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.

1 comment:

Ed South said...

Don't forget M*A*S*H director Robert Altman's 1980 film musical POPEYE, one of my all time favorite films! It sounds like from your MASH post that you've never seen Popeye, so...if you're going to go through a POPEYE phase you gotta get your hands on that movie. Stars Robin Williams, Shelly Duval, Paul Dooley, and Ray Walston. Great Music! I Yam What I Yam!