“Bloom County,” which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1987, appeared in nearly 1,300 newspapers via WPWG before ending in 1989. Its successor strip, the Sunday-only “Outland,” ran in about 225 papers before ending in 1995….Shearer said Breathed has made great artistic use of the half page. “It’s absolutely breathtaking,” he said. Newspaper editors are being shown “Opus,” but are not alllowed to keep copies of it. “We’re trying to keep it off the Internet,” explained Shearer. “The one place and the only place to see ‘Opus’ will be in newspapers. This is a tremendous opportunity to increase circulation.” —Breathed Returning to Newspapers (Editor and Publisher)
Doonesbury is still pushing the boundaries of Sunday-morning taste… but I don’t think that strip has the cross-generational appeal that the Far Side, Bloom County, and Calvin and Hobbes had. Is there a comic strip today that has that kind of cultural staying power? Or is the renaissance of animation on TV (Simpsons, South Park, etc.) taking over the role that newspaper comics used to fulfill?
By the way… the story was broken by The Washington Post, but I ain’t a linkin’ there no more if I can find alternatives (since most WashPost URLs expire).