Thursday, November 16, 2017

Where the Gold Came From

Classic Popeye #63 (IDW, October 2017, $4.99)
Published in conjunction with Yoe Books and King Features Syndicate, this issue reprints Popeye #63, originally published in January-February 1962. Written and drawn by Bud Sagendorf, the reprint includes the main, longer story, as well as shorter pieces, including a one-page text piece, "Plowman," but no other editorial or advertising.

Originally published by Dell, Sagendorf's take on Popeye was a wonderful outgrowth of E.C. Segar's original work, and helped cement the character's popularity in the '60s and '70s. In the shorts, Popeye endangers Swee'Pea by moving a mattress, helps Swee'Pea go fishing on a rainy day, goes hitchhiking, and inspects a hole dug by Swee'Pea.

The two longer stories are also fun and enjoyable, though more based on adventure and less on simple gags. In "Haunted Island," Popeye, Olive Oyl, Swee'Pea, and Wimpy wash up on an island, where they encounter a mysterious ghost. They build a multi-level treehouse and receive a rent bill before meeting the island's inhabitant.

In "Yellow Rock!" Popeye helps Swee'Pea find gold in the desert, only to raise his—and Wimpy's—expectations unrealistically. When they realize where the gold came from, they are disappointed.

Even though the Sagendorf Popeye material is a sight for sore eyes, the Professor O.G. Wotasnozzle backup story is priceless. In order to avoid traffic on their way to enjoy a picnic lunch with Sappo, the professor shows off several new inventions—only to end up in a police van. I cannot believe that Wotasnozzle never had his own series!

Availability: You can buy this issue online. Previous issues of this reprint series have been collected in Popeye Classics Volume 1Popeye Classics: Moon Goon and more!Popeye Classics: Witch Whistle and more!, and other volumes.

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