Editor and Publisher is reporting that cartoonist Berkeley Breathed is ending his Sunday-only comic strip Opus on November 2nd.  The Opus strip, which debuted five years ago, is the third nationally syndicated strip that Breathed has produced.  His most popular effort was his first, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Bloom County, which ran from 1980 to 1989, and was followed by the Sunday-only comic Outland, which ran from 1989 to 1995. Little Brown has published numerous collections of  Breathed’s comics including an anthology of the best Opus material from all three strips.


Along with Bill Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes) and Gary Larson (The Farside), Breathed helped create a new golden age of the American comic strip in the 1980s. He pushed the envelope by interjecting political commentary into the comics page, and it is perhaps fitting that Opus should end his comic strip career imprisoned by government authorities with his fate to be revealed only on the Internet and not in the funny pages.


In addition to his three comic strips, Breathed has also published a number of children’s books including The Last Basselope, A Wish for Wings That Work, and the forthcoming Pete and Pickles, which will be released on October 16th.  According to Editor & Publisher Breathed is now retiring from comic strips for good and in a parting shot that reveals his liberal bent, Breathed vowed to do his part to overcome the current political and financial crisis by writing funny stories for America’s kids, and called on John McCain to join him.