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Opus the Penguin Retired

CmdrTaco posted about 6 years ago | from the yet-garfield-lives-on dept.

Books 218

garylian writes "Berkeley Breathed has announced that he has drawn the final comic containing the greatest penguin ever, Opus. The author is now going to write children's books. For those of you in your mid-30s and older, you remember Bloom County as a staple of the comic pages in a similar time frame as Calvin & Hobbes, and that time was probably the greatest the daily/Sunday comics have ever known. From running for the vice presidency to impersonating Michael Jackson, from gracing a ton of t-shirts to being one of the weirdest stuffed animals ever, from rocking in a heavy metal band 'Billy and the Boingers' to cleaning up Bill's hair balls, Opus was perfect for that time. And Bloom County would have been perfect during the Bush 2 years. Now, I'm going to pull out all my old Bloom County books and read them. After I dig through some boxes and find my old Opus dolls. I wonder what my kids are going to think of them."

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Never fear... (5, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#25312593)

When Breathed starts running out of money he'll resurrect Opus.

Just like last time.

Where are my mod points? (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | about 6 years ago | (#25312743)

This is exactly what I thought.

Re:Never fear... (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 years ago | (#25312807)

I belong to a generation too young to have appreciated Bloom County. Rather, the first work of Breathed I encountered was Outland, which I thought bizarre, pointless and just downright not funny. If I hadn't come across the Bloom County collection Billy and the Boingers Bootleg [amazon.com] at a friend's house (belonging to his cool older brother), I would have never known the comic genius that Breathed could be. Opus has generally felt even less fun than Outland, which shows a sad decline in the cartoonist's art.

It's remarkable that Bloom County is still so hilarious, when the minutiae of life under the Reagan administration is all but forgotten by readers today, yet a topical strip like Opus is just so meh.

I wish that he had given up the characters in 1989 at their prime like Bill Watterson was wise to do, instead of continuing them as a source of financial security. It seems like a curse of nerd culture is a flood of sequels that diminishes the impact of the original, quality material. We've seen it with Star Wars, umpteen science fiction novel universes from Dune to Ender's Game, and even the quirky strip that was Bloom County.

Re:Never fear... (3, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | about 6 years ago | (#25312883)

If he had given them up in 1989, we never would have had A Wish For Wings That Work [imdb.com] (1991). A X-mas classic in my house, watched every year.

Would have been tragic.

Re:Never fear... (1)

enrgeeman (867240) | about 6 years ago | (#25313189)

Thank you so much. That movie was the first thing that came to my mind, but I couldn't for the life of me remember the name of it.
Yes, yes, off-topic, but I remember watching that almost every year at christmas, as well as a charlie brown christmas(or whatever that was called, too).
definitely a classic.

Re:Never fear... (1)

txoof (553270) | about 6 years ago | (#25314627)

Totally off topic, but I love your sig!

Don't forget: It's cold outside, there's no kind of atmosphere.

Red Dwarf is quite possibly one of best sci-fi comedies ever to be produced.

Re:Never fear... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | about 6 years ago | (#25313153)

A creative idea catches fire.

The business plan then becomes: stretch and 'repurpose content', flogging the same shtick until people want to kick it to the curb.

The final outcome: people are sick to death of it, all possible variants of the original idea are bereft of any fun at all, and it's buh-bye for everyone, after Volume 12.

In the interim, interesting ideas go away for wont of creative entrepreneurship or just the ability to get in front of a fresh audience. Ah, the wonders of modern capitalism.

Re:Never fear... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313209)

the wonders of modern capitalism as aided by the wonders of modern intellectual property laws.

Re:Never fear... (1)

ThreeE (786934) | about 6 years ago | (#25313753)

What have the Romans ever done for us, right?

Re:Never fear... (1)

DeusExMach (1319255) | about 6 years ago | (#25314529)

Well, there's the Aqueduct. Oh, and sanitation. Roads. Medicine! medicine's a good one. A system of laws. Writing. Parliamentary government...

Re:Never fear... (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 6 years ago | (#25313545)

Well, I think the difference is this. Bloom County was written by a younger, more idealistic, more hopeful man. Outland was written by man who was prone to saying things like "I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners." Yeah, it's funny, but not the kind of thing you look forward to reading over your morning coffee every day.

