This publish is Filed Under:

Home page Highlights,
Interviews as well as Columns

Roger Ash

by Roger Ash

Berkeley Breathed’s Opus: The total Library

In my column on the “Best of 2012,” I commented that I had yet to checked out IDW/The library of American Comics’ Berkeley Breathed’s Opus: The total Library. I have now corrected that oversight as well as I’m glad I did since it’s an outstanding book.

If you’re not familiar with Opus, it was a Sunday-only strip by Breathed featuring the prominent penguin from Bloom region as well as Outland that ran from 2003-2008 as well as was Breathed’s farewell to comic strips. The strip likewise featured other Bloom region alumni including Steve Dallas, Binkley, as well as expense the feline as well as we likewise get peeks of the Bloom Picayune offices in addition to the political profession of senator Bedfellow. Oddly, while Steve has aged as well as Binkley is discussed in early strip as being a teen, when he lastly appears, Binkley looks the exact same as he did in Bloom County. new characters in the strip include a spunky bit woman named Pickles as well as Augie Dallas, Steve’s long-lost son. I’ve only seen a few Opus strips in the past, so it was a genuine treat to be able to checked out many of these strips for the very first time.

When Outland ended in 1995, Opus had discovered his method to his mom in Antarctica as well as presumably lived happily ever after. When Opus began in 2003, Opus was still living with his mom, however things were less than peachy as Opus preferred to return to Bloom region as well as his previous life. The very first three to four months of the strip checked out practically like a storybook as we see Opus’ life in Antarctica as well as his travels back home. however it’s now eight years later as well as house has changed. A lot.

This is what truly makes Opus work for me; the truth that he is a fish out of water as the contemporary world has passed him by. Breathed utilizes Opus for some scathing commentary on the contemporary world including America’s cultural obsessions from electronic gadgets to religious beliefs to politics to body piercing to prescription medications to comic strips themselves. Opus frequently faces contemporary life with a sense of bewilderment mixed with enjoyment as well as a specific amount of naiveté, though automatic toilets do freak him out. There’s likewise a feeling of “how precisely did we end up here?” to a few of the strips. I’ve always liked the character of Opus however I’ve never felt as in tune with him as I perform in this book as numerous of the thoughts Breathed expresses with him mirror numerous of my own (but not the part about automatic toilets).

The art in Opus is beautiful as Breathed takes full advantage of contemporary printing techniques. His composing is likewise sharp as well as a few of the strips would never make it into newspapers today as they would most likely cause as well much of a ruckus. Heck, some strips didn’t even make it into many papers back when the strip was published. former Bloom region character Lola Granola joins the cast as well as ultimately becomes a radical Islamist named Fatima struggle in two consecutive strips. earlier strips in the series were offered to papers to utilize those two weeks in situation they believed the meant strips were as well controversial. as well as keep an eye on the copyright line on the strips. After the very first few months, it begins to subtly change.

The final three months (roughly) of the strip wrap things up as well as the book goes back into a story mode when Opus is informed that the end is near. Opus is told by the ghost of Elvis that “Where you are at the end… is where you’ll always be.” So Opus sets about discovering a fitting ending place, however as expected, things don’t go smoothly. The final few strips look back at Opus’ life in comics as well as for somebody who has complied with Opus for 30 some years, it restored waves of nostalgia as well as put a lump in my throat. I won’t spoil it as well as tell you exactly how the story ends, however I will state it brought a smile to my deal with as well as a tear to my eye.

All in all, this is an outstanding collection that any type of fan of Breathed’s work ought to have on their shelf.


Berkeley Breathed’s Opus: The total library HC

Leave a Comment