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Berke Breathed

Berke BreathedAKA Guy Berkeley Breathed

Born: 21-Jun-1957
Birthplace: Encino, CA

Gender: Male
Religion: Atheist
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Cartoonist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Cartoonist of Bloom County

Berke Breathed attended the University of Texas at Austin, and drew his first comic strips there. Academia Waltz appeared only in the university's student paper, but Breathed brought a few of its characters to Bloom County when the Washington Post started publishing and syndicating it in 1980. Bloom County featured a talking penguin named Opus. It was often sharply satirical of political issues, but just as often had nothing particularly political to say. It won Breathed a Pulitzer Prize in 1987. He killed the strip in 1988, because, he says, he wanted it to end before it got stale. He's also said the humor was growing too cynical, and he wanted to do something more positive. Breathed has since written a series of children's books.

In 1989, Breathed resurrected Opus and several other Bloom County characters in a Sundays-only strip called Outland. It never came close to catching on the way Bloom County did, but Outland ended in 1995. In late 2003, Breathed birthed Opus, a new weekly strip. It is drawn much larger than most comic strips, and Breathed has told The Post to sell it only to newspapers that pledge not to shrink it. In 2015, Breathed announced that Bloom County would return.

Breathed says Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury was the only comic strip or comic book he ever read regularly. He has nothing but kind words for Trudeau -- and an apology, for a few early Bloom County strips that unconsciously recycled Doonesbury gags.

Mother: Carolyn Breathed (stepmother)
Wife: Jody Boyman (nature photographer and psychotherapist; m. circa 1989)
Daughter: Sophie Breathed (b. 2000)
Son: Milo Breathed (b. 2002)

    High School: Westchester High School, Houston, TX
    University: University of Texas at Austin

    The Daily Texan
    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
    Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Media and Arts Advisory Board
    Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning 1987
    Risk Factors: Vegetarian

    Dear Mr. Watterson (9-Apr-2013) · Himself

Official Website:

Author of books:
Flawed Dogs (2009, novel)

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