Here's the full quote: "Liberal, shmiberal. That should be a new word. Shmiberal: one who is assumed liberal, just because he's a professional whiner in the newspaper. If you'll read the subtext for many of those old strips, you'll find the heart of an old-fashioned Libertarian. And I'd be a Libertarian, if they weren't all a bunch of tax-dodging professional whiners." Again, it's funny, but it's not true. The Breathed of Bloom County -- at least the one we see in the strips -- is a fairly standard issue political liberal. The Breathed looking back is somebody who not only thinks government can't work, but thinks thinking government can't work, can't work.

Charles Schultz's genius gradually petered out over the years, repeating the same jokes over and over. Breathed, having stared his career during the master's twilight, knew that even the great have only so much greatness in them. Certainly not enough to fill out a daily comic every day of the year for an entire lifetime.

In the final Bloom County strip, the iconic meadow where the characters muse about life is paved over with asphalt. It was a brutally honest way of saying the creative well was running dry. And when Breathed finally did go back to the well, with Outland, and Opus, it wasn't so much that the well was dry, as it had turned bitter.

I really wish Breathed had Bloom County in him, even if he dribbled it out as a book every couple of years. I wish that Bill Watterson had more Calvin and Hobbes in him. But evidently, they don't. These were personal works, and people change; they move on.

Re:Never fear... (2, Insightful)

Directrix1 (157787) | about 6 years ago | (#25313083)

I wish they would resurrect a complete Bloom County collection, instead of just "Opus". I like Opus, but he was just one other character in a great comic.

Re:Never fear... (1)

NormalVisual (565491) | about 6 years ago | (#25313663)

"Ackppttthhh - The Life of Bill the Cat In His Own Words"

Re:Never fear... (4, Interesting)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | about 6 years ago | (#25313675)

I think that was the problem with his Opus strip. A previous comment mentioned how much more he liked the old Bloom County strips. The difference was that Berkley stripped out most of the other characters except for Steve and Bill the Cat (who doesn't talk). That left Opus alone in most of the situations with no other supporting characters. In the Bloom Country strips there was a series of regular characters who all had the focus on them at some point. That created a much more complex cartoon "universe" whereas Opus alone had no one to play off of and sounded like a single note enventually. I don't know why Berkley dropped most of the other characters, there really was no good reason for it.

The same thing happened to the cast of Seinfeld, they were much better playing off each other. Once the show ended and they tried to make shows with themselves as the focus they seemed like they were adrift and bland.

Re:Never fear... (1)

R2.0 (532027) | about 6 years ago | (#25313995)

I get the feeling that Breathed was "inspired" by Trudeau and the resurrection of "Doonesbury", which happened about the same time. I recall that Bloom County, while not overtly political, certainly let Breathed viewpoint through. At some point he decided that viewpoint should be the primary, and Opus became simply Breathed's mouthpiece.

The only thing I can think to say is... (5, Funny)

Yeff (1108747) | about 6 years ago | (#25313251)

..."Hairy Fishnuts!"

Re:The only thing I can think to say is... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313507)

For pear dimples?

Re:Never fear... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313373)

I certainly hope not.

I loved Bloom County when it was "in its prime" but as others have said it is a bit dated now.

They had Breathed on NPR last week talking about Opus' retirement and I was less than impressed. I'm a cappuccino drinkin' Subaru drivin' center-left kinda guy, and even I think he sounded like a pretentious wuss.

Re:Never fear... (2, Insightful)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 6 years ago | (#25314307)

Yeah - I read the description of the story and thought to myself "Right, and JK Rowling has written her last 'Harry Potter' book..." Someone else can insert a reference to George Lucas here...

Re:Never fear... (1)

I'm not really here (1304615) | about 6 years ago | (#25314397)

Unless his way of "leaving Opus in a way that it should be very clear that this time there's no going back home" (direct quote of Breathed) is to have him pass away or be killed doing some activist work or be tortured to death at Gitmo or something that irrevocably ends Opus' run.

Though none of these seem like how Opus would end.

Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (5, Funny)

geoffrobinson (109879) | about 6 years ago | (#25312595)

Using "greatest penguin ever" on a site with this many Linux users is asking for trouble.

Re:Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25312715)

During their gay hookups, Tux always bottoms for Opus. Clearly, Opus is the dominant penguin.

Re:Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (2, Funny)

RackinFrackin (152232) | about 6 years ago | (#25312747)

Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

Re:Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (4, Funny)

pla (258480) | about 6 years ago | (#25312949)

Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

Sorry, wrong site - You want AARP [aarp.org] , not Slashdot.

Easy mistake, no doubt you arrived here from a misspelled Google search for "ARPA". ;-)

Re:Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (1)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | about 6 years ago | (#25313391)

Not to mention all the Tennessee Tuxedo fans, who are not going to be happy about it either.

