New Opus Comic

Everyone’s been making a big deal about Berkeley Breathed’s new Opus comic, but the comic is completely unavailable online. So despite their magic DRM ink, I was able to scan in Sunday’s strip.

Some comics fans are upset about the removal of several long-running strips from local papers to make room for Opus, including Mary Worth, Prince Valiant, Herman, Marvin, Ziggy, and other desperately unfunny strips.

January 2, 2004: The Opus comics are available in a new archive. Here’s a backup archive.

April 6, 2004: I got a cease and desist from the Washington Post, and was forced to remove the Opus archive. I posted the PDF in the Opus archive directory.

February 27, 2006: The Opus comic is now published in digital form.

119 thoughts on “New Opus Comic

  1. Opus is back! His return from Bloom County is far overdue. I guess these people are just upset that their comics will now be littered with some level of intelligence and political satire. Oh well.

  2. What’s with the DRM ink scare? Most newspaper inks, when printed, have some transfer to just about any surface you put them on, from fingers to furniture to sillyputty… but creating an ink that could permanently and intentionally ruin someone’s property like what was claimed via that DRM Ink Link… well… “Lawsuit!” šŸ˜‰

  3. Re: DRM ink

    Why not just use a digital camera and photograph the strip? I’ve done it dozens of times and it works just as well as a scanner for web images.

  4. Perhaps the Opus comic could be bumped up in size so we could get rid of Garfield once and for all… oh, look he’s squishing spiders again… Jim Davis, you are a comic genius!

  5. Any chance you could make the scan a weekly feature. I looked all over the web for this. Your scan was the only one I found.

  6. Please keep scanning. I missed last week’s strip and found it here. I am currently trying to find out if i can get a sunday subscription or find a better way to pay the artist directly. In the meantime, please keep posting the comic.

    It is extremely intelligent and any idea from his brain has been sorely missed.

  7. oh man, thanks for posting that. . . i’ve been looking for a post of the strip ever since slashdot had the article – problem was that all i could find was newspaper articles saying that it wasn’t gonna be online. . . it was frustrating ‘cuz i live in eastern europe and the only way i can get my daily comics fix is online. . .

  8. THANK YOU!!!! for posting the strip. I don’t subscribe to the local paper because I read all my news online. This is the first and only place I was able to find the comic.

  9. well… B.B. finally got back to entertaining… Not that his dog books weren’t exciting reading… (LOL!!!) thank god… can’t wait to see if any other caracters show back up… I miss bill the cat, and Steve… I miss the eighties… and deathtongue….

  10. I loved reading these postings! I miss Bloom County (often set in my hometown, Iowa City), so I look forward to Opus providing some amusement. Creators of horribly unfunny comics must be banished forever from the art of comic-drawing and -writing.

  11. Thank you sooo much for scanning the strips. I keep forgetting to pick up the Sunday paper and was horrified when I couldn’t find the strip online. Please keep up the scanning. I’m sure many will be eternally grateful.

  12. Thanks for posting those. As for Bill, I don’t mind waiting a few months… at least until next year’s elections.

  13. Oh Thank you so much for posting these!!!

    I missed them entirely and was despaired of being able to read up.

    *bookmarks*

  14. thanks again for week two!!!!

    altho this one was less full of social commentary.

    but i am interested in seeing where this strip goes.

    smart humor is lacking in the comics.

  15. Unfortunately, the extreme-left edge of this week’s comic (#2) was cut-off in the scan. If, Andy, you look in the first pane, to the left of the text “Where we find an” you’ll see some orange-beige tufts of Bill’s hair.

    Not much of an appearance, but one nonetheless!

    Ack.

  16. Oops… I meant to add that in the printed version, Bill’s face is clearly visible; it must’ve been coated with a second coat of the DRM-ink. šŸ™‚

  17. If you’re worried about ink transfer, iron the newspaper first (no steam, do remember to use a cloth between iron and paper!) – old trick to “fix” the ink for those concerned about ink transfer from a newspaper.

