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Opus, 1/30/05

So like any right-thinking person who enjoys the comics, I consider Bloom County to have been one of the greatest strips ever. Thus I’ve been primed to love Opus, which is essentially Bloom County in Sunday-only form. Except that … I don’t. I don’t hate it, but I’m not sure to what degree the enjoyment I do get out of it is a result of residual goodwill. This strip is a good example of the reasons for my frustration. The strip uses the expansive large-format space that Berke Breathed extracted from the syndicates thanks to his clout in order to set up … Steve Dallas getting hit in the genitals with a baseball! Berke Breathed’s a genius, so there are plenty of nice little touches that you catch on the second and third reading — I’ve always loved the way he inserts photographs into the strips as he does in the top row, and I think the chickens fleeing in various directions in the next-to-last panel are funny. But still, it’s all in the service of a man-getting-hit-in-the-balls joke. Am I getting too mature in my old age?