Don Adams, we miss you!

Re:Mod Parent Troll/Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313925)

Using "greatest penguin ever" on a site with this many Linux users is asking for trouble.

Yes but has anyone asked Opus what OS he uses????

Opus retires? Dood! (1)

Millennium (2451) | about 6 years ago | (#25312599)

It's a sad day, dood. Think he'll join up soon?

Re:Opus retires? Dood! (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | about 6 years ago | (#25312725)

I know...I miss his first band...."Deathtongue"

(I don't know how to put the 2 dots over u...)

I believe this was the band before Billy and the Boingers....must more of a metal group for Opus and Bill the Cat.

Re:Opus retires? Dood! (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 6 years ago | (#25313393)

Actually it was the same band; they got dragged to one of those Tipper Gore congressional hearings and Steve (the manager) eventually caved to congressional pressure on censorship and decency and changed the bands name from "Deathtongue" to "Billy and the Boingers"

(That story arc is a must for people who are against censorship; throughout the whole bit Tipper Gore keeps screaming "Off with their heads" whenever anyone does anything offensive, and through out there are quoted sections of purported Deathtongue songs with such memorable names as "Love Rhino")

What will this do to Opus BBS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25312631)

It's got Avatar! It puts the O in FOSSIL!

I think I'll go lie down in a field of dandelions (5, Insightful)

studpuppy (624228) | about 6 years ago | (#25312633)

Sniff. -- I'm not crying. I just have something in my eye.

Meh. (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | about 6 years ago | (#25312649)

I've actually gotten annoyed with BB over the years...What's the point of getting invested in one of his strips? This is what, the third?

As much as I appreciate a newspaper comic artist who will actually let his strip die when he feels like he's gotten stale, it's irritating when he lets it die, brings it back, lets it die, brings it back, and lets it die THIS TIME FOR REAL I PROMISE!

Re:Meh. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25312671)

lets it die, brings it back, lets it die, brings it back, and lets it die THIS TIME FOR REAL I PROMISE!

So one could call him the Brett Favre of comic strip artists?

Re:Meh. (1)

Khan (19367) | about 6 years ago | (#25313043)

ROFL!! What an absolutely TRUE statement!!

Re:Meh. (1)

Authoritative Douche (1255948) | about 6 years ago | (#25313651)

Heh. I was going to go with the Rolling Stones or The Who but you make the same point :-)

Re:Meh. (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | about 6 years ago | (#25313285)

Meh. Just as bad as *cough* DC Comics *cough* letting go of Superman in a garish, vulgar, transparent attempt to drum up business....then bringing him back, essentially, untouched.

=Smidge=

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25314131)

You must be new to comics. Seriously.

Re:Meh. (2, Insightful)

dwarg (1352059) | about 6 years ago | (#25313789)

What's the point of getting invested in one of his strips?

How invested can you be? It's a comic strip. It doesn't cost you anything to read it in the papers, and if you don't have the patience for that you can buy the collected works as they are released in book form.

I realize some people get really into these things, but I wish they would realize that if every comic strip in America were to disappear one day life would go on unchanged. That people get overly invested in their entertainment is a problem for those people not the artists, athletes, musicians, etc. that create the entertainment.

It comes down to perspective and knowing the difference between getting what you need vs. getting what you want.

Meh is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313829)

I agree. When Bloom County first came out in the 80s, it was touted as "the new Doonesbury!" (And this was exactly when Gary Trudeau took a hiatus from Doonesbury for over a year to re-work the strip and bring the characters up-to-date.)

No. Not even close. I tried reading Bloom County when it first came out, and just hated it... and in 20+ years, my opinion of Breathed's work hasn't changed.

To this day, I have never found one of Breathed's strips funny, ever. I've never laughed once at any of them, and just find them annoying when I occasionally look over them to see if he's gotten any better.

Granted, Breathed's a much better artist than Trudeau, but his sense of "humor" leaves me completely cold.

Garfield lives on? (0)

OriginalArlen (726444) | about 6 years ago | (#25312667)

I beg to differ... [garfieldmi...rfield.net]

Some Children's Book... (4, Insightful)

crymeph0 (682581) | about 6 years ago | (#25312683)

From a photo caption in TFA:

Breathed's new child's book, Pete & Pickles, features Pete, a lonely pig who vacuums his wife's grave.

Yeah, I'm gonna run right out and buy that for my toddler. Granted, he says it's not directly mentioned in the text, it's just there in the pictures in case you want to point it out to your kids, but still.