    Republicans beware ?? Some of us find BB funny (on the same order as Doonesbury) – of course we might not be laughing at the same thing as liberals who love his work….

  18. completely off topic, I find it quite odd that a google for “miserable failure” brings up the whitehouse.gov bio for the president as the first entry. nice huh.

  19. Thanks to Opus I have found a new blog to read, great stuff, and the Opus scans are greatly appreciated, since I cannot get it locally.

  20. The idiot’s at the Post Standard here in Syracuse, NY won’t carry “Opus” because they said they would have to drop such classics as “The Magic Eye”. That’s the dumb 3-D thing that most people can’t make out anyway. I’m sure the paper having a right-wing conservative slant has nothing at all to do with it…

  21. So far the strip is tragically disappointing on the scale of “Star Wars: Episode I” and “Howard the Duck”

  22. I think the comic is on par with outland when it left off. a story is developing people, a background. its going to take a while to get into the political stuff. opus doesn’t even have a way to keep up with the news. expect shock and awe when he learns son of Bush is prez. im looking forward to what happens when Opus finds Bill the Cat.

  23. Those who think that Opus is a “tragic disappointment” have obviously missed the point. We expect to be blown out of our socks every time we read a Berke Breathed strip. No doubt the same thing would happen if Bill Watterson or Gary Larson chose to re-establish their strips (Calvin & Hobbes and Farside for those of you who missed the 80’s and 90’s). Opus is exactly what I would expect, and I am pleased with that! The strip is like an old worn t-shirt that you find buried at the bottom of the drawer–it is now, exactly what it was when it got lost–familiar, comfortable, and I’m darn glad I found it. Breathed’s wit and irony are what they have always been. To be sure, there will be those extrordinarily keen strips (sock blowers), but they will be as they always were, fitted occasionally between the rest of the regular weekly dose of “Bloom County normalcy.” Which is just what is needed! Besides, if Breathed spent all his energy on those few that really shine above the rest of his collective work, the Breathed-man would soon depart again, burned out and spent, like a tube of toothpaste squeezed too hard from the middle. And where would that leave those of us who need a little rational reality in this higgildy piggildy world we live in?

  24. I may be a conservative, but Opus always has, and still….ROCKS!!! My MSN nick is OpusDaPenguin, had it for ages…

  25. I love the new strip and the way Breathed is starting the general storyline. However, what’s up with the new bump on Opus’s nose? I prefer the way he was drawn back in the old days, sans bump and nostrils. Just MHO.

  26. First we have DRM on CDs that can be defeated with a Sharpie, now DRM on a comic strip that can be defeated with a bit of plastic wrap. Ridiculous.

  27. Does anyone have week 4 posted yet? My paper does not have the strip and I am in penguin withdrawl syndrome…..

  28. What happened to the geauxsaints archives? I clicked to see if the 12/22 strip was up and the page is gone…I feel Pinguin Deprivation Syndrom setting in….

  29. I hope the Opus archive isn’t gone for good. I would pay a susbscription fee directly to B.B. himself for a weekly email of the strip. Maybe he can start a whole new E-Strip business? So many papers aren’t carrying the strip and it just seems so “old-fashioned” not to have it avaiable in some way on the net.

  30. Pingus, what are the symptoms of Pinguin Deprivation Syndrome? I may be coming down with the very same. Please help.

  31. Maybe we should find out where Berkeley lives and bother him untill he puts Opus on the web. Either that or write to him repeatedly via his website untill he gives in.

  32. it wouldn’t hurt for breathed to hear this, but i bet the $ is the cause for the reticence though, maybe not his but maybe the syndication rights? papers are probably paying big money to carry the strip. if they expect it to have an impact on circulation then they’d squawk to find opus on the web…

  33. alt.binaries.pictures.comic-strips doesn’t have any Opus strips only Super Man, Spider Man, etc.

