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Catch Berkeley Breathed on NPR

Berkeley Breathed was on NPR this morning to explain why he is ending Opus. For good. He’s my quick transcript of what he said about the end.

“I’ll be leaving Opus in a way that it should be very clear that this time there is no way going back home. I don’t think about myself as being sentimental about my work or my characters, but I happened to be drawing the last drawing of him in the last panel in the last strip and I had Puccini playing and I was getting unrealistically emotional about the whole thing and had to stop. And I thought why I was getting particularly sad about this. I have to say that now that I’m a father; I have some small children, I extrapolated the passing of my character of Opus and his childlike ways with the passing of my children’s childhood. Opus is a permanent child and will never be an adult. And as I drew him finally, I knew that was the end – his childhood was gone. And it took me a few minutes. And I had to stop and pull myself back together again and face the fire.”

Community Comments

#1 Larry Levine
@ 12:13 pm

Farewell, Opus–at least until your next Bloom County spinoff.

#2 Mike Witmer
@ 1:31 pm

Next spinoff? Re-read the paragraph, Larry.

Feels like we’re losing a friend here.

#3 Larry Levine
@ 1:58 pm

I read it correctly–never say never. Like James Bond, Opus will be back (one day).

#4 abe frantz
@ 3:16 pm

i’m so sad about this. i think breathed has it right about opus being childlike. with that in mind, it’s kind of cruel to kill him off. does anyone have any clues as to the type of demise we can expect and the date?
(dragging out my best black outfit for the mourning period)

#5 josh shalek
@ 5:58 pm

I recently wrote about comic strips’ beginnings and ends in my blog. It’s a sad coincidence that, as I was writing it, one of my favorite characters was shuffling off into the comic netherworld.

Comics aren’t supposed to be sad, dad gummit!

#6 Rich Diesslin
@ 7:27 pm

He didn’t say he was killing him off. My guess is that in order to lose all innocence and be unable to reclaim his childlike outlook means that he will be named the new Asst. to the Secr. of the Treasury.

Since Opus wasn’t carried by my local paper and I didn’t actively seek out the strip online, I can’t say that it makes any difference to me. On the other hand, I did love the character when Opus was in Bloom County, less so but still a lot in Outland. Still, I imagine it would be very hard for a cartoonist to close the book on a character that has defined his career to-date.

#7 Garey Mckee
@ 9:04 pm

“…And as I drew him finally, I knew that was the end – his childhood was gone.”

Last Opus strip. Opus gets laid.

Seriously, as I mentioned in the other Opus topic thread, I’d really like to see Breathed develop a new comic strip written for children.

#8 Rich Diesslin
@ 11:40 pm

Garey … that’s a hoot!

#9 Larry Levine
@ 12:39 pm

A great Sunday-only replacement for Opus would be Chris Sander’s webcomic Kiskaloo. I think it has syndication stardom written all over it.

#10 Janet Aldrich
@ 1:50 pm

I dunno. Maybe it should just be a Calvin and Hobbes type ending where he goes off into the sunset and keeps on being Opus.

#11 Steve Trimboli
@ 10:49 am

In the trying times ahead the wit and wisdom of the “Opus” comic strip will be missed perhaps at the time when we need it the most. Please consider, someday, bringing him back. Till then, I am sorry to see him go. A forever fan, Steve

#12 Amanda Ashbach
@ 1:23 pm

I stumbled upon the first Bloom County collection while in college. I loved it. I have most of the early collections, and I’ve been a faithful reader when my local paper carried the strip. I’ll miss it.

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