Alas, E.C. Segar, arguably the funniest cartoonist to ever lay ink on paper, died at the age of 44, leaving less that a decades worth of strips featuring his immortal creation Popeye so this sixth volume of Segars Popeye is in fact the final one, enabling collectors to add the last E to the P-O-P-E-Y-E spelled out on the spines of Fantagraphics smashing collection.
This final volume starts off in grand style with Mystery Melody, featuring the terrifying return of the shape-shifting Sea Hag. Olive Oyl, Wimpy, Poop- deck Pappy, the Jeep, the newly domesticated Goon, and Toar all appear in this four-month epic, as does Bolo, the latest in Segars cast of massive Popeye opponents.
Other stories include the melodramatic A Sock for Susans Sake (Popeye becomes the protector of a girl who lives on the streets), Popeyes boxing duel with King Smacko, the return of Thimble Theatres original star Castor Oyl as a detective who solves the case of Plastic Pan, the Poopdeck Pappy yarn Wild Oats (culminating in a six-month prison sentence for the rambunctious oldster), The Valley of the Goons (in which Popeye is shocked to discover who the new leader of the Goons is), and the self-explanatory King SweePea.
And thats just the dailies! Popeye Volume 6 also includes 62 splendid full-page full-color Sundays, featuring further adventures of Popeye and an epically surreal six-month interplanetary voyage for Sappo, the star of Popeyes top strip. The supplementary features include two historical articles by Popeye expert Rick Marschall (one on Popeyes translation to the world of licensing and merchandising, and one on Segars place in comics and pop culture history), an illustrated Segar-written biography of Popeye originally serialized in newspapers of the time, and more rare art and photos.
Download and read a 15-page PDF excerpt (27.2 MB) with 10 pages of dailies and 5 pages of Sundays.
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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