Do Comics Strips Need Shaking Up?

USA Today ran an article not too long ago about Berkeley Breathed’s new collection, Opus: 25 years of His Sunday Best in which the cartoonist complains to reporter Kathy Balog that “it’s hard to push the envelope anymore. If Bloom County were starting now, I could never get away with what I did then. I’m getting my hand slapped more than I ever was in the ’80s. It’s a genre that doesn’t want to get shook up.”

Is he right? Are newspapers and syndicates too worried about (gasp!) offending someone that they’ve effectively stifled the funny pages?

I’ve been thinking lately about breaking out of the normal comic strip niceties and trying to really create something more Adult Swim in tone and irreverence. Possibly even some casual swearing!

Is there room for something new and, dare I say it, adult in the comics? Whatcha think?