For those who have listened to my interview with Mr. Media where we discussed the possible end of Berkeley Breathed’s Opus or have been reading the comments of an earlier post about Opus, you know that I can only report what Amy Lago at Washington Post Writers Group has told me (thrice now), they have “no official word” from Berkeley about Opus. That appears to be the official line also given to E&P’s Dave Astor. Dave notes that Opus is coming up on the five year mark – which makes Dave wonder if that’s significant if the syndicate contract between WPWG and Berkeley was a five years term.
The whole affair is throwing red flags. First, the repeated and carefully worded response from WPWG is “no official” word begs the question, “okay, what has been the unofficial word?” Surely Berkeley and his editors have discussed something or the response to Dave and I would be along the lines “he hasn’t mentioned it,” “he says ‘no’,” or even a “don’t know, I’ll ask him and get back to you.” I can only conclude that SOMETHING has been discussed, but they’re not ready to disclose it – officially.
If we go back to the interview that he gave the Texas Monthly in April of 2007, he revealed the following:
Are you serious about killing off Opus in the strip?
BB: Yes, but my wife would leave me, she reports. I have to factor this in.
Do your publisher and newspapers know this?
BB: They know that all good things come to an end. I’d like to see Opus go out with George Bush, both headed into the sunset.
President Bush’s term ends in January. It seems odd that if Berkeley is going to end the strip in January, that he’d begin the wind-down in late August and September.
Given what has been communicated in the last two weeks in Opus, WPWG’s “no official word” statements and the plausibility of the end of five year contract, I’ve got to conclude that Opus’ is ending (at least until Berkeley comes back with his fourth reincarnation of his strip) or it’s all a media stunt to keep us reading Opus every Sunday. I know that will be the first thing I do this Sunday morning.
A columnist from the Newburyport, Mass., Daily News is talking as if an announcement has already been made.
You want disturbing? I will give you disturbing.
Berkley Breathed is parting company with Opus, the most preyed upon penguin in comic strip world captivity.
Does he know something that WPWG isn’t telling me or Dave or is he inferring an end based on the content of latest Opus strips? I called Amy for the third time and she assures me once again, they have “no official word” from Berkeley.