33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2005
Oh how I miss Bloom County. Especially the loveable penguin named Opus who was truly the essence of Bloom County. If you don't remember the strip, this book probably won't mean a whole lot to you. The original is necessary as a foundation to make sense of his mannerisms, his foibles and his overall neurotic worldview that made him so loveable in the first place.
If you remember the strip, this is a nice book to peruse to stir up old memories. While the limitation is that many of these are removed from their original context and thus limiting the punch line, they still stand on their own.
As for Outland, what's to be said? It was innovative in that it was a Sunday only strip but it lost support over time. Turns out that minus the other characters, it wasn't as loveable. You can see the other characters slowly making their way back into the strip. Berkeley Breathed obviously missed them. But all the Outland strips are here.
The last several strips are entitled 'Opus' and show Mr. Breathed breathing a little more life into Opus. The characters are drawn in more detail and with more color and flair. Apparently the artistic freedom enticed him to be a bit more adventurous. Yet the other characters are still lingering underneath and behind. But you can't go back.
The full colors are brilliant and the size of the book makes it quite enjoyable on its artistic merit alone. Yet it tells a story of Bloom County and of Mr. Breathed himself in the lessons of life: loving, losing and realizing, almost sorrowfully, that you really can't go back. Yet there is still a glimmer of hope in ol' Opus that makes this book quite a little treasure.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2005
When I was a kid, the first section of the newspaper I would pick up to read was the comics. And beginning in the late 1980s, one of the first strips I would look for everyday (especially on Sunday) was "Bloom County." The strip was like no other. Inventive. Original. Funny. Very funny.
Then came along a naive penguin named Opus. Before long, Opus had taken over "Bloom County." Eventually, Opus had run for Vice President, played the tuba in a heavy metal band, and took on a cockroach as a pet.
Opus was always my favorite "Bloom County" character. His antics would often keep my in stitches each day. When the strip ended in 1989, I knew the comics page would never be the same. Although a Sunday only version called "Outland" started the following month, it just wasn't the same.
Eight years after "Outland" ended, the Sunday comics got a new shot in the arm when Berkeley returned with "Opus." Our favorite penguin was back, and better than ever. Only time will tell if the new strip can match the original, but so far so good.
And now for Opus fans everywhere, Berkeley Breathed has brought together some of his favorite Opus strips from all three cartoons. Included in this collection are introductions by Berkeley to each series, including a small sample of the fake cartoon he drew for the movie "Secondhand Lions." Thanks to these fake strips, he decided to get back into drawing and Opus made his return.
This book is a great collection of strips that will take those of us who remember "Bloom County" and "Outland" down memory lane. For those of you whose first introduction to Opus was the Sunday comic of the same name, this book will show you the transformation that our favorite penguin has gone through over the years.
"Opus" is a very funny book that you will enjoy reading again and again.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2004
I have just received this book after a long pre-order time and I laughed out loud the moment I opened it. Not at any particular strip as I've yet to fully read and enjoy them, which I know I will, but at the inside cover art. You'll know what I mean when you get your copy in your hands.
I'd read Bloom County faithfully for many years and Outland for it's entire existance. Collected the compendiums and some merchandise.
Feeling a kinship with the "little penguin that could" makes me even more pleased to have all of his best adventures in one place. The book is very aesthetically pleasing, printed on slick paper and with beautiful attention to detail, colors and clarity.
If you were ever a fan of of Bloom County, Outland or just Opus himself, do yourself a favor and pick this book up. I guarantee a smile and some very sweet memories. If you are new to Opus and Co., I'm sure you'll be hooked after you read this book.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love Berke Breathed work, but this electronic version is an insult to the quality of his work.
The comic strips are badly scanned with a low-resolution that makes them almost unreadable.
It looks e-books are not yet ready for comics, at least in this case.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2008
Format: Kindle Edition
First, my issue with this book is not with the content but with the way it was published for the Kindle.
