Bloom County collection releasedWritten by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
“There’s been a lot of loose talk over the years as to who holds the title as the best newspaper strip ever published,” says Ed Katschke of Toledo’s Monarch Comics. “For my money, no one did it better than Berke Breathed and his 1980s strip ‘Bloom County’.”
You may think it a bit strange for a comic book retailer to be talking about comic strips but it’s become a cottage industry for comic publishers to reprint classic newspaper comic strips in high-quality hardcover volumes. IDW Publishing is concentrating on a more contemporary strip, “Bloom County” rather than a strip from the medium’s golden age of the 1930s and ’40s.
Katshcke said IDW is doing a “bang-up job” with the April 21 release of “Bloom County: Complete Library, Vol. 2.” It also features an introduction by Ted Koppel and commentary by creator Berke Breathed.
“This volume is a necessity for anyone who grew up in the ’80s,” Katschke said. “Or for anyone who enjoys a solidly drawn and wittily written newspaper strip.”
IDW also brought the wit with last week’s “Star Trek: Leonard McCoy, Frontier Doctor” No. 1, from the capable mind of famous — and controversial — artist/writer John Byrne. Known for revamping Superman in the 1980s, Byrne has found a niche producing comics based on classic “Star Trek” and more recent legends like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” This McCoy series focuses on the irascible doctor’s solo adventures between the end of the 1960s TV series and the beginning of “Star Trek: the Motion Picture.” Good sci-fi storytelling here with a great likeness of actor DeForest Kelley and spot-on characterization.
Katschke also calls out the release of Marvel’s “Ultimate Spider-Man” No. 9. “I’ve never been a huge Spidey fan, but [this book] has consistently remained one of my favorite monthly comics,” he said. “I wasn’t a huge fan of the manga-inspired art, but the style has certainly grown on me over the last eight issues and now I can’t imagine what the series would be like without it.”