I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him, since it's not like he's forcing me to buy the book. I just feel like there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible, rather than just letting them be kids.

Re:Some Children's Book... (5, Insightful)

OriginalArlen (726444) | about 6 years ago | (#25312757)

there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible

Wha'?! By the age of eight I was walking home from school alone, getting lost in the woods behind the old orchard, and I'd seen Star Wars ANH, in which the main father-figure / advisor to the Hiro Protagonist is chopped in half with a laser (how it looked to me at the time!) Nowadays you'd be arrested for child neglect if you leave your kid alone in the house for more than half-an-hour! Come on, if anything it's the opposite way round.

Re:Some Children's Book... (5, Insightful)

crymeph0 (682581) | about 6 years ago | (#25312863)

As far as the freedoms we give them to act on their own, you're right, it's the other way around. I'm talking about what we put in their heads while we have them locked up in their gilded cages, though - a lot of the media we expose them to is highly sexualized and violent, and I feel like I'm just supposed to talk to my daughter until she accepts this as normal, instead of letting her go play in the flowers and be innocent for a while longer.

Re:Some Children's Book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313327)

this "innocent" notion is what's new. if your daughter is old enough to walk, she's old enough to plow the fields or work in the factory or get married and have babies, just like in the "good old days" that you people are constantly pining for

get over it

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

crymeph0 (682581) | about 6 years ago | (#25313989)

What's so innocence-shattering about plowing the fields, or even working in the factory, provided it's not a sweatshop? Just because children were put to work earlier and harder in "the old days" doesn't mean they were exposed to life's horrors, it just means they grew up with a better work ethic.

Your other example about getting married young, is/was definitely a problem, but outside of the more primitive tribal cultures, even "olden times folk" wouldn't marry off a nine year old, they'd at least wait until she hit puberty. Not great, but a fourteen year old is at least theoretically capable of handling that kind of pressure.

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

Klinky (636952) | about 6 years ago | (#25313449)

Turn off the TV & don't watch PG-13+ movies with her around. There's not as much violent/sexual media as you think and it actually is very controllable.

However she's not free from it completely as while playing in the flowers a hawk can come down and snatch a field mouse and eat it up or a cat might get hit by a car someday. Then there's always the classic "two dogs mating in the front lawn of your neighbors house" to bring up the birds and bees. Anyways there's quite a bit of violence and sex in nature. Probably not as much as in a few hours of primetime TV, but still it's there to some extent. Also note that in yee olde times women were almost sold off into marriage or married by 13/14, couldn't vote and had restricted freedoms. So as far as being better off and having more innocence, I think your daughter is definitely better off in modern times.

G-strings for pre-teen girls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313891)

Saw this on the news about a year ago about stores that sell g-strings for your girls and they interview the parents with their 10 year old girls.

Who the eff buy a g-string for a 10 year old?
And WHY?
You dont want pedophiles to see nasty underwear lines?

Problem with blaming the media is we forget that many fucktards out there shouldnt be allowed to raise pets never mind human beings.

And to the old fart above who used to walk (wat dat?), I have brothers who are cops and firemen and they can explain to you the many dangers of leaving young children alone in a house.

But just like in any forums, you feel the need to show how cool you are even though we all know you've never come close to copulating never mind have kids.

Personally, since I have boys, I have more problems with sports that show blind side hits 'best of' recaps in football/hockey and was thrilled to death when my oldest said that its 'cowardly' to hit an opponent who isnt looking and didnt take much courage or skill.
I had explained to him when he was younger that his martial arts training was meant only to be used in defense, not to attack someone and that the person who punches/hits someone who isnt looking should be embarrased to be called a man.
He took that and later applied it to something else he found similar.

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

dwye (1127395) | about 6 years ago | (#25314249)

Obviously, you never heard any Grimm's Fairy Tales as a youth, nor read even a retelling of the Odyssey, nor of Greek Mythology, nor even Hurlbut's Story Of The Bible.

Admittedly, the print media (i.e., "graphic novels") can be a bit much, but the words are no worse than they usually are.

Heck, I grow up watching Westerns on TV and reading Michael Morecock, and it hasn't affected me any (he says, drinking a toast to his vanished youth, from a cup made from an enemy's skull :-) .

That last paragraph was a joke, of course. I didn't discover Morecock until college. The Aeneid, and Tale Of Da Derga's Hostel, on the other hand... Thanks, Harvard Classics.

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

nadolph (661727) | about 6 years ago | (#25313591)

I watched Total Recall with my little brother when he was 5 years old. Didn't seem to faze him. But nowadays, kids are total n00bs.

