Thursday, October 9, 2008
Berkeley Breathed's 'Opus' Comic Strip Will End Next Month
By Dave Astor
Published: October 06, 2008
NEW YORK "Opus" is ending Nov. 2, Washington Post Writers Group (WPWG) Comics Editor Amy Lago announced this afternoon.
In this Sept. 8 blog post, E&P had wondered if Berkeley Breathed might pull the plug on his Sunday-only strip -- given all the hints the cartoonist was making about that in his comic.
"Opus," which began almost five years ago, will be the third comic Breathed ends. The first and most famous was the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Bloom County" (1980-1989), followed by "Outland" (1989-1995). "Bloom County" had about 1,300 clients when it stopped.
Breathed, who has done a number of children's books, insists that this time he's getting out of the comics business for good. He joked in a statement that the best way he can help his country during the current financial and political crisis is to "write funny stories for America's kids. I call on John McCain to join me."
WPWG Editorial Director/General Manager Alan Shearer praised Breathed, saying the cartoonist "pushed all sorts of topical and stylistic envelopes" and "influenced a generation of new cartoonists."
Lago said Breathed is ending his comic with a contest asking readers to guess Opus the penguin's fate. Currently, the character is in prison courtesy of U.S. authorities. The actual solution will be available only on the Internet, not in newspapers, according to WPWG.
In addition to doing children's books, Breathed in recent years has worked on screenplays and novels. His "Pete & Pickles" kids' book is due in stores Oct. 16, and the Californian is finishing a novel for young readers called "Flawed Dogs."
Any comments on the "Opus" ending, "Bloom County," or Berkeley Breathed? Feel free to leave them under this E&P blog post.