Sunday, November 09, 2008

Goodbye again, Opus.

Berkely Breathed has done it again. He has brought the curtain down on Opus, the beloved comic strip penguin.
This is the third time he has pulled the cord on Opus. The first was in 1989 when he ended his Pulitzer Prize winning comic strip Bloom County, probably my all-time favorite. But he brought Opus back a few years later in a Sunday-only strip called Outland. But then that ended in 1995.
Then in 2003 he came back yet again with a Sunday strip called Opus, but now that is gone too.
Why, oh why, do the great comic strips seem to die young - Bloom County, The Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, Fox Trot (at least the daily version), and so forth, while much inferior strips plod along forever like zombies with new syndicate authors who keep recylcing stale jokes long after the original artist is gone?
The San Antonio Express-News is filled with such strips - old, tired, lame, boring - while many really good strips have no room on their pages.
When Opus ended last week there was no mention of what the E-N would do to replace it. This week we find that all they did was shuffly their stale lineup around and expand a few to make up the space. I assume it is a cost-saving measure. But it still sucks. The two things I treasure the most about a local paper - aside from the obvious coverage of local news - is the comics page and the editorial page, and both are exceedlingly awful at the E-N.

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