Tuesday, October 7, 2008

End of an Opus (again)

When I was a teen, my favorite comic strip was "Bloom County," featuring Opus, Milo Bloom, Steve Dallas, Bill the Cat, Oliver Wendell Jones and his sentient Banana Jr 6000 computer (a dig at Apple), and a host of other weirdos. When I first discovered it in the comic section of the local paper, I went out and bought all the books and read them again and again. Mr Breathed inspired me to go out and cartoon as well (and someday maybe I'll blog my old stuff, which I had alluded to somewhere in these pages). 

When Berkeley Breathed announced he was pulling the plug on the strip, I was sad. "Outland," the Sunday-only strip that succeed Bloom "County," was a bit too weird and not terribly funny. Recently Berke Breathed seemed to resonate with my sensibilities with "Opus," his third (?) go-around with Opus the penguin. 

It was announced this week that he was putting the penguin on ice, right before the presidential election. His announcement came with this timely gem of a quote:
With the crisis in Wall Street and Washington, I’m suspending my comic strip to assist the nation. The best way I can help is to leave politics permanently and write funny stories for America’s kids. I call on John McCain to join me.
I can't wait for Opus's return, which I predict will be in 2011. 

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