Re:Some Children's Book... (3, Interesting)

sukotto (122876) | about 6 years ago | (#25313777)

That reminds me this wonderful little map of Sheffield, Britain, with "allowed to roam" overlays: http://img.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2007/06_02/playgraphicDM1406_736x800.jpg [dailymail.co.uk]

Each overlay shows where the eight year old child was allowed to cover unsupervised. Sad how much more constricted and hemmed in each generation of that family has become over the last century.

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about 6 years ago | (#25313409)

Yeah, I'm gonna run right out and buy that for my toddler. Granted, he says it's not directly mentioned in the text, it's just there in the pictures in case you want to point it out to your kids, but still.

It's really no more "out there" than some of the imagery in classics from Maurice Sendak or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

My problem with Breathed is that I never really thought his stuff was funny.

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25313569)

Yeah I noticed that one too. Those kids are going to have some weird ideas growing up. "Mom, can we go and vacuum grandpa's grave?" I can just imagine them taking toy vacuum cleaners in and making an old lady have a heart attack because of the sheer cheek of it all..

Re:Some Children's Book... (1)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | about 6 years ago | (#25313821)

"Breathed's new child's book, Pete & Pickles, features Pete, a lonely pig who vacuums his wife's grave." Yeah, I'm gonna run right out and buy that for my toddler. Granted, he says it's not directly mentioned in the text, it's just there in the pictures in case you want to point it out to your kids, but still.

The point is that Pete is sad. According to TFA, he meets Pickles , "a circus elephant with an extraordinary lust for life" who "uses her wild imagination to upend Pete's quiet life". According to Breathed, the idea is that that imagination "can be used in a way that's almost therapeutic".

If you don't think that's an appropriate message for kids, I pity yours.

Re:Some Children's Book... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25314093)

>> I just feel like there's a societal obsession with getting our kids to "mature" as fast as possible, rather than just letting them be kids.

Unless they're on an airplane, right?

Re:Some Children's Book... (2, Insightful)

fitten (521191) | about 6 years ago | (#25314349)

That's the rationalization of a helicopter parent. I see too many kids these days who have no clue on how to do anything themselves because parents try to protect them from everything in the world "to preserve their innocence". They don't want their kids to get scraped knees, do anything that might cause even a whisper of pain or anything like that because "modern kids don't need to know those things". Those kids end up not knowing anything or how to deal with any situation that they haven't seen on Barney or Vegetales.

It's a part of growing up. Don't let your kids do things where they might get their arms chopped off (at least, not without a lot of supervision) but trying to isolate them from scraped knees and knowing what goes on around them (I'm not gonna tell my kids about strangers because it might scare them!) is just bad for them in the long run. Chores and some work doesn't hurt them.

Being bored just teaches them how to find things to do, it won't kill them. I used to read encyclopedias when I got bored, for example, or play games or go out and explore the woods behind our house. I get bored very rarely (not even once a year that I can think of) because there are so many things to do as long as you take an active part in your life. If you're dependent upon someone else supplying you with things to do (watching TV, playing video games, having to always be hanging around other people), you'll always be easily bored because you've never had to supply your own activities. Teach your kids to be confident and instill in them that curiosity and inquisitiveness is good. Let them stumble on their own sometimes even though you know it will happen. They'll learn from it (and not resent you for not protecting them).

But, putting your kids in a gilded cage definitely will have issues down the line, like always wanting someone else to be their nanny for the rest of their life, for example.

two months (2, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | about 6 years ago | (#25312717)

Loved Bloom County but it was stuck in time. I think I paid attention to Berkeley Breathed for about two months after he ended Bloom County. I read a couple Outland strips. Even Berkeley must have realized they sucked, because he had to save it by reintroducing Opus and friends, which he had announced he didn't want to do. But it still sucked. Other than reading someone's Bloom County anthology, and smiling with the fond memory, I haven't looked at them since.

Re:two months (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 6 years ago | (#25312929)

Agreed, big-time. It was like the 1980's and early '90s never ended in there... I loved it when it was out, but nowadays, it seems pretty irrelevant.

In spite of its subtle politics, it was damned funny. The politicking he employed was more of a scalpel (far better than the blatant dull machete' that was Doonesbury) which is what made you read Bloom County no matter what your politics were - and even if you were a staunch neocon, you laughed your ass off at it.

Then again, it lacks that timelessness which Calvin and Hobbes has. I have a shedload of Calvin and Hobbes books on the shelves... OTOH, I can't remember owning any Bloom County books since 1993 (I'd lost the ones I had when the apartment got flooded... never really bothered to replace them - I really should head out and get a few just to take me back).

