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Steve Dallas
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Steve Dallas

Age:

Middle-Aged

Comics he Appeared in:

The Academia Waltz, Bloom County, Outland, Opus.

Steve Dallas is a fictional character in the American comic strips of Berke Breathed, most famously Bloom County in the 1980s.

He was first introduced as an obnoxious frat boy in the college strip The Academia Waltz, which ran in the University of Texas's Daily Texan during 1978 and 1979 [1]. Steve then reappears in Bloom County after graduation as a self-employed, unscrupulous lawyer.

He was the only character to have been featured in all four of Breathed's comic strips. He appeared regularly, albeit much older, in the Sunday-only Opus.

In Bloom CountyEdit

In the early days of Bloom County, Steve was usually seen hitting on schoolteacher Bobbi Harlow, whom he briefly dated and failed to ever woo back once she left him for Cutter John. He frequently dated Bobbi's dimwitted cousin, Quiche, to make her jealous (the ploy did not work).

Most residents of Bloom County, especially women, either despised him or indifferently tolerated his presence. The one exception was Opus the Penguin, who idolized him and tagged along with him like a younger brother. Steve often used Opus' hero worship to manipulate the hapless penguin into doing his dirty work (although occasionally Steve was heard to have threatened Opus into helping him instead).

He was often shown to have conservative political positions (albeit to a lesser extent than in The Acadamia Waltz) although he did once say "My God. We've got to get Carter back in the White House" after associating Ronald Reagan with the end of the Sexual revolution. Like most conservatives (and some liberals) in Breathed's work, these positions do not appear to stem from actual convictions.

As a lawyer, Steve took on hopeless cases defending psychotic criminals and murderers, much to the chagrin of his overbearing mother. On one occasion, he did win a case (his client had allegedly murdered her husband with an axe), but only because the jury cared more about what the woman wore than whether or not she was innocent (at one point, she found a plastic knife and tried (supposedly unsuccessfully) to make a fillet out of a CNN cameraman). A bachelor throughout the entire run of the strip, he was the most aggressive womanizer and most blatant male chauvinist of all the eligible males in the cartoon.

He was briefly the manager of Billy and the Boingers, a Def Leppard-esque glam metal band consisting of Opus, Bill the Cat, and Hodge-Podge.

Steve briefly became a different, better (albeit still annoying) person shortly after he was abducted by aliens. On board their spaceship, the aliens had originally planned to transplant Elvis Presley's brain into Steve's head. However, after Steve threatened the aliens with a lawsuit, they decided to perform the "Gephardtization" process on him instead, which was the same procedure used previously on Dick Gephardt to completely reverse opinions and attitudes. After being presumed dead by the residents of Bloom County, Steve was zapped back to earth a few days later. To the whole county's amazement, he was now a sensitive, caring liberal and feminist. He also stopped wearing his trademark sunglasses, quit smoking, and got a perm[2].

This carried on for about a year, until Steve found out that his girlfriend Gladys was cheating on him and Opus had been using his toothbrush to comb his nose hair. Devastated, he resolved to forever avenge feminine betrayal, and by doing so, he put his trademark sunglasses back on. He immediately returned to his old, cantankerous self.[3]

During the closing down of Bloom County in the final days of the strip, Steve seeks employment in other strips. He is seen (in the strip) to land a guest spot in Cathy, much to that title character's horror, who orders him "Out! Out! Out! Forever!"

Outland and OpusEdit

At the end of Outland in 1995, Steve came out of the closet and admitted he was gay. In his final appearance in the comic, he had married a man (Doonesbury's Mark Slackmeyer, in an unlicensed cameo typical of Breathed's work) and was thinking about adopting children.

However, in Opus nine years later, Steve was back to his babe-mongering ways after enrolling in the "Rev. Doogle De-Poofta Program," which used shock therapy to attempt to "cure" homosexuality; in a form of conversion therapy. Steve was depicted as a middle-aged man with thinning hair and a noticeable paunch.

Steve was also reunited with his long-lost son Auggie, and has reluctantly taken on the role of father figure. The August 26, 2007 strip implied, oddly enough, that he is romantically involved with the recently re-introduced character Lola Granola.

NotesEdit

  1. Template:Cite book
  2. Template:Cite book
  3. Template:Cite book

ReferencesEdit

  • Breathed, Berke (1990). Classics of Western Literature. Boston: Little, Brown & Company. ISBN 0-316-10754-9.
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