Opus returns to Advertiser funny pages
By Michael Tsai
Advertiser Staff Writer
Opus is back!
This Sunday, the much-beloved penguin star of the "Bloom County" and "Outland" comic strips returns to the pages of The Advertiser in a Sunday-only feature titled "Opus."
Created by Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Berkeley Breathed, Opus and his friends Milo, Bill the Cat, Steve Dallas and the rest appeared in 1,300 newspapers from 1980, when "Bloom County" debuted, to 1995, when "Outland" closed up shop.
At the peak of the strips' popularity, Opus helped attract 70 million newspaper readers and sold 6 million books.
Breathed isn't divulging any information about his plans for the strip, but he did put The Advertiser in touch, via e-mail, with the flightless one himself.
Here's what Opus had to say.
The Advertiser: So where have you been? What have you been doing the last eight years?
Opus: You'd have to ask Mr. Berkeley these things, but he's not talking. He certainly doesn't talk to me, other than to tell me that it's time to go to work again, despite my STRONG objections.
My private guess is that Mr. Berkeley probably quit before to give himself some healing time after the sex-change operation. He's returning to better pay off the debt on his gambling losses to the New Jersey mob.
Holy mackerel, I'd hate to see any of that reach the tabloids.
The Advertiser: What can we expect from the new strip?
Opus: I get the script each morning, so I have no idea what he has in mind.
I hope it involves me leaving where I am at the moment. With all the space Mr. Berkeley is insisting on, all I can say is that it darn tootin' better LOOK pretty good.
The Advertiser: Will we be seeing Bill the Cat, Milo, Ronald Ann or any other familiar faces?
Opus: No idea. I know Bill is in the holiday catalog for Baby Gap, modeling thong diapers. I don't really think anyone wants to see that.
The Advertiser: Any plans for another run at the White House?
Opus: What happened to Mr. Clinton? He had such nice hair. I always thought he would have done really, really good with the ladies if he was somewhere besides the Oval Office.
The Advertiser: Finally, what's the deal with you and the Ben/J-Lo breakup?
Opus: That was a cruel rumor, and I wasn't involved. I was, however, involved when Liza Minnelli threw a toaster at that odd husband of hers who looked like a penguin, but I can't say more until the lawsuit is settled.