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Opus the Penguin Retired 218

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yet-garfield-lives-on dept.
garylian writes "Berkeley Breathed has announced that he has drawn the final comic containing the greatest penguin ever, Opus. The author is now going to write children's books. For those of you in your mid-30s and older, you remember Bloom County as a staple of the comic pages in a similar time frame as Calvin & Hobbes, and that time was probably the greatest the daily/Sunday comics have ever known. From running for the vice presidency to impersonating Michael Jackson, from gracing a ton of t-shirts to being one of the weirdest stuffed animals ever, from rocking in a heavy metal band 'Billy and the Boingers' to cleaning up Bill's hair balls, Opus was perfect for that time. And Bloom County would have been perfect during the Bush 2 years. Now, I'm going to pull out all my old Bloom County books and read them. After I dig through some boxes and find my old Opus dolls. I wonder what my kids are going to think of them."
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Opus the Penguin Retired

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  • Never fear... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by R2.0 (532027) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:25AM (#25312593)

    When Breathed starts running out of money he'll resurrect Opus.

    Just like last time.

    • Re:Never fear... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:41AM (#25312807) Homepage

      I belong to a generation too young to have appreciated Bloom County. Rather, the first work of Breathed I encountered was Outland, which I thought bizarre, pointless and just downright not funny. If I hadn't come across the Bloom County collection Billy and the Boingers Bootleg [amazon.com] at a friend's house (belonging to his cool older brother), I would have never known the comic genius that Breathed could be. Opus has generally felt even less fun than Outland, which shows a sad decline in the cartoonist's art.

      It's remarkable that Bloom County is still so hilarious, when the minutiae of life under the Reagan administration is all but forgotten by readers today, yet a topical strip like Opus is just so meh.

      I wish that he had given up the characters in 1989 at their prime like Bill Watterson was wise to do, instead of continuing them as a source of financial security. It seems like a curse of nerd culture is a flood of sequels that diminishes the impact of the original, quality material. We've seen it with Star Wars, umpteen science fiction novel universes from Dune to Ender's Game, and even the quirky strip that was Bloom County.

      • Re:Never fear... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by gnick (1211984) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:46AM (#25312883) Homepage

        If he had given them up in 1989, we never would have had A Wish For Wings That Work [imdb.com] (1991). A X-mas classic in my house, watched every year.

        Would have been tragic.

        • by txoof (553270)

          Totally off topic, but I love your sig!

          Don't forget: It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere.

          Red Dwarf is quite possibly one of best sci-fi comedies ever to be produced.

      • A creative idea catches fire.

        The business plan then becomes: stretch and 'repurpose content', flogging the same shtick until people want to kick it to the curb.

        The final outcome: people are sick to death of it, all possible variants of the original idea are bereft of any fun at all, and it's buh-bye for everyone, after Volume 12.

        In the interim, interesting ideas go away for wont of creative entrepreneurship or just the ability to get in front of a fresh audience. Ah, the wonders of modern capitalism.

      • Re:Never fear... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hey! (33014) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:28AM (#25313545) Homepage Journal

        Well, I think the difference is this. Bloom County was written by a younger, more idealistic, more hopeful man. Outland was written by man who was prone to saying things like "I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners." Yeah, it's funny, but not the kind of thing you look forward to reading over your morning coffee every day.

        Here's the full quote: "Liberal, shmiberal. That should be a new word. Shmiberal: one who is assumed liberal, just because he's a professional whiner in the newspaper. If you'll read the subtext for many of those old strips, you'll find the heart of an old-fashioned Libertarian. And I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners." Again, it's funny, but it's not true. The Breathed of Bloom County -- at least the one we see in the strips -- is a fairly standard issue political liberal. The Breathed looking back is somebody who not only thinks government can't work, but thinks thinking government can't work, can't work.

        Charles Schultz's genius gradually petered out over the years, repeating the same jokes over and over. Breathed, having stared his career during the master's twilight, knew that even the great have only so much greatness in them. Certainly not enough to fill out a daily comic every day of the year for an entire lifetime.

