Ranked #3 on VICE's Top Ten Comics of 2011
Remember last volumes cliffhanger? The penultimate installment of this acclaimed reprinting of E.C. Segars masterpiece begins with Popeyes Ark: Part Two, the tale of Popeyes eventful reign over Spinachovia a bleak island populated only by men and lacking all femininity even as Olive Oyl controls the country of Olivia (not to mention the men of Spinachovia). Then in War Clouds, the two monarchies come tumbling down in a furious battle as Spinachovia is attacked by the tyrannical land-hungry King of Brutia, King Zlobbo!
This volumes star is Eugene the Jeep, the rare, friendly, leopard-spotted, and magically-endowed little creature. And Segar makes a great addition to the cast in The Search for Popeyes Poppa, when the ever-cantankerous Poopdeck Pappy is tracked and finally, hilariously found; the title of the follow-up story, Civilizing Poppa, speaks for itself, as it tells the classic tale of man taming beast as Popeye guides a stubborn Pappy through table manners.
And as in every volume, this year-and-a-halfs worth of full-color Sunday strips are as dazzlingly reproduced as ever. The adventures of Popeye, Olive, Wimpy, SweePea and the gang on the top are complemented with the riotously funny bonus strip Sappo, including a somewhat self-referential storyline where the titular character becomes a cartoonist and teaches the craft to his friend, Professor Wotasnozzle.
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"The fifth oversize volume collecting Segars vintage 1930s newspaper strip sees two particularly notable events, the introduction of Popeyes lovable pet from the fourth dimension, Eugene the Jeep, who can foretell the future a talent that Olive Oyl and Wimpy predictably exploit at the racetrack and the seafaring quest to find Popeyes long-lost father, Poopdeck Pappy, who turns out to be even more irascible than his cantankerous son. The out-of-continuity Sunday pages are more humor-driven, allowing Segars most brilliant comic creation, the rotundly roguish J. Wellington Wimpy, to take the fore." Gordon Flagg, Booklist
Praise for the Popeye Series:
"One of the great geniuses of the comic strip form, E.C. Segar created work that represents some of America's finest art in its epic scale, colloquial language, daffy humor and themes of romance and commerce... Not to be missed." – Time
"Fantagraphics Books is on a roll of late with their comic strip reprint compilations... A surreal and evocatively drawn title, Segar's Popeye was not only brilliant two-dimensional slapstick comedy and easy to enjoy, the late cartoonist was an artist's artist who inspired everyone and everything from Charles Schulz to The Simpsons." – Edmonton Journal
"The books qualify as near-architectural marvels in their own right towering, heavyweight packages with die-cut front-cover windows and an interior design that showcases numerous installments of the feature with each two-page spread... The Fantagraphics editions make plain Segars mastery of grim suspense and biting humor as essential components of storytelling." – The Fort Worth Business Press