Happy Trails

(Bloom County: Book 8)
Berke Breathed

Little, Brown and Company, March 1990, 87 pp.
ISBN: 0-316-10741-7

Genre: Comics
Subgenre: Comic Strip / Humor
Reviewed: 1/16/2011

Reviewed by: Conan Tigard

Book Cover

Comic Strip



Happy Trails is the eighth and final collection of new Bloom County comic strips. The Sunday comic strips appear in color and are clumped into small groups of two to four strips and may not necessarily follow the dailies in their designated spots, which can be a little confusing if the Sunday was in reference to the previous weeks happenings. The only new character introduced in this book is Donald Trump. Now, you might say, "Wait a minute! Isn't Donald Trump that rich guy who lives in New York and who has television shows called "The Apprentice" and "Celebrity Apprentice?" Yes, indeedy, but in the book, Donald's body is hit by an anchor of one of his ships and his brain is transplanted into Bill the Cat's body. "Ahhh . . ." you say. "I see. Well, that is different."

The following storylines appear in this book: Illegal Back-Alley Liposuctions, Acid Snow, Bloom County Forbidden-Word Decoder, Donald Trump the Cat, Naked for Sweep Week, Mary Kay Goes After Opus, Runaway Comsumerism, Rosebud is Preggers, Dial-A-Mom, Opus' Near-Death Experience, Dork Detector, Opus' Autobiography, The Jackbasselope, Naked Came I, Steve Dallas is Back, and The End.

Bloom County became very popular in the early 1980's. The characters that Berke Breathed created are a lot of fun to read about. They are: Steve Dallas - a machismo man who doesn't know how to take "No" for an answer, Bobbi - Milo and Binkley's school teacher who tells Steve "No," Milo Bloom - a young boy who writes for the Bloom Beacon and is politically conscious, Binkley - Milo's neurotic friend who is something of a girl, Cutter John - Bobbi's wheelchair-bound friend who is a Star Trek fan and a Viet Nam war veteran, Opus - Binkley overanxious penguin who sort of pretends he is human, and Bill the Cat - a scraggly, rock 'n' roll loving mess of a cat. All of these characters, and a few more minor players, make up Bloom County..



Happy Trails is the final book of new Bloom County comic strips. This makes me so sad, even to this day. I know Berke Breathed went on to create and draw Outland for a few years, but in my opinion, it was never the same. I loved Milo Bloom, Michael Binkley, and Oliver Wendell Jones. Yes, Opus was one of my favorite character also, but those three boys is what made the comic strip genuinely funny to me.

Bloom County was one of the best comic strips ever invented. Politically-charged with witty dialog, this strip often pushed the boundaries of modern comics. I remember when the last comic strip came out in the newspaper and it showed Opus walking off into the fading distance, I nearly cried. It just wasn't fair that Berke Breathed has decided to stop creating this wonderful comic strip that had been a part of my life for ten years.

The comic strip I chose to display from this book has stayed fresh in my memory for over 20 years. I still love it to this day as I remember the "Flesh" colored Crayola crayon. In Bloom County, the next day, Senator Bedfellow explained that Crayola hadn't carried "Flesh" since 1963. Opus then mentions that they do carry "Indian Red" and wonders if they have "Negro Brown." Senator Bedfellow pokes him with his cane trying to make Opus stop speaking. Maybe I like this comic strip so much because I really enjoy dry humor. Bloom County is all about dry humor.

Overall, Happy Trails is a book that I will always treasure. It is the last glimpse of comic genius that Berke Breathed is. Although there followed some Outland books, they never lived up to the wonder that was Bloom County. I miss it still.

This site was created and is maintained by Conan Tigard