        In the final Bloom County strip, the iconic meadow where the characters muse about life is paved over with asphalt. It was a brutally honest way of saying the creative well was running dry. And when Breathed finally did go back to the well, with Outland, and Opus, it wasn't so much that the well was dry, as it had turned bitter.

        I really wish Breathed had Bloom County in him, even if he dribbled it out as a book every couple of years. I wish that Bill Watterson had more Calvin and Hobbes in him. But evidently, they don't. These were personal works, and people change; they move on.

        • He should have stuck with the Steve Dallas Big Three - Buicks, Blondes, and Buckley.
        • Re:Never fear... (Score:4, Informative)

          by Bourbonium (454366) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @05:27PM (#25320787)

          I guess I'm showing my own age here, but I went to college with Berke at the University of Texas in Austin, way back in the ancient history of the 1980s. We'd often bump into each other at the College of Communication. I was a film major (Radio-TV-Film, to be exact) and he was a photojournalism major. At that time, he was drawing a strip for the student newspaper, The Daily Texan, entitled "The Academia Waltz." It featured a self-centered frat boy named Steve Dallas (whom you'll all remember later moved to Bloom County), his unnamed but eloquent dog and his girlfriend, who started out as an airheaded sorority girl who awakened one day with a political conscience and became a wildly left-wing liberal arts major who decided that sleeping with her professor to pass a class was a lot easier than studying.

          Berke could make a lot more money just by taking those old strips and putting together a new anthology, as the biting wit of Bloom County was in its early stages back then. But like you say, he changed and moved on, and probably doesn't even like those old strips that I recall so fondly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flappinbooger (574405)
        Bloom County was genius but rooted in the time, sort of a commentary like Doonsbury, but whimsical.

        Calvin and Hobbes is genius as well, but timeless.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by operagost (62405)
        At least he has the decency to try to retire, unlike Gary Trudeau who keeps cranking out mindless Doonesbury strips only he and Al Franken think are funny.
      • by Creepy (93888)

        Breathed did retire the characters with the comic and did not intend to return, citing that he was burned out from publishing a daily (and was a trend setter - his vacation breaks and early retirement were followed by other comic page artists like Gary Larson, Bill Watterson and Aaron McGruder). When Outland was announced as a Sunday only strip shortly after Bloom County's end, many people speculated that he'd bring back Bloom County characters, but he said initially it would be an entirely new comic with

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Directrix1 (157787)
      I wish they would resurrect a complete Bloom County collection, instead of just "Opus". I like Opus, but he was just one other character in a great comic.
      • "Ackppttthhh - The Life of Bill the Cat In His Own Words"
      • Re:Never fear... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:35AM (#25313675) Journal

        I think that was the problem with his Opus strip. A previous comment mentioned how much more he liked the old Bloom County strips. The difference was that Berkley stripped out most of the other characters except for Steve and Bill the Cat (who doesn't talk). That left Opus alone in most of the situations with no other supporting characters. In the Bloom Country strips there was a series of regular characters who all had the focus on them at some point. That created a much more complex cartoon "universe" whereas Opus alone had no one to play off of and sounded like a single note enventually. I don't know why Berkley dropped most of the other characters, there really was no good reason for it.

        The same thing happened to the cast of Seinfeld, they were much better playing off each other. Once the show ended and they tried to make shows with themselves as the focus they seemed like they were adrift and bland.

        • Re:Never fear... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by sjames (1099) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @02:10PM (#25317547) Homepage

          I think Opus (the comic and the character) was the perfect retrospective on Bloom County. It conveyed well the vague sense of 'out of placeness' that many who read Bloom County in it's day now feel. The sense that something has somehow gone very wrong somewhere and the complete lack of an idea what to do about it (if anything).

          All the same, that point is made. At least he has decided not to drag it all out until people just quit reading one by one.

