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Berkeley Breathed's Opus: The Complete Library: Sunday Comics: 2003-2008

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It’s Berkeley Breathed’s final spin around the dance floor with his most quirky and endearing character—Opus. The Pleasant penguin has long been the moral center of the Berkley-verse, and nowhere is that as abundantly clear as in his own self-named book. Aside from our waddling friend, this book contains numerous characters readers will fondly remember from the days of It’s Berkeley Breathed’s final spin around the dance floor with his most quirky and endearing character—Opus. The Pleasant penguin has long been the moral center of the Berkley-verse, and nowhere is that as abundantly clear as in his own self-named book. Aside from our waddling friend, this book contains numerous characters readers will fondly remember from the days of Bloom County. This volume collects the entire run of Berkeley Breathed’s Opus, from first to last, and features an introduction and running commentary from Breathed.


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It’s Berkeley Breathed’s final spin around the dance floor with his most quirky and endearing character—Opus. The Pleasant penguin has long been the moral center of the Berkley-verse, and nowhere is that as abundantly clear as in his own self-named book. Aside from our waddling friend, this book contains numerous characters readers will fondly remember from the days of It’s Berkeley Breathed’s final spin around the dance floor with his most quirky and endearing character—Opus. The Pleasant penguin has long been the moral center of the Berkley-verse, and nowhere is that as abundantly clear as in his own self-named book. Aside from our waddling friend, this book contains numerous characters readers will fondly remember from the days of Bloom County. This volume collects the entire run of Berkeley Breathed’s Opus, from first to last, and features an introduction and running commentary from Breathed.

30 review for Berkeley Breathed's Opus: The Complete Library: Sunday Comics: 2003-2008

  1. 4 out of 5

    Oliver Böttcher

    Probably the most political comic strip starring an antropomorphic penguin, in existence. Several years after Bloom County ran it's course, Opus returned to comment on the insanity of Bush era. Starting more or less as an solo series, Berkeley Breathed soon gets other well known characters like Steve Dallas and running gags like the always funny anxiety closet back into the mix. Since this new incarnation contains only sunday pages, there are no long storylines to be followed, which were the Probably the most political comic strip starring an antropomorphic penguin, in existence. Several years after Bloom County ran it's course, Opus returned to comment on the insanity of Bush era. Starting more or less as an solo series, Berkeley Breathed soon gets other well known characters like Steve Dallas and running gags like the always funny anxiety closet back into the mix. Since this new incarnation contains only sunday pages, there are no long storylines to be followed, which were the biggest strength of Bloom County. An exception to this, is the bittersweet goodbye to this universe at the end of the book. But the wit and the courage to tackle uncomfortable topics is still there.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    At times, the strip devolves into a sort of bewildered, "get off my lawn," old man ranting against the young and their newfangled devices vibe, but overall this is a satisfying last fling for one of pop culture's most enduring characters. Opus acts as a great observer of modern life, and an even better reaction to the craziness that often comes with the human condition. The ending is bittersweet but oddly perfect, and while I'll miss the little pudgepot, I take solace that I got to accompany him At times, the strip devolves into a sort of bewildered, "get off my lawn," old man ranting against the young and their newfangled devices vibe, but overall this is a satisfying last fling for one of pop culture's most enduring characters. Opus acts as a great observer of modern life, and an even better reaction to the craziness that often comes with the human condition. The ending is bittersweet but oddly perfect, and while I'll miss the little pudgepot, I take solace that I got to accompany him and the rest of the Bloom County crew on a thoroughly enjoyable 30 year ride. Goodnight, Opus.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hogan

    Opus is mostly a retread of Bloom County with a slightly different characters in a Sunday-strip-only setting. When it's good, it's not quite as good as B.C. at its peak. I even missed the lack of strip commentary -- virtually all that was given is when he offered replacement strips. It feels like Breathed is finally getting tired of the idea of the comic strip. It would have been a sad place to end his run creatively, but it leaves the character Opus in a good spot. I'm glad that Breathed got the Opus is mostly a retread of Bloom County with a slightly different characters in a Sunday-strip-only setting. When it's good, it's not quite as good as B.C. at its peak. I even missed the lack of strip commentary -- virtually all that was given is when he offered replacement strips. It feels like Breathed is finally getting tired of the idea of the comic strip. It would have been a sad place to end his run creatively, but it leaves the character Opus in a good spot. I'm glad that Breathed got the cartooning itch again many years after this book ended.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Kam Yung Soh

    The 'final' collection of Bloom County strips that mainly feature Opus and Steve Dallas before Berkeley Breathed's current revival of the series on Facebook, it starts with Opus in Antarctica deciding to return to Bloom County. But how things have moved on. Many of his friends from the Bloom County strip are not present. Steve Dallas appears, but is now older (but not much wiser) and has a son! Bill the Cat is there, unchanged (but then, it hard to tell if he has changed). The strips also have a The 'final' collection of Bloom County strips that mainly feature Opus and Steve Dallas before Berkeley Breathed's current revival of the series on Facebook, it starts with Opus in Antarctica deciding to return to Bloom County. But how things have moved on. Many of his friends from the Bloom County strip are not present. Steve Dallas appears, but is now older (but not much wiser) and has a son! Bill the Cat is there, unchanged (but then, it hard to tell if he has changed). The strips also have a bitter overtone to the humour; more biting and ranting at the then political and cultural situation in the US. But the ending of the collection all but makes up for it; for Opus is detained by Homeland Security and by the last panel, Steve Dallas appears to save him. But in the end, Opus does not need saving; for he is, at last, really in his happy place.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dave

