Cast of ‘Outland’ Will Pack It In March 26, Cartoonist Breathed Says
Ack! Pffft! Bill the cat will hack his last hairball and Opus the penguin will waddle off the funny pages on March 26, cartoonist Berkeley Breathed says.
In a letter to newspapers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist said he was stopping his syndicated Sunday comic strip, “Outland,” because he wasn’t enjoying drawing as much as he used to. The letter was printed Friday in the Seattle Times.
“Eventually--soon, probably--I would be drawing only for a paycheck,” he wrote. “Paychecks are lovely things, but cartoonists die and go to Cartoon Hell for working beyond that magic intersection of art and fun.”
Breathed, who lives southwest of Seattle, did not return a telephone call for comment late Friday.
Opus, a perpetually befuddled penguin with a nose to match his woes, has been the centerpiece of “Outland,” along with Bill the cat and Steve Dallas, the malevolent lawyer and loser at love.
They and other characters have bumbled their way through such issues as political correctness, government, relations between the sexes, and the propriety of men’s underwear.
Breathed’s decision to halt his strip comes weeks after another Seattle-area cartoonist, Gary Larson, ended his popular strip, “The Far Side.” Larson also cited creative burnout as his reason for stopping.