The Saturday Comics: Popeye (2012)

9 Jun

June 9, 2012

I love Popeye. Absolute classic character, absolute classic strip. In its EC Segar heyday, it was perhaps the most well-written strip out there. Amazing adventure arcs, humor, and of course that burly armed sailor. We all know the strip: spinach, Olive, Bluto, Swee’ Pea, Alice the Goon, and on and on.

Don’t know Popeye? Before we go on, check out these past posts:

Popeye the Establishment Man
The Saturday Comics: The Phantom, Day by Day (Popeye shows up at the end.)

There’s more but those should tell you what Popeye is all about. And a good thing too since the current Popeye strip is so generic as to be unrecognizable.

That’s just sad. Those could be any characters in any strip. In fact it probably was. Where is the characterization? Where are the classic tropes we all know and love? OK, maybe I just found one bad strip.

No, I found two bad strips.  And it isn’t two out of six thousand, it is two out of five, which is all King Features puts online anymore. Again, that’s Popeye? It is a generic strip. Replace those characters with any characters you make up yourself and it changes the humor not a single iota. The only sop to the old-time grandeur of the strip is Poopdeck’s cursing, which was a staple of the character way back when. But in this PC era, in this lame strip, it just seems so odd.

What the? Popeye is making a Simpsons joke? And what’s Olive doing with the Sea Hag? She’s Popeye’s sworn enemy? Oh, this hurts, deep, deep hurting.


10 Responses to “The Saturday Comics: Popeye (2012)”

  1. zathra June 9, 2012 at 3:02 am #

    Bland. I miss the old days with characters like the Sea Hag / Sea Witch & The Zeep. I remember a classic Popeye animated ep. where a big woods – woman somehow kidnapped ( ? ) Popeye, got medeival on Olive Oyl, & she got hold of a can of spinach, & got Popeye – style revenge whilst freeing him.


    • bmj2k June 9, 2012 at 1:03 pm #

      I had a book of strips by Sagendorf and one of the Western arcs sounds like that. Olive started as a dancer in a saloon!


      • zathra June 9, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

        When you come down to it, Popeye was supposedly a character in the Betty Boop serials. Mae Questel even voiced Betty Boop & Olive Oyl. I’ll have to check that on Youtube.


        • bmj2k June 10, 2012 at 12:13 am #

          I watched an utterly awful Dave Fleischer Popreye cartoon last week. It was an uncomfortable mix of Popeye antics and those really old-fashioned anthroromorphic animal characters that ancient cartoons are full of. In the middle of it Betty Boop appeared at a carnival and did a hula dance. She was CLEARLY topless except for a Hawaiian lei around her top, and from the side they showed more than I thought they did back then.


          • zathra June 10, 2012 at 3:34 am #

            The only thing about that ( o.k., maybe not the ONLY thing ) I find disturbing is that Olive Oyl seems to be a poster girl for anorexia, now that I think about it. The only thing missing is showing her binging & purging.


  2. zathra June 9, 2012 at 3:08 am #

    Also miss how Bluto was apparently too DUMB to figure out that keeping Popeye from his spinach rendered him unable to do any super – feats.


    • bmj2k June 9, 2012 at 1:01 pm #

      You know, watch the older Fleischer Popeye toons and all it comes down to is a fight between Popeye and Brutus to see who could rape Olive. That’s honestly how they read. Especially the way Brutus manhandles her.


      • zathra June 9, 2012 at 9:44 pm #

        Dear Lord !! I knew that the ” Fantasy Violence ” could be off the hook in the cartoons, but basically a contest to RAPE Olive Oyl ? I’ll never look at Popeye comics or cartoons the same way again…..


        • bmj2k June 10, 2012 at 12:14 am #

          My brother has always looked at it that way and when you see how Brutus drags her around and manhandles her, he may be right.


          • zathra June 10, 2012 at 3:45 am #

            ….. & in a matter of roughly 2 to 4 minutes, part of my childhood was changed completely & irreversibly….. !!
            I never did see the sex appeal in a woman who had the figure of a toothpick w / anorexia.


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