Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I Yam What I Yam!

Along with my regular haul of superhero books this week, I got the long-awaited E.C. Segar's POPEYE Volume 1. When this was first announced, they showed a mock up cover and it...I'm sorry, it was awful. It was bright red, and it looked like Popeye's severed head was being fired from an unseen cannon. I was horrified, and if Again With the Comics had existed at the time, you'd have heard about it. As it turns out, the bad cover was just a mock-up. The actual book looks fantastic, with the lavish design and high quality that are standard from Fantagraphics books. I've been waiting to see the collected Segar Popeye for a long time now, and this looks well worth the wait. It's also huge, with big, broad pages hearkening back to the golden age of newspaper comic strips. The reproduction is beautiful, capturing Segar's fine linework in it's original size to the smallest details. About a third of the book consists of color Sunday pages, and they even included the "Sappo" strips. Superb. Segar Popeye is some of the best that the comic strips had to offer, and before this I only had seen samples in various "best of" compilations throughout the years. The last few years have seen a ton of great classic strip reprints, with Peanuts, Dick Tracy, Gasoline Alley, and too many comic book series archives to list. Too bad they all want money!! I can't get everything I want, but I'll be sure to complete this series.

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