Photoshop helps bring Bloom County into 2015
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Published on July 19, 2015
The Pulitzer Prize winning cartoon Bloom County returned after a 25 year absence last week as it creator, cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, posted a picture on Facebook of himself using Photoshop and working on creating a cartoon. The picture shows Breathed working using Photoshop on a large iMac screen, drawing using a separate pen and tablet. In the picture, the interface shows a mostly empty set of boxes for the cartoon strip, with Bloom County 2015 written across the top.
Accompanying the picture of him using Photoshop is the caption “A return after 25 years. Feels like going home.” Two days later, the first Bloom County 2015 cartoon appeared, also on Facebook, showing the lead character, Opus, awaking after a long nap and two additional strips appeared later in the week, marking the apparent regular return after this artists break from this particular medium.
At the peak of his daily publishing career, his Bloom County cartoon was seen in more than 1,200 daily newspapers when he published what had been thought to be his final cartoon in November of 2008. Yet in July 2015 he made an unexpected announcement on Facebook, and even opened a Twitter account which quickly garnered tens of thousands of followers.
For the past 25 years Berkeley Breathed has not been staring at a blank Photoshop screen, or paper for that matter. He’s been keeping busy with several children’s books, including Flawed Dogs: The Novel and also Mars needs Moms, which was also turned into a movie along with seven other children’s books. In a possible nod to his future as a children’s author, the final strip before his 25 year hiatus showed Opus the penguin, the lead character in the Bloom County series, sleeping in the bed from the Goodnight Moon children’s book
While Photoshop and a Wacom tablet may have replaced the pen and ink of 25 years ago, the drawings of today look remarkably similar to the original work. As we so often see in the Photoshop classes at American Graphics Institute, there is a wide variety of professionals that rely on Adobe’s tool for digital imaging. Designers, graphic artists, marketing professionals and even cartoonists use Photoshop to create their work digitally and then distribute it online.
About the author
Jennifer Smith is a user experience designer, Photoshop expert, educator and author based in Boston. She is the author of more than 20 books on design tools and processes, including Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies, Adobe Creative Cloud Digital Classroom, and Photoshop Digital Classroom. She has been awarded a Microsoft MVP three times for her work with user experience design in creating apps for touch, desktop, and mobile devices.
Jennifer delivers UX training and UX consulting for large Fortune 100 companies, small start-ups, and independent software vendors. She has been hired by Adobe and Microsoft to deliver training workshops to their staff, and has traveled to Asia, Europe, India, the Middle East, and across the U.S. to deliver courses and assist on UX design projects. She has extensive knowledge of modern Windows UX Design, having worked closely with the Windows team to create educational material and deliver UX workshops to key partners globally on behalf of Microsoft. Jennifer works with a wide range of prototyping tools including Fireworks, Photoshop, Illustrator, Blend for Visual Studio, and Balsamiq.