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Opus ending confuses and frustrates readers

If you were one of the millions of individuals who tried to get to Berkeley Breathed’s web site on Sunday to learn who correctly guessed the Opus ending, you were not alone in your frustration that the server became overwhelmed. According to the L.A. Times, Berkeley’s website received 10-15 million hits compared to the 1,500 to 3,000 it usually gets. Additionally, the Times reports that some readers thought that the final strip that ran in print was Opus final ending – that he had been put to sleep at the animal shelter. Berkeley responded in an email:

“I assure people in my web note that Opus is in the comforting place that would make me smile when I think of him in the years to come. I can only hope that his fans will smile too. If Opus was cuddling with tropical girls wearing coconuts, I suppose I’d smile too, but tinged with regret that those things just never last after that early giddy stage.”

Community Comments

#1 r stevens
@ 10:50 am

Just another example of the need for webcartoonists to plan for traffic spikes!

#2 Alan Gardner
@ 10:55 am

I’m sure he would have been okay if he would have used simple HTML and text, but with his site, everything is a graphic image.

#3 Quint Nelson
@ 11:35 am

Cute ending, but I was kinda expecting more…it’s impact was like the end of The Sopranos.

#4 Peterk
@ 1:50 pm

any idiot with even an inkling of internet awareness would have known that his website would get hammered

#5 Togotooner
@ 2:32 pm

Amazing how a so called “print cartoonist” could generate so much traffic on the net. Hmmmm,..geee maybe there are indeed plenty of people that still read/enjoy “print” too. Go figure.

#6 Mike Sieber
@ 4:28 pm

So, Opus went to sleep forever, but he’s not dead, right?

#7 Wiley Miller
@ 4:35 pm

No, he’s dead. Mistaking Opus for a baby seal, Mike Lester clubbed him to death.

#8 Lucas Turnbloom
@ 5:10 pm


#9 Garey Mckee
@ 6:10 pm

“. Additionally, the Times reports that some readers thought that the final strip that ran in print was Opus final ending – that he had been put to sleep at the animal shelter.”

Things like this don’t make me put much stock in the over all perceptiveness of the masses. No where in those last strips did I get an idea that Opus was killed in the animal shelter.

#10 Ted Dawson
@ 1:48 pm

I wonder what would have happened if the winner had been announced in newspapers? They usually don’t crash.

Newspapers don’t get many exclusives any more. If they do, then the morning talk show guys steal it and then nobody has to actually buy the paper. And if you miss the morning talk show guys, you can watch them online.

I wonder if the newspapers will run stories on Berke’s website crashing. And a story about who won the contest. Seems the newspapers end up holding the wrong end of the stick.

#11 Jeff Pinkham
@ 9:32 am

Did anyone else notice the reflection of Opus in the glasses of Steve Dallas? This was in the last panel just before the Goodnight Moon drawing. They were tilted up on his forehead, so Opus must have been looking down, but Steve is looking down at the Goodnight Moon book where Opus is sleeping. A bit confusing, but I’m easily confused. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

#12 Gary Goldberg
@ 10:27 pm

Opus’ reflection in Steve Dallas’ glasses confused me too. I thought it was Opus’ body and that he had killed himself so the animal control wardens couldn’t euthanize him. It’s a relief to be told otherwise, but I’d still like to hear what Mr. Breathed meant by the reflection.

#13 Jeff Pinkham
@ 6:06 pm

Nobody seems to know what the scoop is. It is likely to be one of those eternal questions that will never be answered.

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