C&H is a never-ending fountain of laughs (in spite of the moronic and seemingly never-ending 'calvin pissing on $object' car sticker derivatives). Bloom County OTOH is (sadly) a time capsule.

/P

Re:two months (1)

larry bagina (561269) | about 6 years ago | (#25313387)

Good news! I'm developing a car sticker featuring Calvin shitting on $object.

Re:two months (2, Insightful)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25312999)

I agree. I tried to like Outland, but it just was not a good strip. Sticking Opus in it did not help. It was only a reminder that this was not Bloom County. And, the Opus strip, well, when the writer resorts to "and now, a character's lovechild shows up", it means there is a problem. TV, comics, serial novels, it means the same thing. The well is running dry.

Re:two months (1)

somersault (912633) | about 6 years ago | (#25313769)

when the writer resorts to "and now, a character's lovechild shows up", it means .. the well is running dry.

Dewey was Donald's nephew. At least, that's what he and Daisy always claimed....

It appears a lovechild has shown up in your sig!

Re:two months (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25313943)

Well, I'll be... I'll change it at the end of the month. Right now, I have to meet with the lawyer about this paternity suit.....

Good run, good time to stop (2, Interesting)

rnelsonee (98732) | about 6 years ago | (#25312729)

Argh - I just threw away all my Bloom County books last month when I moved! The comic was great - I'm 30 so I missed some of the political references when I was younger but I read all the books later and loved those comics. I didn't pick up Opus again even after he was back the last couple of years because it didn't feel the same. I'll be sure to buy the compilation of all the latest ones and enjoy them. Opus certainly had a great run and it's probably time to put him away before he gets too old.

Favorite Bloom County punchline ... (3, Insightful)

Coreigh (185150) | about 6 years ago | (#25312803)

"Pear pimples for hairy fish nuts?"

Aside from any reasons that may be brought up to be annoyed with Breathed, his comics or his politics, Opus and Bloom County made me laugh HYSTERICALLY at things I did not even understand or knew I should be aware of. That is what I think makes a good comic or cartoon. A mix of simple funny and satire can bring smiles to both those in the know and those who just like to watch.

Coreigh

Re:Favorite Bloom County punchline ... (1)

JackL (39506) | about 6 years ago | (#25313103)

Opus: And if elected I pledge to push for the legalization of the home use of 50mm anti-tank bazookas!

Old lady from the Society of Pro-acrylic knitters: Good heavens? Whatever for?

BC still available... (3, Informative)

misfit815 (875442) | about 6 years ago | (#25312831)

...at http://news.yahoo.com/comics/bloomcounty [yahoo.com] .

I've been reading the old stuff day-by-day. Some of it is remarkably relevant to current events.

Of course, today's strip is conveniently missing - go figure. Anyway, I thought I'd share the link to a comic that's on my short list.

J

Re:BC still available... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313731)

Don't abbreviate something to BC [wikipedia.org] in a comic strip thread. You're likely to get ignored.

Like Groening, let it go on WAY past its prime (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 6 years ago | (#25312835)

Bloom County was probably the best comic strip of the 80's. And, when Breathed started to lose steam, he ended it.

But he didn't, really. He just cut it back to Sundays under a new name. And so that pattern has continued until the series had long since become stale and forgettable. The once-great Bloom County was reduced to a great big pile of who-gives-a-shit.

Sometimes, if you love something, you have to let it go. Better that it dies a dignified death than to drag it on into mediocrity. Matt Groening and Berkley Breathed are, sadly, prime examples of guys who had something truly magical, which they then beat into the ground for decades past when they should have called it quits.

Re:Like Groening, let it go on WAY past its prime (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 6 years ago | (#25313101)

At least Matt Groening can say that he gave control of The Simpsons over to a staff of writers. Berke Breathed is responsible for the declining quality of the franchise all by himself.

Re:Like Groening, let it go on WAY past its prime (1)

zerocommazero (837043) | about 6 years ago | (#25313863)

And that he did. I used to love Bloom County as a kid. Outland just seemed like a fragemnt of an idea stretched out into a series. I never read Opus. The recurring theme in a lot of these posts is he should've just stopped for a while. Stripping out all the characters except Opus was a bad idea as well. Just imagine if Mr. Breathed had stopped and then started up in 2004 when dubbleya got (hic) relected into office. That shit just writes itself.

Bill the Cat (1)

BigRiff (580967) | about 6 years ago | (#25312859)

Ack!!

Here I sit, typing on my Banana Jr... (1)

volxdragon (1297215) | about 6 years ago | (#25312871)

...that's been the name of my desktop box (whichever is the current one) for the last two decades. One of my just-out-of-school co-workers asked about "the wierd-ass machine name" of my box not too long ago and I had to dig out the old strips for him. Kids these days don't have any appreciation for the classics! Sigh. Oh, and get off my lawn!

Bloom County doesn't hold up well (4, Insightful)

jayayeem (247877) | about 6 years ago | (#25312893)

I went back and read some Bloom County books recently. They are as dated as Doonesbury from the early 70s. Not that the weren't great, but they were a product of their time.

Read your Calvin and Hobbes books instead. Those are timeless. My kids love them.

Get the complete set. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 6 years ago | (#25313097)

http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Calvin-Hobbes/dp/0740748475/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223560779&sr=1-1 [amazon.com]

I recently purchased this and have been amazed at the strips I missed. The collection books really do leave a lot out and C&H are timeless. Frankly, I enjoy C&H much more and it both children and adults can enjoy it at the same and for different reasons

Re:Bloom County doesn't hold up well (2, Insightful)

swordgeek (112599) | about 6 years ago | (#25313929)

I wouldn't say that being stuck in time doesn't mean they don't hold up well. Bloom County, like Doonesbury and Pogo before that, were satire and sociopolitical commentary. They don't have much choice but to become dated when politicians retire, events are forgotten, and society moves on. It's a different style, that's all. Social cartoons become dated. Their counterpart (Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts) don't.

deja vu. all over again. (2, Interesting)

viridari (1138635) | about 6 years ago | (#25312909)

Breathed has pulled this before. Maybe he's just burned out, who knows. But when his other ventures prove to be far less lucrative, and he gets sick of answering all of the repetitive questions about the whereabouts of Opus, the promise of easy money will bring him out of "retirement". Maybe it will last longer than Jet Li's retirement. But Opus will be back.

Like the artwork, tired of the story (1)

h4x354x0r (1367733) | about 6 years ago | (#25312939)

...at least the 2nd time around. Let's hope the kids books market is successful enough that BB doesn't have to come back to this again.

Penguin? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25312961)

I always thought Opus looked like a puffin.

Say it ain't so! (1)

fionnghal (306289) | about 6 years ago | (#25313067)

I loved Bloom County. Oh well. *sigh*

Stupid Comic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313159)

Almost as bad as Zippy.

Who fucking cares?

Re:Stupid Comic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313339)

Bingo.. Saying that this moronic comic should even be in the same universe as Calvin and Hobbes? What the hell are you thinking. That's so insane I can't even see the logic in the comparison.

Breathed is so far left that he had to quit just to go find himself.

Totally agree he'll be back if Obama wins to gloat. Or he is so convinced Obama is going to win he won't have any material since he can't bash the Bush administration or some random war we're in because the Savior Obama will end all that. Maybe that is why he quit.

He won't be a book MY kid reads. That's for sure.

Now... (1, Insightful)

sl8r (104278) | about 6 years ago | (#25313171)

if only Mallard Fillmore [wikipedia.org] would get the boot, that'd be great.

Good Riddance (1, Troll)

sakusha (441986) | about 6 years ago | (#25313229)

That comic was totally lame. It was like the Emperor's New Clothes, a guy who can't draw and who isn't funny, but it's put together in a way that sends the message "hey this is so countercultural, you'll be cool if you pretend it's funny." It's like one big in-joke, except nobody's in on the joke except the cartoonist. I'm sick of this "ironic appreciation" hipster crap, can't we have something that is actually funny, rather than "so unfunny it's funny"...?
There are plenty of excellent cartoonists who deserve space on the comics page, now that he's out of the way, maybe we'll see the next Calvin and Hobbes.

Re:Good Riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25314085)

There's one of you in every crowd it seems. Go piss in someone else's cheerios. If you can hit the bowl from your high horse.

Well... (1)

therpham (953844) | about 6 years ago | (#25313265)

I am a little too young to have read Bloom County when it ran, but I know that every time I read Opus, it was just annoying and non-funny. However, if so many people remember Bloom County fondly, maybe I should dig up a collection book.

Re:Well... (1)

swordgeek (112599) | about 6 years ago | (#25313815)

Definitely do so. I've never been a big fan of Opus. There wasn't much story, there wasn't much continuity, and there just wasn't much fun. Same thing with Outland. However, the original Bloom County was something I waited breathlessly for every day.

Get a collection, and make sure it's full of dailies, not just the "Sunday Colours."

OFN FCOL (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 years ago | (#25313359)

old freaking news for crying out loud... i read about this last week.

Re:OFN FCOL (1)

corky842 (728932) | about 6 years ago | (#25313875)

You must be new here.

What kind of ending... (2, Interesting)

rodney dill (631059) | about 6 years ago | (#25313363)

1. A 2010 starchild moment.
2. A Matrix ending, where Opus gets to spend all his time in his own matrix illusion with the dandelions.
3. A Soprano momemt, where all the old characters meet in a restaurant, Bill the Cat can't park the car, and the last frame goes black?
4. Seinfeld, where they all end up in prison.

Re:What kind of ending... (1)

plopez (54068) | about 6 years ago | (#25313541)

How about Opus taken to the backroom of the local animal shelter?

I have fond memories of Opus... (2, Insightful)

BarneyRabble (866644) | about 6 years ago | (#25313463)

I don't know about the rest of you Slashdotters, but I have fond memories of reading the newspaper every day to see what kind of mischief Opus and the gang in Bloom County were going to do next, such as putting Bill Gates brain inside of Bill the Cat...and Opus getting a nose job. But the best one was the first time we all met him...encountering a Hare Krishna....with the "Pear Pimples for Hairy Fishnuts" reply. Go back in time. Remember a time when politcal humor was meant to be funny and not crass and callous as it is today with people like Steven Colbert and Jon Stewart. Berke Breathed poked fun at situations, he didn't rattle the bear's cage all the time. And as for his children's books, he has made a couple of cute ones, such as "Red Rider Came Calling" and "The Last Bassalope" and one of my personal faves, "Edward Fudwupper Fibbed Big", a story about one child's lie that can cause big trouble. So its sad to see Opus go. He can have a Herrring Whopper on me, heavy mayo :)

Sometimes it's best to just let go ... (1)

eagee (1308589) | about 6 years ago | (#25313527)

What I think worked so well about Bloom County was the evolving social commentary in the daily strip. The Sunday strips never were my favorite part of the series, 'never seemed well suited for the weekly one liners.

Since Opus started appearing in the Sunday comics again I've been opening the paper every week with my fingers crossed *hoping* to recapture some of the old charm. It never happened.

After all, nothing gold can stay. I'd rather stop seeing it in the paper, than see it walk further down the same road that Garfield did.

Just like the NFL (1)

BCW2 (168187) | about 6 years ago | (#25313587)

BB is just like Bill Parcells, he moves on and does well, just not quite as well as the last time. It's a steady downhill run.

Berekley Breathed... (1)

penguinstorm (575341) | about 6 years ago | (#25313647)

I knew The Far Side. I worked with The Far Side. You, Berkeley Breated, are no Far Side.

On the other hand, in the hierarchy of Penguins Opus ranks pretty high, possibly higher than Tux.

I remember Bloom County (2, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 6 years ago | (#25313707)

I'm old enough to remember Bloom County (and the Far Side, for that matter) - it was a wonderful, funny, insightful, different comic strip.

Unfortunately Opus (the comic) never really fired on all cylinders. Breathed tried to do something a bit different, but it just didn't quite work. Then, when he came to realize that, he started trying to drag back a few of the Bloom County regulars; but without young Milo it just couldn't work.

I think Breathed would've been better served - as would we fans - if he'd just resurrected Bloom County the same way Trudeau did with Doonesbury. It's a comic - so there's no rule you have to age your characters in real time. (Although some of us would prefer Bil Keane did exactly that, since it'd mean little Billy would've retired years ago).

We did have it good in the 80's. (4, Insightful)

Hawthorne01 (575586) | about 6 years ago | (#25313831)

Bloom County. The Far Side. Calvin & Hobbes.

And Zippy the Pinhead for those into, ah, more chemically-induced forms of humor.

But now we have web comics. And the golden age of comic strips is with us once again.

The comic strip is dead. Long live the comic strip.

Chemical humor (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 6 years ago | (#25314197)

....for those into, ah, more chemically-induced forms of humor.

Makes me think of "The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers."

Gibberish (1)

1u3hr (530656) | about 6 years ago | (#25313939)

And Bloom County would have been perfect during the Bush 2 years Now, I'm going to pull out all my old Bloom County books and read them.

Is this one, two or three sentences mangled together? And WTF does "2 years" refer to?

Re:Gibberish (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 6 years ago | (#25314053)

Bush the Second, or Bush II, or Bush2 or Bust v. 2.0, etc.

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