Opus the Penguin (Opus T. Penguin) is a character in the comic strips and children's books of Berkeley Breathed, most notably the popular 1980s strip Bloom County. Breathed has described him as an "existentialist penguin" and the favorite of his many characters. Until November 2, 2008 he ran in the comic strip Opus.
Opus was originally introduced as a one-time gag about hapless Mike Binkley bringing home what he thought was a German Shepherd, which turned out to be a penguin, much to the disappointment of his father. However, Opus' popularity quickly grew until he became the signature character of Breathed's comic strips.
Opus' appearance has changed since his inception - he originally looked like a common penguin, but between 1982 and 1986 his nose grew dramatically (developing its signature bump in the middle, of which Opus is very self-conscious). Mike Binkley, during one Sunday strip, points out the fact that Opus more closely resembles a puffin, a revelation which shocks Opus. (In the final panel of the same strip, Opus responds by telling Binkley that he looks like a carrot.) Opus says he is attracted to "svelte buoyant waterfowl".
He is usually seen wearing a bow tie and collar, though he sometimes switches to a diagonally striped necktie when running for public office. Beginning in Outland during the 1990s, he is also occasionally seen inexplicably wearing white briefs.
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