Thursday, August 28, 2014


I gotta admit that I did have a bitta trepidation opening the cover of this 'un not only because most of the POPEYE aficionados I've met up with loathe the post-Elzie Segar THIMBLE THEATRE strip with a stark-drooling passion, but because I thought that artist Bud Sagendorf's strip work from his 1959 debut until he got edged out in favor of Bobby London's "updating" of it in '86 was strictly grade-z turdsville myself. And for someone who obviously has better things to do like talk to Don Fellman and pop delicate nose blackheads (at the same time!) like, maybe a book like this is taking up too much spare time that could be put to better use!

But then again, I've learned long ago that snobs, whether they be of the cinematic, comedic or even the "rock music" variety, usually have their heads so far up their asses that they can personally greet their polyps with a hearty "hey" on a daily basis! Why should I let their crusty-nosed better-than-thou attitudes affect what I like in a comic anyway, especially when their tastes would generally veer closer to the likes of CATHY than they would a live-reaffirming, suburban slob strip like the Ernie Bushmiller-period NANCY. It's kinda like basing your record purchasing choices on what the numnuts at ROLLING STONE tell you is "cool", and since yer more likely than not ain't in high school where ya have to make brownie points with the other kids in order to be "accepted" anymore maybe its time ya thunk for yerself about these things 'stead of letting some college paper patsy, or ME for that matter, go around and set your modes of measuring kultural pleasure for you! Only remember, at least """""I""""" have my rockism controls set for the deepest center of your brain which is nothing I could say about any college paper turds I've had the displeasure of reading for years on end!

I should at least give Sagendorf credit for learning his POPEYE craft straight from the originator of it all (even though you'd never believe it looking at those sixties-era strips), but I'll proudly admit that when he was up-and-running with these late-forties comic book-only stories Sagendorf still had some of the old fire and energy associated with the original firmly in hand. Now these particular sagas don't exactly hold up to what Segar was cooking up over a decade earlier, but they're funzy enough in their own surprisingly snide and (dare I say) creative way, and the man still managed to capture the fun and even cut-throat antics of the entire cast thus sparing the wild-eyed rage and anger of thousands of Saturday Afternoon Barbershop Kids who only wanted a little bitta excitement 'n ten-cent thrills in their otherwise drab lives.

The art's still comparatively Segar-esque, and while the comic book version seems to (as usual) veer somewhat away from the newspaper and (definitely) the animated POPEYE galaxies I can't see anybody who peruses this blog not finding these various adventures worth eyeballing. Really, these sagas dealing with Popeye putting up with nonagenarian lookalike dad Poopdeck Pappy's antics or Olive Oyl joining an anti-violence society are so against the grain of 2010's thinking that I can see just why uppity social planners would (had they only the power) want to have alla these old comics banned just because they seem to go against the "get along" grain of current kiddie entertainment and socio-political brainwashing. Yes, the uplifters from those old D.W. Griffith films are up and about in a new guise, and the antiseptic dross that permeates live and culture these days (thanks to these moral and intellectual superiors) makes me wanna latch onto a bunch of these collections, don the ol' raincoat, and hang around schoolyards after dismissal goin' "hey kid, ya wanna buy a real hotcha book???"

And for this kid who spent a lotta time in front of the set watching the POPEYE cartoons that were flooding up the schedule for years (at least until my sister grossed me out by telling me that the famed sailor got his moniker because he had an eye gouged outta him!) and cherished his freebee "March of Comics" POPEYE shoe store giveaway for years on end (I still guffaw over the line where Popeye, seeing a soaked-to-the-bone Olive, mutters "you're all covered with wet!"), this does dredge up the good memories of early pre-socialization days when morn to night was a bigger fun adventure than anything since. It even reverts me to my early days like nothing since Playtex Living Bra commercials, though for some strange reason I can't get anybody to wipe me like I was accustomed to back during those days of worry-free kid-dom. Whassamatta mom, shirking your doody (as well as mine)???


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Christopher Stigliano said...

I didn't know that Scientologists read this blog.