/artist, Bloom County, Outland, Opus

Berkeley Breathed began his art career in high school when he drew a headless spaceman outside a spaceship and then spat red paint where the head should have been, causing the illusion of an explosion, naming it “Gesundheit.”

In the early 1980s Breathed began drawing Bloom County, a political satire, for college newspapers. Nationwide recognition came with his creation of Opus, an insecure penguin who reflected the political conscience of America. He furthered his fame with his creation of Bill the Cat, who was the exact opposite of Opus in that he represented the scum of America. The combination of Opus and Bill was a huge success and saved Breathed from the near demise of his strip.  

When Bloom County ended, Breathed next created Outland, a strip in which Opus, Bill, and several other characters resurfaced in a utopia-like world. After Outland ended he then started Opus, a new comic strip featuring Opus, Bill, and other characters.

In 2015, Breathed pioneered a new paradigm for newspaper comic strips by bringing back Bloom County without the paper. Bloom County now appears exclusively on Facebook, with a new collection due to be published by IDW in 2016.