    Nice to get a collection of the Opus strips, as I don't think these were carried by anyone in the UK. While they never quite reach the heights of Bloom County, possibly because the Sunday only format didn't really allow for any particular narrative, there are still good proportion of incisive and funny cartoons. The final writing out of Opus is both moving and appropriate. After 25 odd years as the penguin savant, he finally gets to rest where he most wants to be.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    I remember when this strip debuted, the newspaper made a big deal about it. I was too young to remember Bloom County and Outland, and most of the jokes went over my head. Revisiting it now, I think it's Breathed's best work. It is colorful and funny and as inventive as ever.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    Reading these strips that are now 10+ years old, I'm not sure if I should be sad or comforted that "the more things change, the more they stay the same". A few minor changes and most of these strips could have been written today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    (Humble Comics Bundle: Bloom County 2019) Possibly my favorite Berkeley Breathed so far. (I’m reading them in order from the beginning.)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tom Croom

    Man, do I ever miss Bloom County. This book, though, isn't Bloom County. It's more of a reminder of what was a "golden age" of comic strips. And by golden age, I mean golden age in MY lifetime. There are comics that predate me (Peanuts, etc.) that are just as legendary. But I digress. As a kid who never understood the joys of the sports page, I would gravitate to the comics section of the Sunday newspaper each and every week. So my childhood and teens were spent on a solid diet of Berkeley Man, do I ever miss Bloom County. This book, though, isn't Bloom County. It's more of a reminder of what was a "golden age" of comic strips. And by golden age, I mean golden age in MY lifetime. There are comics that predate me (Peanuts, etc.) that are just as legendary. But I digress. As a kid who never understood the joys of the sports page, I would gravitate to the comics section of the Sunday newspaper each and every week. So my childhood and teens were spent on a solid diet of Berkeley Breathed and Bill Watterson. When Bloom County ended, I had the last strip cut out of my local newspaper, mounted on poster board, and pinned it up on the wall next to my Apple IIc. I miss Bloom County. Opus is a Sunday only comic that ran in the new millennium while print media was slowly spiraling into oblivion. As bad as political correctness was in the nineties, the past decade has taken the American mindset to such an extreme need for sanitized entertainment that it would have been impossible for Breathed to recreate the magic of Bloom County again... but dammit, he tried. This book just missed the mark for me, though. Aside from the obvious limitations that newspapers put on the strip (there were at least three or four strips that noted that an alternate strip was sent along with it "just in case" the newspaper opted not to run it due to it's controversial content,) there were a couple of things that the book as whole did that made it less enjoyable. 1. A Lack of Notes: In the previous Bloom County and Outland volumes, Berkley Breathed and his editor would occasionally offer pop culture insight or side stories at the bottom of random strips. That is sorely missing from this volume. 2. Cohesion in Storytelling: Breathed did this in the beginning (introduced Steve Dallas appearing along with other characters,) but later in the narrative he just gave up. Binkley just shows up... the same age. No explanation. Oliver has a cameo and, again, no explanation. I know it's just a comic strip - but this bothered me for some reason. I enjoyed reading the book for the feeling of closure. In the end, though, "Opus" just serves as a reminder of how great Bloom County was by showing that there couldn't be a Bloom County again.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Reading this last volume of Breathed's comics, I realized that I missed quite a few of the Opus Sunday strips. None of the local newspapers carried it. Like the previous collections, I can only marvel at the craziness we seem to be reliving over and over again. Kind of scary too. Scratch that. Without Opus to help navigate life, it's frakkin' terrifying.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sean Pfile

    No Opus! Do not go!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adarsh

    Take a trip back to the Bush years... Although I really never want to revisit that nightmare, these strips had me laughing out loud a lot!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Grant

    The definitive collection of Breathed's final (until _Bloom County 2015_) comic strip. Opus remains the befuddled everyman we all wish we could, at some level, be. Plus, funny as all get out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mickey

    this was my week for disappointing reads. I had forgotten that I didn't like OPUS as much as Bloom County or even Outland. oh well....

  15. 4 out of 5

    Charles

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eric

  17. 4 out of 5

    Michael Caswell

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lou Florio

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hercules Repka

  20. 5 out of 5

    Doug Dery

  21. 4 out of 5

    Evan Macrone (Will Work For Books)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Chris

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tim

  24. 4 out of 5

    Don Brown

  25. 4 out of 5

    Rich

  26. 4 out of 5

    Shane Hill

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

  28. 5 out of 5

    G.S. Scott

  29. 5 out of 5

    Melinda Kirkham

  30. 5 out of 5

    Matt Wire

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