Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bloom County: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2: 1982-1984

What I try to do with reviews at this Bookshelf blog is keep it simple and spoiler-free, and let you know whether I'd recommend you pick up a copy of what I just read. Seems to work okay. This time, a brief review of Bloom County: The Complete Collection, Vol. 2: 1982-1984 (IDW, 2010)

The first volume in IDW's excellent hardcover series showed Bloom County as a work-in-progress, with creator Berke Breathed throwing dozens of ideas at the wall, desperate for something - anything - to stick. It took a couple of years for the strip to settle down into something that the public would embrace and a small, core cast develop.

The bulk of this book should be familiar to anybody who has the old treasury edition Bloom County Babylon, although this is, of course, a far more comprehensive set. Bill the Cat, still dead at this point, is mostly absent from the shenanigans, but his hairball-hacking spirit lingers on. Binkley stays at war with his anxiety closet, Opus tries catching a freighter to Antarctica to see his mother, and Steve Dallas spends whatever time he's not spending in defense of hopeless clients mourning the end of the 1970s, especially once Time announces that relationships are back "in."

As with the first volume, there's a pile of supplemental material. This time around, there are fewer explanatory footnotes and fewer pages of unpublished art, but there are more annotations from Breathed, all of which should prompt a grin. The introduction is penned by newsman Ted Koppel, and it's worth a grin. I'm looking forward to the third book, and recommend this very highly to newcomers. If you already own Babylon, this might not be quite so tempting because of the amount of duplication, but I vote you buy this and give the paperback to your kids to enjoy.

No comments: