Image by ghewgill via FlickrAfter a career spanning 3 decades in the funny pages spread across a trio of different series, Opus the existentialist penguin will shortly be no more. Creator Berkeley Breathed recently announced that the final strip of his Sunday-only comic Opus would run on November 2, 2008, and that it would mark the end of both the comic and its title character.
Opus, originally conceived as a one-shot gag in the award-winning and frequently political Bloom County, went on to become a core player in the series. He also appeared in the follow-up comic Outland before starring in his own strip. Along the way he’s been a world traveler, a heavy metal tuba player, a contender for vice president, and, perhaps most importantly, an everyman philosopher.
Opus also made his way into a number of Breathed’s children’s books, including the superb Goodnight Opus. Sadly, while the author’s departure from the realm of syndicated comics is due to his desire to focus on children’s literature, Opus, it appears, will not be coming along for the ride.
"I’ll be leaving Opus in a way that it should be very clear that this time there’s no going back home," says Breathed.
Being that the current plot sees our hero confined to an animal shelter – after receiving some end-of-the-line advice from the late Elvis Presley – we can only assume the worst for the lovable penguin. But, at the same time, we can also hold out hope that Breathed will give Opus a suitable sendoff. Comics’ preeminent penguin deserves no less.
Even if he does look more like a puffin.