    • by Yeff (1108747) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:12AM (#25313251)
      ..."Hairy Fishnuts!"
      • Quoting the Poet (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Erbo (384)
        "The wind doth taste so bittersweet,
        Like jasper wine and sugar,
        It must have blown through someone's feet,
        Like those of Caspar Weinberger."
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968)
      Yeah - I read the description of the story and thought to myself "Right, and JK Rowling has written her last 'Harry Potter' book..." Someone else can insert a reference to George Lucas here...
    • Unless his way of "leaving Opus in a way that it should be very clear that this time there's no going back home" (direct quote of Breathed) is to have him pass away or be killed doing some activist work or be tortured to death at Gitmo or something that irrevocably ends Opus' run.

      Though none of these seem like how Opus would end.
    • Bloom County was my favourite cartoon for years, but I gradually went off it in the Outland series. I have most of the BC books and still have a couple of the T-shirts, slightly faded: "Don't blame me, I voted for Bill'n'Opus" and one with a slightly squashed Bill the Dead Cat. The T-shirts almost still fit me - I blame too many washes for making them shrink.

      I think there's still potential for Breathed to extract something from the older material. The video "A Wish for Wings that Work" featuring Opus (Bill

  • by geoffrobinson (109879) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:25AM (#25312595) Homepage

    Using "greatest penguin ever" on a site with this many Linux users is asking for trouble.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by RackinFrackin (152232)

      Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

      • by pla (258480) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:51AM (#25312949) Journal
        Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

        Sorry, wrong site - You want AARP [aarp.org], not Slashdot.

        Easy mistake, no doubt you arrived here from a misspelled Google search for "ARPA". ;-)
      • Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

        Don Adams, we miss you!

      • by jejones (115979)

        I remember Tennessee Tuxedo... and I won't quibble about which penguin is the greatest. (Hey, nobody's even mentioned Chilly Willy...)

        However, since we are talking to Linux fans--quick, somebody hurry up and finally implement the 3-DBB user interface!

  • It's a sad day, dood. Think he'll join up soon?

    • by cayenne8 (626475)
      I know...I miss his first band...."Deathtongue"

      (I don't know how to put the 2 dots over u...)

      I believe this was the band before Billy and the Boingers....must more of a metal group for Opus and Bill the Cat.

      • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:20AM (#25313393) Journal

        Actually it was the same band; they got dragged to one of those Tipper Gore congressional hearings and Steve (the manager) eventually caved to congressional pressure on censorship and decency and changed the bands name from "Deathtongue" to "Billy and the Boingers"

        (That story arc is a must for people who are against censorship; throughout the whole bit Tipper Gore keeps screaming "Off with their heads" whenever anyone does anything offensive, and through out there are quoted sections of purported Deathtongue songs with such memorable names as "Love Rhino")

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by AlamedaStone (114462)

        more of a metal group for Opus and Bill the Cat.

        Heavy metal, weighty brass... Opus played the tuba.

  • by studpuppy (624228) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:27AM (#25312633)
    Sniff. -- I'm not crying. I just have something in my eye.
  • Meh. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@ g m a i l . c om> on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:28AM (#25312649) Journal

    I've actually gotten annoyed with BB over the years...What's the point of getting invested in one of his strips? This is what, the third?

    As much as I appreciate a newspaper comic artist who will actually let his strip die when he feels like he's gotten stale, it's irritating when he lets it die, brings it back, lets it die, brings it back, and lets it die THIS TIME FOR REAL I PROMISE!

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by dwarg (1352059)

      What's the point of getting invested in one of his strips?

      How invested can you be? It's a comic strip. It doesn't cost you anything to read it in the papers, and if you don't have the patience for that you can buy the collected works as they are released in book form.

      I realize some people get really into these things, but I wish they would realize that if every comic strip in America were to disappear one day life would go on unchanged. That people get overly invested in their entertainment is a problem for those people not the artists, athletes, musicians, e

      • You seem to be suggesting an emotional investment, when I am merely speaking about time, and attention. Simply finding a strip like Opus on a weekly basis will take extra effort for most people.

        But, assuming I'm so intellectually bankrupt to seek entertainment, and that I'm so collossally low-brow to read a arty character-driven sunday-only comic strip, I kinda want one that has a bit of staying power, so that after I've bothered to get into it, the creator doesn't just wander off to do something else.

