Opus is a large nosed penguin (occasionally mistaken for a puffin) with a herring addiction who lost track of his mother during the Falklands War. (They were later reunited in a closing storyline at the end of the strip’s first series.) He was originally introduced as the pet penguin of Michael Binkley (“A boy and his penguin!” “A penguin and his boy!”) in June 1981, although he was only seen in a few strips that month. He was re-introduced as a full time cast member in January 1982; by this point, Opus was no longer Binkley’s pet, and he eventually became a boarder at the Bloom house. Opus’ hopeless naïveté and optimism made him a fan favorite, and he quickly became the center of the strip, as well as the subject of two “sequel” strips (Outland and Opus), three children’s books, and a television special entitled A Wish for Wings That Work.
The pin back button is marked on the two sides as follows:
I’M TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD!
B BREATHED (imprinted signature)
OPUS n’ BILL tm
OPUS n’ BILL tm
© BERKELEY BREATHED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
LICENSED ON BEHALF OF UNIVERSAL CITY STUDIOS, INC.
AND AMBLIN ENTERTAINMENT.
© AGC INC.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Author: Berkeley Breathed
Current status / schedule: Running, no set schedule
Launch date: December 8, 1980
End date: August 6, 1989, resumed on July 13, 2015
Alternate name: Bloom County 2015
Syndicate: Washington Post Writers Group (1980 - 1989)
Genres: Humor, Politics, Satire
Preceded by: The Academia Waltz
Followed by: Outland
Bloom County is an American comic strip by Berkeley Breathed which originally ran from December 8, 1980, until August 6, 1989. It examined events in politics and culture through the viewpoint of a fanciful small town in Middle America, where children often have adult personalities and vocabularies and where animals can talk. On July 12, 2015, Breathed started drawing Bloom County again. The first revived strip was published via Facebook on July 13, 2015.
Publication history and production
Bloom County originated from a comic strip known as The Academia Waltz, which Breathed produced for The Daily Texan, the student newspaper of the University of Texas. The comic strip attracted the notice of the editors of The Washington Post, who recruited him to do a nationally syndicated strip. On December 8, 1980, Bloom County, syndicated by The Washington Post Writers Group, made its debut and featured some of the characters from Academia Waltz, including former frat boy Steve Dallas and the paraplegic Vietnam war veteran Cutter John.
Breathed set Bloom County in a small town. Breathed said he made the choice because he had followed a girlfriend to Iowa City, Iowa; Breathed commented, “You draw, literally, from your life if you’re going to write anything with some juice to it. I did just that.” Breathed’s hand printed signature on his strips was usually presented in mirror image, i.e. right to left. Breathed was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in editorial cartooning in 1987 for Bloom County. Because the cartoon appeared on the comics page, and not on the editorial page, the win was disapproved of by many members of Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. Breathed cited the controversy over the release of Go Set a Watchman as the factor that lead him to resume Bloom County.