Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Popeye Yis What He Yis
At left is a posable rubber POPEYE figure that I got around 1971 at a store called Twin Fair which, ironically, was around the corner from the house I now own . It cost 50 cents. Every so often, I go through a POPEYE phase. Since Fantagraphics has announced a naturally nifty new series of POPEYE books coming soon (see here: Amazon.com: Popeye Vol. 1: "I Yam What I Yam": Books: E. C. Segar), I've got a feeling I'll be going through one again soon. As I said about M*A*S*H earlier, there are many distinct versions of POPEYE and nearly all of them have merit. I love the Fleischer POPEYE cartoons of the 1930's and I enjoy the Famous color POPEYE's of the forties and fifties. I grew up with reruns of all of those when I was about ten. Much earlier (and again as a teen) I saw the limited animation TV cartoons of the early sixties. Yes, they're pretty bad BUT they offered a much richer tapestry of creator E.C. Segar's great characters than any of the other series including the Sea Hag and Alice the Goon. Thus, by the time I discovered the Nostalgia Press volume seen here, I was prepped and ready for the real thing-THIMBLE THEATER. The creativity, originality and humor in these original storylines put them on a par with the best literature of their period (to those open-minded enough to pay attention). There have been a number of POPEYE books published since including a nice earlier run by Fantagraphics. These strips, perhaps more than any other of their period, deserve to be in print. Yep. Looks like I have another POPEYE phase coming up.