Excellent Popeye comic book reprints from the 1940s and 1950s

Archie was created by Bob Montana, but Dan DiCarlo gave Archie and his pals the looks and personalities we are familiar with. Someone at Walt Disney Studios created Donald Duck, but it took cartoonist Carl Barks to transform the sailor-suited waterfowl from a screechy ill-tempered time bomb into a scheming, but good-hearted uncle to three industrious ducklings. And E.C. Segar created Popeye, J. Wellington Wimpy, Olive Oyl, Sweepea, and Bluto, but Bud Sagendorf's incredibly entertaining comic books about the one-eye sailor are the canonical Popeye (at least to me), on par with Little Lulu (created by Marjorie Henderson Buell and brought to life by John Stanley) and Barks' Uncle Scrooge.

My friend and cartoon historian Craig Yoe has been editing collections of Sagendorf's Popeye comics books, published as reasonably-priced hardcovers by IDW. Popeye Classics Volume 1 came out earlier this year, and Volume 2 is forthcoming. Like Uncle Scrooge and Little Lulu, these are great comics to read with your kids. Below, a couple of sample spreads.

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That story about a woman whose vote was a tie-breaker? Totally a Popeye cartoon.

(Video link) A local election in Cincinnato, Ohio came down to one vote from one person who thought it just wouldn't matter. But as it turns out, that person was the wife of Robert McDonald, who was running for a city council position -- and the race ended up tied. Katie McDonald just couldn't make it to the polls on Tuesday, and now the election will be decided with a coin toss.

Except for the coin toss, this was basically the premise for a 1956 episode of Popeye the Sailor, "Popeye For President," in which Miss Olive Oyl was too busy doing household chores to go cast her own tie-breaking vote for either Popeye (I-Spinach Party) or Bluto (I-Blutocratic Party). What's great about this vintage cartoon is not just the message about the importance of voting, but all the jokes that can be made about two "politicians" offering potential voters "stuff" and doing actual physical labor for the single woman vote.

(via My Vintage Generation)

Realistic Popeye

By Vancouver artist Lee Romao, who is currently working on an animated feature, Escape from Planet Earth. Prints are just $15 at his homepage. [via Joe Hill]

Popeye meets Wilco in hand-drawn cartoon music video

[Video Link] The Wilco track "Dawned On Me" re-imagined as a classic, early-era Popeye cartoon. The song is from the band's Grammy-nominated 2011 album, "The Whole Love." They're on tour now, and should not be missed, as they are one of the greatest live acts on the planet. The animation is a collaboration with King Features, and is "the first hand-drawn Popeye cartoon in more than 30 years." Directed by Darren Romanelli. Best url ever: wilcospinach.com.

A little more about how the video came to be, below, from Wilco and Romanelli...

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