Goodnight, Opus — sweet dreams

There are a few comic strips that stand out in my mind over the years. The first is Doonesbury, for obvious reasons — brilliant social commentary and wit — followed closely by Calvin & Hobbes, and then Berke Breathed‘s Bloom County. I still have a bunch of the collected Bloom County strips, and can recall many a Christmas morning spent enjoying them after getting one under the tree. The strip ended in 1998, followed by a related comic called Outland (which I didn’t like as much) and then a Sunday-only strip featuring Opus the penguin all by himself. Now Breathed has ended that one too, with a single panel showing his anti-hero snuggled in bed in the children’s book Goodnight Moon. It’s a fitting end for a true innocent like Opus, one of the great comic characters of our time. Salon has an interview with the artist, who says that he decided to end it because his anger at the political situation in the U.S. was bleeding through into the strip.

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