Comic Review: Popeye Classic #11 (IDW)

Popeye_Classic_11_CoverThey is Nuthin’ Like a Popeye Classic

The 84 year old lovable Popeye never ceases to amaze especially in Popeye Classic #11 which provides all that one can expect from his self titled comic strip. First, here is a little history on our beloved sailor created by Elzie Crisler Segar. He made is debut in the New York Journal’s King Features strip titled Thimble Theatre in January of 1929. Our speech slurred sailor made such an impact on society that he ranked first in the strip as well as eventually overtook the title. It is a true testament to its popularity that it is still running in the New York Journal today. In the 1930s it’s popularity brought about Paramount funded cartoons which contradicted some original Popeye cannon although most strips had no real overlying story to be told. Just a few quips here and there and hilarious situations. Eventually Popeye was seen in more media like comic books, advertisements and eventually a live action film which debuted in 1980 starring Robin Williams as Popeye (perfect casting in my book).

Speaking of casting, in PC #11 each arc provides a little more insight to a character’s personality as well as encourages you to change sides (who you are rooting for to win). Let’s start with the big man himself who has always been portrayed as the tough guy with a temper. A few of these arcs provide a different insight to his nature when encountering crying children. It makes him so sad he cannot stop crying himself. He also has more of the endearing father role in this as well letting Swee’ Pea get away with a little more than he should. On the other hand there is plenty of Popeye being our macho man and losing control. Punching out the bad guy who keeps stealing candy from children or his anger to a guest who is literally eating him out of house and home. Although Popeye is usually the main focus, many of the arcs bring in other characters who provide that conflict or support role needed to enhance the story. Olive Oyl was always the mother in the books as usual. Trying to help Sweet Pea or Popeye get whatever they wanted accomplished with a few OOOoooohhhhs along the way. Swee’ Pea was rotten as ever taking after a lot of Popeye’s personality traits. Doing something ornery to have a little giggle like giving soap flakes to Wimpy or building a burglar trap and laughing when Olive gets caught. Wimpy surprisingly played a huge role in this collection. He stole food as usual, but also provided guidance to Popeye in some instances. All in all the characters provided everything a Saturday morning cartoon strip reader could ask for in Popeye.

PC #11 easily brings a reader into the simplistic world of this merry crew utilizing both black and white and color story arcs. The first story was a reprint from March 1950 where as stated above Swee’ Pea builds a burglar trap. It is always funny to see a baby do as much as he does even though he still can only crawl. Swell Day the next strip depicted the heroic adventure of Popeye putting an end to a bully who was teasing little children with candy by dressing up as a little kid himself. A Moon Goon is the antagonist in the second strip, The Guest, who has a taste for wood literally. Wimpy stars in the third strip simply called Golf where Popeye challenges Wimpy to a game giving the winner free dinner for a month even though Popeye has never played before. A short story follows depicting the tale of Swee’ Pea and the Tossing Island immediately followed by the short Wimpy in Easy to Find where Swee’ Pea finally gets Wimpy good for his food snatchin’.

Overall Popeye Classic #11 gives us all the mis-speakin’ and yam’in we could ever ask for, and with lovable characters like Swee’ Pea, Olive Oyl and Wimpy who could not love the stories?! We get a brief view at what it would be like to finally take care of those rascals the way we wanted to through Popeye’s eyes. We could finally know what is going on in our baby’s mind or feel what it is like to be the Wimpy in your life. Popeye gives us that break in our everyday lives.

Hats off to the sailor and I give this a 5 toots on a pipe out of 5!

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