  34. Thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou!

    Being in Asia, I can’t get Opus. The art looks great, better than Outland. As for the “disappointed”, let the man build up the story first…

  35. You can get to the Usenet archive easily with a FREE account at usenetbinaries.com–go nuts!

  36. You know what, Screw It! My local paper is just not going to drop strips like “Gasoline Alley” to include “Opus” and I’m getting sick of looking for a new source to view it on the web every week. If the Nazi Syndicate wants it removed from all web pages, I’ll just wait for the first book. Maybe by then I won’t care enough to buy it.

  37. That’s it!! I give up. I’m trying to make ends meet in Bush’s Amerikia, and all I want is maybe to have my Opus back, but if I can’t afford the $1 dollor for a Sunday paper, I guess that I’m just out of luck. I live on a very small amount of money each month, and I can use the local coffee shop’s computer to get my news. So when I found Opus, I was overjoyed, but now that it’s gone, I feel like just another little guy that’s gotten the shaft from a money hungry corporation. I always felt like Opus was speaking for me…the one’s with no voice…you sold your soul Opus, and the world is a darker place.

    No Joy in Mud Ville

  38. I have to say, I’m overjoyed that Opus is back. It does suck that it’s so hard to find on the net, and I almost stroked out when I saw Opus plushies available everywhere. I’ve always admired Mr. Breathed for not going the disgusting Jim Davis route of liscensing, so it was kind of like if Dr. Seuss’ widow were to blaspheme Ted’s strict no selling out stance and make a Jim Carrey version of Grinch or a Mike Meyers “Cat in the Hat”. Oh…wait…nevermind.

    Anyway, it’s still nice to see Mr. Breathed back! I live in Austin, where he went to UT and where we still have the Urban Legend he started of Gators in the lake to this day. I can’t wait to see how Opus turns out. I’m very glad he’s returning to Bloom County, and I desparately hope my favorite character Binkley (I dressed up like Boy George when I was a kid too, much to my dad’s shame), is there to meet him!

    Mr. Breathed is always saying he “made himself a cartoonist” and almost putting himself down by saying he’s not in league with the great Bill Waterson, but I disagree. I think Mr. Watterson and Mr. Breathed are the two greatest Comic Strip Artists of our time. Right up there with Walt Kelly and the early Charles Schulz.

  39. thank you. thank you. i an traped in germany and without this page i would have missed opus. not a very good thing for a die hard bloom county, boinger, and outland fan. did i say thank you?

  40. Thanks! The NY Times doesn’t carry comics and I can’t bring myself to pay for the Daily News. Keep it coming!

  41. Ok…We are on our way back home…Blinky should have grown up by now, and I hope Oliver Wendel Jones is still about. I will need to see Milo, and how old is Bill anyway?

    Bill is (not)dead, just a bit of joy left.

  42. Thank you for putting this up! My entire political outlook was defined by reading Bloom County at an impressionable age. Although I’ve never joined greenpeace. Yet.

  43. Thanks so much for your work in sharing these!!! I’ve been an Opus freak for too long to miss them!

  44. Fantastic! I really enjoyed Bloom County. I still have my stuffed Opus, and my “Ahead Warp Zillion!” T-shirt. Admittedly, the shirt is a bit too uh, tight for me now in my older age– but I have never been able to get myself to dispose of it.

    I live in Milwaukee– the Journal/Sentinel does not carry it yet- I just emailed them. I was in Denver this past weekend, and voila! It was there…..

  45. My future wife used to cut the Bloom County strip out of her college newspaper and mail them to me edited with my name, Bloomberg, inserted. I still have the very last one pressed in a book. I should get it autographed and framed. Anyway, Iā€™m glad to see some wit and satire added to the comic section of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

  46. opus is an amazing strip with an impressives length of history ever since bloom county first appeared, BB we are glad to see you back, and we cannot wait for what lies in the future of this comic strip.

  47. Hey Darker…I get the paper and I scan them every Sunday and then I send them in so that jerks like you can complain about the quality of the scans. Just so you will know, they are perfect scans. If you want them darker buy a scanner and get the paper every Sunday…and keep on looking gift horses in the mouth.

  48. Hey I said please, and I can’t get them in New Zealand, unless I want to wait 4 to 6 weeks. But if you want to bust my chops be my guest…I have thick skin.

