Began his art career in High School when he drew a headless spaceman outside his ship and then spat read paint where the head should have been, causing the illusion of an explosion, and named it "Gesundheit". Went on to draw "filler" cartoons for his local newspaper, and got his editor's front lawn vandalized when he drew a cartoon called "Honky Trek", a ripoff of the then-new Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
After the strip ran, crazed Trek fans hanged a dummy from the editor's elm tree in his front lawn with the cartoon stuck in its chest with an arrow. In the early 80's he began drawing "Bloom County", a political satire, for college newspapers. The racy cartoons, often focusing on swinging lawer Steve Dallas and an unamed elderly woman, gained a cult following and soon became syndicated. The strip became the subject of a nation wide cult following and sparked a mass marketing campaign. Nation wide recognition came to Breathed in the mid 80s with his creation of Opus, an insecure penguin who reflected the political conscience of America.
Opus became a pop culture icon of the 80's with dolls, cartoons, action figures, telephones, and books all dedicated to him. Breathed furthered his fame with his subsequent creation of Bill the Cat, a Garfield ripoff, who was the exact oppisite of Opus in that he represented the scum of Americ a- Bill was a drug addicted, alchohol chugging, chain smoking rocker who had been in and out of detox.
The combination of Opus and Bill was a hit sucess, and saved Breathed from the near demise of his strip. With the end of the 80's came the end of Bloom County, which in turn gave billionaire Donald Trump the opportunity to lash out at Breathed for his political views. Breathed retailiated by having his comic strip characters - who were treated as real people who worked in a comic strip - all get fired by Trump, who had a freak accident and had his brain put in Bill's head. This series that ended the strip proved to be the beginning, as fans wrote in saying that the final strips were the best yet. Breathed created "Outland", where Opus, Bill, and several other characters resurfaced in a utopia like world.
Outland had a sucessful four year run but suffered criticism for its parody of the OJ Simpson trial, so in 1995 Breathed ended Outland, its final strip mirroring that of Bloom County. He then started "Opus", a new comic strip featuring Opus, Bill and other characters.
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