        I don

    • by againjj (1132651)

      This is what, the third?

      Fourth: The Academia Waltz [wikipedia.org], Bloom County [wikipedia.org], Outland [wikipedia.org], Opus [wikipedia.org].

  • by crymeph0 (682581) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:32AM (#25312683)

    From a photo caption in TFA:

    Breathed's new child's book, Pete & Pickles, features Pete, a lonely pig who vacuums his wife's grave.

    Yeah, I'm gonna run right out and buy that for my toddler. Granted, he says it's not directly mentioned in the text, it's just there in the pictures in case you want to point it out to your kids, but still.

    I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him, since it's not like he's forcing me to buy the book. I just feel like there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible, rather than just letting them be kids.

    • by OriginalArlen (726444) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:37AM (#25312757)

      there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible

      Wha'?! By the age of eight I was walking home from school alone, getting lost in the woods behind the old orchard, and I'd seen Star Wars ANH, in which the main father-figure / advisor to the Hiro Protagonist is chopped in half with a laser (how it looked to me at the time!) Nowadays you'd be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kid alone in the house for more than half-an-hour! Come on, if anything it's the opposite way round.

      • by crymeph0 (682581) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:45AM (#25312863)

        As far as the freedoms we give them to act on their own, you're right, it's the other way around. I'm talking about what we put in their heads while we have them locked up in their gilded cages, though - a lot of the media we expose them to is highly sexualized and violent, and I feel like I'm just supposed to talk to my daughter until she accepts this as normal, instead of letting her go play in the flowers and be innocent for a while longer.

        • by dwye (1127395)

          Obviously, you never heard any Grimm's Fairy Tales as a youth, nor read even a retelling of the Odyssey, nor of Greek Mythology, nor even Hurlbut's Story Of The Bible.

          Admittedly, the print media (i.e., "graphic novels") can be a bit much, but the words are no worse than they usually are.

          Heck, I grow up watching Westerns on TV and reading Michael Morecock, and it hasn't affected me any (he says, drinking a toast to his vanished youth, from a cup made from an enemy's skull :-) .

          That last paragraph was a joke,

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Norwell Bob (982405)

            I didn't discover Morecock until college.

            Well, that kind of experimentation is likely to get you beat up in high school.

          • That would be Michael Moorcock [wikipedia.org]. The first book of his [wikipedia.org] that I encountered, aged about 11, had an incestuous sex with a lesbian nun on page 2. Now *that's* how you make a fan for life.

            PS whaddya mean, "retelling" of the Odyssey? Read the real thing! (OK, OK, a (good!) translation into English is probably acceptable.)

        • Opt Out (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mpapet (761907)

          Warning: Rant from a crazy parent.

          lot of the media we expose them to is highly sexualized and violent

          Which is exactly why we sold our TV when our daughter was very young. We are all better off for buying a 12" TV that stayed in a cabinet. This is much harder for adults than it is for the kids. Until you do it for a few months, you won't understand.

          Discontinue the cable and stick that money in the bank.

          Is she some kind of Amish freak? No. She watches enough TV at her friends house and then comes home

      • by sukotto (122876) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:40AM (#25313777)

        That reminds me this wonderful little map of Sheffield, Britain, with "allowed to roam" overlays: http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/06_02/playgraphicDM1406_736x800.jpg [dailymail.co.uk]

        Each overlay shows where the eight year old child was allowed to cover unsupervised. Sad how much more constricted and hemmed in each generation of that family has become over the last century.

    • Yeah, I'm gonna run right out and buy that for my toddler. Granted, he says it's not directly mentioned in the text, it's just there in the pictures in case you want to point it out to your kids, but still.

      It's really no more "out there" than some of the imagery in classics from Maurice Sendak or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

      My problem with Breathed is that I never really thought his stuff was funny.

