This morning I was catching up on some old emails, and this and that, and discovered the final Opus comic, where he apparently doesn't quite die but instead goes to sleep dreaming of a better, kinder world. That's a fine ending as far as I'm concerned, but I'm sorry to see it go. Bloom County went off into the great beyond several years ago, and I remember it well.
For those who don't know, Bloom County by Berkley Breathed was a comic strip that ran in the '80's and probably into the '90's (memory fails). The main character, or one of them, was Opus the Penguin. Such was the popularity of Bloom County that Opus was brought back for "Opus," a couple of years ago. It ran only in the Sunday paper and was frequently, like Bloom County, the funniest and best illustrated comic in the comics. It was political, but lacked the poisonous, unfunny air of Mallard Fillmore or Prickly City. Even if you disagreed with the little penguin, you had to admire his fundamental humanity. Or penguinanity.
Among his possessions at his "death" was a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It's compelling, and deeply moving to me, that Breathed chose that book. An innocent's desire for innocence and kindess in this world. I will miss you, Opus, as well as Steve Dallas, Bill the Cat and Bloom County.