The images of the actual comics do not support the Kindle zoom function and are too small to read. This is a critical oversight on the part of the publisher.
Until this issue is corrected by the publisher, buy this book in print, but do not purchase the Kindle version.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2006
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have loved these cartoons since the first one I read years ago. I am so happy to see Opus appearing again recently. I loved Bloom County. I love Bill the Cat and was so happy to see him in a recent Opus cartoon. Keep up the great work. I am 73 years old and laughing keeps me young and cheerful. We need more like this.
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on November 1, 2004
Thoughts of a 'Bloom County' filled childhood are welling up inside me right now, and just knowing that a NEW Berke Breathed book is on the shelves gives me the shakes...I love it!! "Penguin Dreams..." was the first comic-strip collection that changed my life, and by introducing me to the power of Opus and the gang, showed me the dimensions the format could have. Alongside such masterworks as Peanuts, Far Side, Calvin and Hobbes, 'Bloom County' sits comfortably with the best of the best.
For anyone reading this who might be unaware, Berkely has resurrected Opus in the gorgeous Sunday-only 'Opus'...but it's only available in print! It's certainly the most beautiful comic strip I've ever seen, in terms of aesthetic value, and if nothing else, a breath of fresh air to see Breathed once again have a voice in this age of higgedly-piggedly.
Keep at it! (and watch 'Second Lions' for more great B.B. artwork!)
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2010
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This is a great collection, I know that since I have the dead tree version. However, I expected the Kindle version to have much higher resolution images. It's barely readable on an iPad.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Bloom County is in my top five favorite comic strip list (keeping Calvin & Hobbes company). And when you talk about Bloom County, you're talking about the lovable penguin, Opus. Berkeley Breathed has compiled all the full color Sunday strips in the book OPUS: 25 Years of His Sunday Best. Everything from 1980 through 2005, from Bloom County through Outland and finally to just plain Opus. Great walk down memory lane, and it's amazing how well those strips hold up over time.
Breathed goes into some of his rationale behind his break between Bloom County and Outland, how Outland was started as a Sunday-only strip, and how he came back from retirement once again to do the Opus strip. He confesses that trying to stay creative and motivated is hard over time, and it's why he chose to walk away instead of letting the strip deteriorate. I have to respect that, as I've seen more than a few strips that have overstayed their welcome and are merely rehashes of the same old thing.
The only thing I wish Breathed would have done here is have a small date reference on each strip. Some of the humor is topical, and it would have been nice to have a date to remember what else was going on. Still, it's a tribute to Opus that even without dates, the humor and commentary loses none of its power. This was an hour of time well (and enjoyably) spent.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I've always been a huge fan of Bloom County. HUGE. It's basically what got me interested in politics in the first place, and I've owned most of their compilation books in non-digital form. I picked this digital version up because I was going on a long trip and wanted to enjoy some of the Sunday strips without having to bring a large book.
The problem? YOU CAN'T READ IT! The digital version was scanned at a resolution that's not detailed enough to read the text of the characters. You can sort of make out what the characters are saying if you really try, and by the time you're halfway through a strip, you just give up altogether. Struggling to make out the blocky text (zooming in only makes it worse) completely pulls you out of the strip and does little more than just frustrate you.
It looks like the hard copies are still the way to go. Because this is a waste of money. How did this pass quality control? Someone had to notice this before approving it's distribution. Just a disappointment.
So, just to see how they would address this issue, I contacted the company responsible for scanning/selling this ebook, and as it turns out, they also sell hard copies. I told them about the resolution issue and asked if they would be able to do anything about it, as I was unable to enjoy the book as it was presented. They quickly responded to my message and offered to send me a hard copy of the book to make up for it. Sure enough, it came in the mail about two weeks later. VERY cool. They could have just ignored me and moved on with their day, but they saw a problem and did the right thing. When you treat customers like that, you know you're doing business the way it should be done. Bumped up my review another two stars for the customer service.