    • Yeah I noticed that one too. Those kids are going to have some weird ideas growing up. "Mom, can we go and vacuum grandpa's grave?" I can just imagine them taking toy vacuum cleaners in and making an old lady have a heart attack because of the sheer cheek of it all..

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fitten (521191)

      That's the rationalization of a helicopter parent. I see too many kids these days who have no clue on how to do anything themselves because parents try to protect them from everything in the world "to preserve their innocence". They don't want their kids to get scraped knees, do anything that might cause even a whisper of pain or anything like that because "modern kids don't need to know those things". Those kids end up not knowing anything or how to deal with any situation that they haven't seen on Barney

      • by crymeph0 (682581)

        I'm afraid you misunderstand my dilemma. I do want my kid to get scraped knees and learn how to fail, I just don't want them dealing with the really heavy issues like death and sex until they're old enough to understand what I'm talking about. To me, those issues are the mental equivalent of "things where they might get their arms chopped off"

        I really do hope my kid can spend a lot of time unsupervised growing up. My parents retired to the family farm, where I spent a lot of my youth exploring w

    • I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him, since it's not like he's forcing me to buy the book. I just feel like there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible, rather than just letting them be kids.

      I'd trust him to handle it well. This isn't a new direction - I bought my daughter Mars Needs Moms [amazon.com] a couple years ago. The climax is built around a mildly terrifying premise for a toddler, but it's so well done it's a "read it again, Daddy!" book. Even though it's still terrif

  • two months (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Speare (84249) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:35AM (#25312717) Homepage Journal

    Loved Bloom County but it was stuck in time. I think I paid attention to Berkeley Breathed for about two months after he ended Bloom County. I read a couple Outland strips. Even Berkeley must have realized they sucked, because he had to save it by reintroducing Opus and friends, which he had announced he didn't want to do. But it still sucked. Other than reading someone's Bloom County anthology, and smiling with the fond memory, I haven't looked at them since.

    • Re:two months (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Penguinisto (415985) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:49AM (#25312929) Journal

      Agreed, big-time. It was like the 1980's and early '90s never ended in there... I loved it when it was out, but nowadays, it seems pretty irrelevant.

      In spite of its subtle politics, it was damned funny. The politicking he employed was more of a scalpel (far better than the blatant dull machete' that was Doonesbury) which is what made you read Bloom County no matter what your politics were - and even if you were a staunch neocon, you laughed your ass off at it.

      Then again, it lacks that timelessness which Calvin and Hobbes has. I have a shedload of Calvin and Hobbes books on the shelves... OTOH, I can't remember owning any Bloom County books since 1993 (I'd lost the ones I had when the apartment got flooded... never really bothered to replace them - I really should head out and get a few just to take me back).

      C&H is a never-ending fountain of laughs (in spite of the moronic and seemingly never-ending 'calvin pissing on $object' car sticker derivatives). Bloom County OTOH is (sadly) a time capsule.

      /P

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by snspdaarf (1314399)
      I agree. I tried to like Outland, but it just was not a good strip. Sticking Opus in it did not help. It was only a reminder that this was not Bloom County. And, the Opus strip, well, when the writer resorts to "and now, a character's lovechild shows up", it means there is a problem. TV, comics, serial novels, it means the same thing. The well is running dry.
      • when the writer resorts to "and now, a character's lovechild shows up", it means .. the well is running dry.

        Dewey was Donald's nephew. At least, that's what he and Daisy always claimed....

        It appears a lovechild has shown up in your sig!

  • by rnelsonee (98732) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:35AM (#25312729)

    Argh - I just threw away all my Bloom County books last month when I moved! The comic was great - I'm 30 so I missed some of the political references when I was younger but I read all the books later and loved those comics. I didn't pick up Opus again even after he was back the last couple of years because it didn't feel the same. I'll be sure to buy the compilation of all the latest ones and enjoy them. Opus certainly had a great run and it's probably time to put him away before he gets too old.

  • by Coreigh (185150) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:39AM (#25312803) Homepage

    "Pear pimples for hairy fish nuts?"