    To let you know, I think very highly of your work, and all I was saying is that out of the two archives that one of them seemed to be a bit…just a bit…lighter…thats all, and to also say…thankyou, and keep up the good work.

    Opus fans rule, and all others just drool

  49. Your comments are noted, Darker. Just so you will know, I suspect that some of the strips were subdued by design so as to give them a certain feeling. I noticed the saturation differences myself and elected to faithfully reproduce what was in the paper (they are scanned from the New York Sunday News)and since I do graphics work for a living my system is well calibrated and does faithfully reproduce the original material. The only difference is in that I do replace the off-whire color of the paper upon which it is printed and make it a pure white. I do hope that you (and everyone else) is enjoying them. I am having a blast supplying them.

  50. For the record, all I’m doing to get mine more saturated is the built in color balance on Photoshop. No claims that they’re “better” or “more accurate” or any such thing, just different.

  51. Personally, I find the text easier to read if I run the whole thing though “sharpen more” in PS.

    Keep up the good work.

  52. For those of you looking for a visit from BILL THE CAT— if you look VERY carefully, he’s actually *in* strips number 2,6 and 8.

    Yes, life is good. šŸ™‚

  53. Many thanks to this site and the contributor(s) who are supplying the scans… we don’t get Opus in the Vancouver Sun, so this is a godsend for us on the Wet Coast.

    Having said that…. was there a week 14 strip (02-22)?

    Thanks.

  54. I live in a bubble, and can’t touch a newspaper because it will cause my hair to fall out, my gums to bleed, and a slow painful death…please save my life, and please scan week 14.

    Thankyou

  55. Err… if you buy a transparency, you could put it between the scanner and the newspaper… If there even is such a thing as DRM ink. Plus, transparencies are rather cheap.

  56. Here is the info for DRM Ink:

    http://mail.jujo-chemical.co.jp/english/info/3800DRM.htm

    Hey gang, I have been scanning for many years and know how to do it. Why would I put a transparency between the scanner and the newspaper? It would serve no useful purpose at all. I do put a piece of black paper behinf the newspaper so as to block the scan light from reflecting bacl through the newsprint and giving a ghost image of the other side of the page. Please feel free to do whatever you wish to to to my scans. I will continue to offer “literal” scans of the paper and leave it to you to make whatever changes you wish. Seems like a fair deal to me. Anyone who is not happy with that can have their money back. Meanwhile, enjoy them.

  57. Thanks again for all the hard work in getting all these situated and online. šŸ™‚ Can’t wait to read more of this strip in the months to come.

  58. Hey Unknown, you are providing a valuable service to Opus fans, like myself, who can’t get the local print media to pick up the strip. Keep up the great work and keep the strips coming. I’ve been a fan of Breathed’s work since the early days and am truly enjoying his return. Thanks for the postings.

  59. I shall continue. It is my duty to bring the Opus comic strip to the underprivledged, to spread joy, happiness and penguin wisdom to one and all, to those who wait every week for fulfillment. Just like oral sex, it’s a dark and lonely job but someone has to do it.

  60. When you gonna scan in thnis weeks strip, a muist for thos who are fans of bloom county, everyone makes an appearence, well kinda I won’t blow anything until UC posts it.

  61. you are the MAN! thanks a lot for the scans. i loved bloom county when I was a kid, and it’s awesome to see Opus back. I keep forgetting to pick up the Sunday papers, and your scans have been a godsend. i am now caught up and (hopefully) ready to remember the Sunday editions!

  62. Do my ears (well, eyes) deceive me? Are there some who dislike the new adventures of Opus? I’ll admit the first few had me wondering – but it feels like it’s picking up steam. Needs a higher frequency than weekly, though. The whimsical absurdity and intelligent commentary are intact. I have longed for something to appear in the newspaper comics as creative, insightful, and just plain fun as Bloom County, and none has ever appeared. Sparky died, Garfield’s on seeming repeats, I’m tired of Dilbert’s whining….. other than an occasional Foxtrot, comic strips these days are pretty much digested without thought.

