The Eighties precursor to AnthroPCs. Talking penguins are well-known in Questionable Content but not native to North America; Opus is an immigrant in Bloom County canon. The other talking animals are either native to the Midwest and unlikely to travel to a smallish college town in western Massachusetts, or are Steve Dallas's hangover effects.
Opus is not a puffin. He's a penguin who is mildly allergic to dandelions.He started out looking like a penguin when he first moved to Bloom County as Binkley's pet. (Admittedly, he thought he was a dog at first. The penguin/puffin mistake could be reasonable.) His mother (seen in silhouette during the Mary Kay Testing Labs arc) has a narrow beak. And Opus's nose only started growing after he'd lived in Bloom County for a while. It wasn't an art shift; it's the dandelions! The weirdness surrounding the dandelions may also explain Rosebud and the jackabasselope puppies.
Milo's Grandfather was murdered.In Loose Tails we see that he is a member of something called the Moose Lodge. After that, he began to suffer Brother Chuck Syndrome... But this is completely explained. In Tales Too Ticklish to Tell, we see a man convicted of murdering the entire Moose Lodge. Milo's grandfather was a member of the Moose Lodge. Hence, Milo's grandfather was murdered.
Opus' beak is deformed because he learned to speak.He can''t talk at first. Then he starts learning to talk, and his beak starts growing. The same thing for his Feather Fingers because he learned to play the tuba.
Opus's fingers are real fingers.Birds have fingerbones just like humans do, but they are usually spread far apart to support the wings so those wings can stretch out to fly. Penguin/puffin wings are built differently that most bird wings — they are designed for swimming, and thus they are more compact that most bird wings. Opus neither flies nor swims, so when he needed fingers, the bone structure was available.
The unexplained disappearances of characters in the Bloom-verse suggest mundane fates.Bobbi, Alf, and Banana Jr. 6000 had canon reasons for leaving the strip. Likewise for Senator Bedfellow and Lola, who both later returned in Opus. And it was suggested in this very WMG that Major Bloom was probably murdered with the rest of the Moose Lodge. The other disappeared characters, however, may have had more mundane fates, as happens in everyday life:
Milo is Jason Fox.They are both skinny, short, nerds who wear glasses. They're both from popular Newspaper Comics, and they both have blond hair. Compare this◊ with this◊.