    Aside from any reasons that may be brought up to be annoyed with Breathed, his comics or his politics, Opus and Bloom County made me laugh HYSTERICALLY at things I did not even understand or knew I should be aware of. That is what I think makes a good comic or cartoon. A mix of simple funny and satire can bring smiles to both those in the know and those who just like to watch.

    Coreigh

    • by JackL (39506)

      Opus: And if elected I pledge to push for the legalization of the home use of 50mm anti-tank bazookas!

      Old lady from the Society of Pro-acrylic knitters: Good heavens? Whatever for?

  • by misfit815 (875442) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:42AM (#25312831)

    ...at http://news.yahoo.com/comics/bloomcounty [yahoo.com].

    I've been reading the old stuff day-by-day. Some of it is remarkably relevant to current events.

    Of course, today's strip is conveniently missing - go figure. Anyway, I thought I'd share the link to a comic that's on my short list.

    J

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:42AM (#25312835)

    Bloom County was probably the best comic strip of the 80's. And, when Breathed started to lose steam, he ended it.

    But he didn't, really. He just cut it back to Sundays under a new name. And so that pattern has continued until the series had long since become stale and forgettable. The once-great Bloom County was reduced to a great big pile of who-gives-a-shit.

    Sometimes, if you love something, you have to let it go. Better that it dies a dignified death than to drag it on into mediocrity. Matt Groening and Berkley Breathed are, sadly, prime examples of guys who had something truly magical, which they then beat into the ground for decades past when they should have called it quits.

  • by jayayeem (247877) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @09:47AM (#25312893)

    I went back and read some Bloom County books recently. They are as dated as Doonesbury from the early 70s. Not that the weren't great, but they were a product of their time.

    Read your Calvin and Hobbes books instead. Those are timeless. My kids love them.

    • http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes/dp/0740748475/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223560779&sr=1-1 [amazon.com]

      I recently purchased this and have been amazed at the strips I missed. The collection books really do leave a lot out and C&H are timeless. Frankly, I enjoy C&H much more and it both children and adults can enjoy it at the same and for different reasons

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by swordgeek (112599)

      I wouldn't say that being stuck in time doesn't mean they don't hold up well. Bloom County, like Doonesbury and Pogo before that, were satire and sociopolitical commentary. They don't have much choice but to become dated when politicians retire, events are forgotten, and society moves on. It's a different style, that's all. Social cartoons become dated. Their counterpart (Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts) don't.

  • Breathed has pulled this before. Maybe he's just burned out, who knows. But when his other ventures prove to be far less lucrative, and he gets sick of answering all of the repetitive questions about the whereabouts of Opus, the promise of easy money will bring him out of "retirement". Maybe it will last longer than Jet Li's retirement. But Opus will be back.
  • by sakusha (441986)

    That comic was totally lame. It was like the Emperor's New Clothes, a guy who can't draw and who isn't funny, but it's put together in a way that sends the message "hey this is so countercultural, you'll be cool if you pretend it's funny." It's like one big in-joke, except nobody's in on the joke except the cartoonist. I'm sick of this "ironic appreciation" hipster crap, can't we have something that is actually funny, rather than "so unfunny it's funny"...?
    There are plenty of excellent cartoonists who deser

    • by DWIM (547700)

      That comic was totally lame. It was like the Emperor's New Clothes, a guy who can't draw...

      I might've been tempted to take you somewhat seriously, but then I got to this bit.

      It's clear you didn't appreciate his works. Got no problem with that. But is in "Insightful?" Mods, give me a fucking break!! It's just an opinion that amounts to "I didn't like Breathed's comics." And like him or not, the guy can indeed draw quite well.

  • by rodney dill (631059) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:18AM (#25313363) Journal
    1. A 2010 starchild moment.
    2. A Matrix ending, where Opus gets to spend all his time in his own matrix illusion with the dandelions.
    3. A Soprano momemt, where all the old characters meet in a restaurant, Bill the Cat can't park the car, and the last frame goes black?
    4. Seinfeld, where they all end up in prison.
    • by plopez (54068)

      How about Opus taken to the backroom of the local animal shelter?

