Fantagraphics's third volume collecting Segar's original Popeye (Thimble Theatre) covers 1932-1934 includes the never-republished extra-large strips set at the Chicago World's Fair and an insightful scholarly essay.The third volume (of six) of the acclaimed hit series collecting the entirety of E.C. Segar's original Popeye (a.k.a. Thimble Theatre) comic strips features work from 1932 to 1934. In addition to the daily and Sunday strips, this volume will present a true collector’s item: Segar’s never-reprinted two-week “World’s Fair” continuity. In 1933, in addition to the normal daily and Sunday continuities, Segar produced a special, two-week sequence of extra-large strips (two to three tiers each) in which Wimpy and Popeye travel to Chicago to take in the World’s Fair. Olive Oyl is left behind on account of “she ain’t wide-minded,” but Olive has other ideas and follows Popeye to make sure he isn’t flirting with any pretty girls. This sequence has never been republished since its original publication 75 years ago.
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E.C. Segar (1894-1938), creator of Popeye, is a member of the Will Eisner Awards Hall of Fame. He was born in Chester, IL in 1894 and passed away in his longtime home of Santa Monica, CA. The National Cartoonists Society created the Elzie Segar Award in his honor, which was awarded annually to a cartoonist who has made a unique and outstanding contribution to the profession.From Booklist:
In the third oversize volume chronologically collecting the exploits of the indefatigable comic-strip sailor, black-and-white weekday installments offer lengthy, adventure-oriented continuities, such as the seafaring epic “The Eighth Sea,” featuring Popeye’s first tussle with Bluto, and “Star Reporter,” in which he joins the Fourth Estate, acquires his “infink” Swee’pea, and becomes a wandering amnesiac after a blow to the head gives him Bonkus of the Konkus. The less narrative-driven color Sundays, in which slapstick comes to the fore, are equally wonderful, especially those focused on the magnificent scoundrel J. Wellington Wimpy, one of the great creations of American humor, who “looks like a down-at-the heels Buddha,” Donald Phelps observes in the introduction, and elevates slothfulness to an art. Because he died in 1938 at only 43, Segar drew Popeye for less than a decade, but none of his successors approached his felicitous blending of vigorous cartooning and spellbinding narrative. Modern audiences who know Popeye and his supporting cast only through later animated cartoons will be surprised by the richness of his original incarnation. --Gordon Flagg
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