Bloom County (May 14, 1981)
by Guy Berkeley (Berke) Breathed (1957-)
7 x 18 in., ink on paper
The second appearance of Michael Binkley, and the first in a full character reveal.
While he was an ink-slinging student at UT-Austin, Breathed got noticed by The Washington Post, and he was recruited to do a nationally syndicated strip. A 1987 Pulitzer winner, he is known for Bloom County, Outland, and Opus.
Bloom County premiered on December 8, 1980 and ran through August 1989. It was revived in 2015.
Steve Dallas and Michael Binkley were both introduced in May 1981.
Binkley is the first recurring child character, after Milo Bloom, to appear in the strip.
As seen here, Binkley (who first appeared May 14 and gets his first name on May 18) originally appeared as a player on Milo’s elementary school football team. The coach is Major Bloom, who uses the team to live out his fantasy of being a great military commander. Binkley is originally depicted as a stereotypical nerd; he is much smaller than the other children and has thick glasses, bad skin, and messy hair. He has about 8 total appearances in May, and then a week later (June 8, 1981), the more familiar poofy-haired version of the character appears for the first time.
We presume these two Binkley’s are the same character, although a kid who looks like the one depicted here shows up once, on June 23.
See the additional images and judge for yourself.
May 12, 1981 (2 days before)
May 14, 1981 (as printed)
June 8, 1981
June 23, 1981