  • I don't know about the rest of you Slashdotters, but I have fond memories of reading the newspaper every day to see what kind of mischief Opus and the gang in Bloom County were going to do next, such as putting Bill Gates brain inside of Bill the Cat...and Opus getting a nose job. But the best one was the first time we all met him...encountering a Hare Krishna....with the "Pear Pimples for Hairy Fishnuts" reply. Go back in time. Remember a time when politcal humor was meant to be funny and not crass and
  • BB is just like Bill Parcells, he moves on and does well, just not quite as well as the last time. It's a steady downhill run.
  • I knew The Far Side. I worked with The Far Side. You, Berkeley Breated, are no Far Side.

    On the other hand, in the hierarchy of Penguins Opus ranks pretty high, possibly higher than Tux.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:36AM (#25313707)

    I'm old enough to remember Bloom County (and the Far Side, for that matter) - it was a wonderful, funny, insightful, different comic strip.

    Unfortunately Opus (the comic) never really fired on all cylinders. Breathed tried to do something a bit different, but it just didn't quite work. Then, when he came to realize that, he started trying to drag back a few of the Bloom County regulars; but without young Milo it just couldn't work.

    I think Breathed would've been better served - as would we fans - if he'd just resurrected Bloom County the same way Trudeau did with Doonesbury. It's a comic - so there's no rule you have to age your characters in real time. (Although some of us would prefer Bil Keane did exactly that, since it'd mean little Billy would've retired years ago).

    • (Although some of us would prefer Bil Keane did exactly that, since it'd mean little Billy would've retired years ago).

      That's just it, though. The melon-headed monstrosities of Family Circus made a pact with the Dark Lord for immortality many years ago, and are already middle aged. The flaw in the contract that sold their souls is that they are stuck as prepubescent rugrats who screw up words and repeat the same stupid jokes over and over again forever.

  • by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Thursday October 09, 2008 @10:43AM (#25313831)

    Bloom County. The Far Side. Calvin & Hobbes.

    And Zippy the Pinhead for those into, ah, more chemically-induced forms of humor.

    But now we have web comics. And the golden age of comic strips is with us once again.

    The comic strip is dead. Long live the comic strip.

  • And Bloom County would have been perfect during the Bush 2 years Now, I'm going to pull out all my old Bloom County books and read them.

    Is this one, two or three sentences mangled together? And WTF does "2 years" refer to?

  • I just didn't find it that funny. It lacked any kind of subtlety as compared with Calvin & Hobbes or Mutts for example. /me ducks the stones and fish balls...

  • by imamac (1083405)
    The only thing scarier than having an Opus doll is having Opus dolls.
  • Again?

  • The computer humor in the original Bloom County ("Our newest model, with everything the previous model had, but now with tint control") was leading edge!
  • oblig ack ack!
  • I think I agree with his thinking. I think his next project should be something involving Cutter John. There was a character who was always in support so we never, ever, got a look at what his story was. And it had to be fascinating. Cutter is the warrior we need for the dark time Breathed seems to see us approaching. I think he'd make a deeply wise, but powerful foil for what he does as an artist. Opus does belong to a more simpler, sweeter time.

  • Writing comics is damned if do and damned if you dont. The grind to meet deadlines is daunting. Yet if you stop for a while the creative juices may start forcing you draw again.
  • "After I dig through some boxes and find my old Opus dolls. I wonder what my kids are going to think of them."

    Probably something like: "Man, dad sure likes than deformed sea lion doll..."
  • He's been doing them for years. My sister always gives me one for Christmas.

    Why do we turn on great artists when they become normal people?
  • This is just my opinion on the guy. You're all free to agree or disagree.

    Back in the late 80s I knew a guy who (at the time) had a job in the comics industry. Some of you might remember that some Bloom County strips featured a heavy metal band called Death Tongue. After a short period of time, it became Billy and the Boingers. Why? My friend told me that Breathed "got some complaints about the name Death Tongue" so he changed it. My personal take on this is that it sure didn't take much, just a fe

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