Is Berke Breathed signalling the end of Opus?

That’s how I read it. How 'bout you?

BTW, I think comics becoming self-referential and/or talking to the fourth wall is usually a clear “jumped the shark” moment.

Opus has been on this whole ‘creator’ arc for about a month now. As for the fourth wall bit - Breathed’s been doing that since the Bloom County days.

Looks that way to me. Opus hasn’t merely breached the Fourth Wall – he’s actively talking about The End of the Strip (and so is the Voice of the Creator). That’s the kind of thing he did before he flew Bloom County into a landing.

It looks like a clear goodbye to me.

I’m a bit surprised it’s still running.

Above all else, he knows that cartooning isn’t at all a vital profession and if the will isn’t there, you just have to walk away. For me, the “chair scrape” one was where he realized the well was completely dry. (Ye gods, that one was awful.)

A bit part of the problem is that on the political front, there’s hardly anything to talk about anymore. The 80’s and 90’s had an amazingly diverse cavalcade of players. Ronald Reagan. Dick Gephardt. Ed Meese. Ted Kennedy. Tipper Gore. Oliver North. Jesse Jackson. Dan Quayle. Ted Koppel. Now it’s the George Bush and Dick Cheney show, co-hosted by a Congress so sickeningly homogenous, it’s like the USSR won the Cold War. Remember when there were debates about things like campaign finance reform, the proper limits of corporate power, the decision to go to war, and our dependence on foreign oil? And the upcoming presidential election…look up “SSDD” in a dictionary, you’ll find Messrs. Obama and McCain. Oil prices have skyrocketed, the Bush Administration has become a national embarrassment, so has warrantless wiretapping, the Iraq boondoggle is dragging on without end…and nobody with the power to make a difference is doing a damn thing about it.

Yeah, I can see Berke Breathed getting tired of waiting for the statue to move. Wish Bruce Tinsley would get the hint too…

Dude’s retired more times than Michael Jordan and Brett Favre combined.

And here I sit, thinking, Breathed’s been doing a comic?

OBTrivia: I worked in a printshop in Evergreen Colorado in the late 80’s. He’d come in all the time for stuff. Got to actually meet him once or twice, really nice guy.

We printed out a catalog of comics where he was selling the original artwork. It was a great week as we had to proofread EVERYTHING, just to make rue it was correct. :slight_smile:

Yes, I’m sure you would rue any errors. :wink:

Ruh Roe. Well, you can see why I didn’t continue my career in print work…and why I’m Unintentionally Blank.

No kidding. He’s become the Art Bell of cartoonists.

Berkeley Breathed says goodbye to Opus: ‘I’m destroying the village to save it’

According to NPR, yes. I’ll be swearing revenge on all youse guys presently.

Thank god. BB was once awesome, but his output has been just dreadful for, what, 19 years? Outland came out in 1989 for chrissake! Let it go, Burke… please!

hear, hear! I was no fan of Bloom County (Doonesbury is infinitely better social/political commentary), and the world will be better off without the tedium that is Opus. It sucks ass, and always has. (Great Googly Moogly has this crap really been running for 5 years?)


Indeed my mileage varies.

What kind of world would it be without Opus and his Bloom County brethren? It’s not a world I feel I’m ready to face. I’m glad I have my old Bloom County volumes.

Bloom County started out with the potential to be one of the greatest comic strips of all time (the first year is brilliant), but everything went downhill from there. Bill the Cat stopped being funny after his third appearance, and Brethed had the unfortunate ability to just miss on the punchline; nearly all of the strips would have been better if rewritten slightly to hit home the joke instead of get somewhere close to it).

By the end of the strip you had Brethed literally begging for laughs (one strip in particular, where he out-and-out said, this is really funny, guys, and even tried to explain why).

After BC, his strips were nothing but sloppy art and no humor, with a reliance of Opus to bring in readers. It’s quite a comedown from the brilliance of the first year of the strip.

When I read Bloom County in its entirety as a teenager in the 1990’s I loved it. I remember getting upset when the strip ended. I didn’t get a significant amount of the '80s US political humour but I thought the relationships between the characters was great. I read some of Outland and liked it too. Recently when I heard BB was doing Opus again I jumped for joy and took a look. The art was ugly, and the humour wasn’t there anymore.

A column I wrote about Opus five years ago:

It’s past time for it to go away.

In the past month or so, it had gotten fairly good again, sadly.