Today (Sept. 1) marks the 30th anniversary of In the Bleachers! Reflecting on the past 30 years, creator Steve Moore shares his 30 favorite In the Bleachers comics with us, including commentary for his top 5.
Thirty years! Holy crap. Well, fortunately, I was a prodigy. In the Bleachers began syndication when I was only 7 years old, so I’ve still got plenty of gas in my tank.
But seriously, folks ...
I was asked to choose five of my favorite In the Bleachers for this blog, but I am not a good judge of quality. The Bleachers panels I like usually do not fry anyone else’s burger. And the ones I hate are other people’s favorites.
Nevertheless, here are five Bleachers panels that stood out to me for one reason or another – not necessarily because they cracked me (or anyone else) up.
I included this panel for two reasons: First, “stupidity humor” is one of my go-to scenarios and, second, I wanted to show you how awful my drawings were in the early days of Bleachers. (The quality has continued to decline through the years.)
I like this panel because I did a fairly good job drawing the cleats on the shoulder of the gladiator. Also, I love to imagine that good old Darius was faking his injury.
This panel got a huge reaction from readers, but any cartoon featuring a cat will get a huge reaction because cat people are lunatics. A few days after this panel was published, I received a call from the personal assistant to actor Patrick Stewart. He wanted to purchase the original drawing. I ended up just giving it to him because, you know, actors constantly struggle to pay rent and buy food for their cats.
This is one Bleachers panel that I liked and readers also liked. One reason is the annoying cheer that drove me insane at games in high school. Placing it in a Middle Ages setting was kind of funny. Also, drawing a dead guy with an arrow in his back is a can’t-miss technique in cartooning.
This probably is my favorite Bleachers of all time. It’s an example of when I inject commentary into a cartoon, in this case illustrating society’s upside-down priorities. It struck a nerve with readers when it was published in 1999. It popped up again two years ago and went viral after appearing on the front page of Reddit, which is a pretty big deal to a 37-year-old cartoonist like me.