Animated political satire never goes out of style, which is why Fox is resurrecting Berkeley Breathed’s 1980s comic strip Bloom County for a new series.
In development at FOX Entertainment, Bento Box Entertainment, Miramax, Spyglass Media Group, and Project X Entertainment, Bloom County will be co-written and executive-produced by Breathed himself. According to a press release, the series “centers on a collapsed lawyer, a lobotomized cat, and a penguin in briefs and fruit headwear living in the world’s last boarding house in the world’s most forgotten place deep in the dandelion wilds of FlyWayWayOver country. To wit, today’s America at a glance.”
Breathed got his start in cartoons at The University of Texas at Austin, where his comic strip The Academia Waltz appeared in student newspaper The Daily Texan. His brand of outrageous political satire caught the attention of The Washington Post, which commissioned Breathed to create a nationally syndicated comic strip.
The result, Bloom County, lampooned American politics through the antics of Opus the Penguin and his friends at the Bloom boarding house in small town Middle America. The strip originally ran from 1980 to 1989, and in 1987, Breathed won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning. But that wasn’t the end — some of those characters had continuing adventures in Breathed’s follow-up strips, Outland and Opus, and in 2015, inspired by the insanity of the Trump campaign, he began posting new Bloom County cartoons on Facebook.
Breathed discussed Bloom County‘s second (third?) coming in a typically dry, self-aware statement. “At the end of Alien, we watched cuddly Sigourney Weaver go down for a long peaceful snooze in cryogenic hyper-sleep after getting chased around by a saliva-spewing maniac, only to be wakened decades later into a world STUFFED with far worse,” he said. “Fox and I have done the identical thing to Opus and the rest of the Bloom County gang, may they forgive us.” If the world insists upon reminding us that things can always get worse, at least Family Guy and The Simpsons will have a new Sunday night companion.
Fox is currently on a nostalgia kick; the entertainment giant recently acquired Gumby and announced plans to develop a multi-platform Gumbyverse.