    And then comes Opus….

  63. Psychokinetic, you might want to check out a strip called “Pearls Before Swine”. I have become a great fan of it and believe that it fits right in with the other greats. Check it out. I might add that Berlely Breathed’s first strip, “Academia Waltz” is in reissue (as are all the “Calvin & Hobbes” strips).

  64. Ugh, today’s strip really sucked. The art was drawn more half assed than usual. Looks like Berkeley is getting tired of drawing a new strip already. Soon his subscription idea for the internet is going to go down the drain because people will no longer be interested in reading an eyesore of a comic.

  65. Global Nihilism wrote: “Ugh, today’s strip really sucked. The art was drawn more half assed than usual.”

    . umm, duh. That was the subject of the strip.

  66. The early strips look great. The more recent ones looked rushed. Berke’s running out of steam it seems.

  67. I don’t know…I think they are as good as he has ever done. He is older and is bringing a different perspective to today’s world. Do you really expect him to do the same strips he did twenty years ago? I personally think the last two weeks touched upon real matters and expressed things I have thought.

  68. It just bothers me he used up all that space for inferior art. If he was doing a daliy strip I wouldn’t have minded so much.

  69. “Inferior art”? That is a pretty pompous thing to say. Who made you the arbiter of other people’s tastes?

  70. Hey UC,

    Your postings of the Sunday comics was much appreciated and will be missed. We knew this day would come, but we were also hoping that somehow you could continue to fly under the Opus radar.

    Thank you for providing the scans. The Opus scan search continues . . . . .

  71. Maybe in Berkeley’s next strip he’ll have Opus flying a Nazi flag or have him giving all his fans the finger. This is how the music industry doomed itself, pure blinding greed.

  72. Maybe in Berkeley’s next strip he’ll have Opus flying a Nazi flag or have him giving all his fans the finger. This is how the music industry doomed itself, pure blinding greed.

    posted by Global Nihilism on April 7, 2004 03:30 PM

    Oh my. You are a hopeless one aren’t you. Why should artists work their fingers to the bone for your enjoyment? Don’t you feel at all obligated to pay for their work? Greed? Are you speaking for yourself. DO you need instant gratification so bad that you can’t wait to buy the Opus compilation book when it comes out in a year or two.

    It’s like someone started charging you for masturbation or something. Get over it.

  73. BY the way, most public libraries have Sunday newspapers from other towns that carry the strip – and it’s free. That’s P-U-B-L-I-C L-I-B-R-A-R-Y.

  74. Hey, are you even allowed to post your cease and desist letter? It reads “confidential legal notice. not for publication or other use”.

    Maybe you will get a cease and desist for your cease and desist. wee.

  75. To Andy: your rather sarcastic “above the rest of these poor slobs” comment about the public library has been duly noted. But consider this: what is the difference between Mr. Breathed’s strip being made available in a public library, for all who are interested to see, and the same strips being made available on this site, for all who are interested to see? How is Mr. Breathed profiting from the viewing of his work by someone who frequents a public library, which is what you seemed so concerned about?

    I don’t recall noticing any advertiser support when viewing the Opus archive here, so I doubt seriously if the individual scanning/posting these was profiting monetarily from Mr. Breathed’s efforts, for what it’s worth.

  76. I can’t wait to go to the library and cut out all the OPUS strips and make millions of copies and distribute them freely. Jesus…what’s so friggin bad about scanning a clip…I’ll still buy the book anyway when it’s out. Just like when I downloaded Return of the King. I will buy the friggin movie anyway. What’s the big deal…I just want to watch it again and it’s out of the theaters within a reasonable distance.

    GREED GREED GREED. By the way…whoever said that Garfield should be retired…HOOORAY!!! Let that cat get skinned for the last time…I’m sick and tired of that crap…same with Family Cirus. HOW TIRED can a subject get?

  77. OK…Lets see if we can find a nice Russian server out of the reach of these Nazi pigs.

    Long live Opus…DEATH TO THE COMPANY SLUGS!!!

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