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Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History Paperback – July, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A good purchase" -- Booklist/RBB

"Excellent" -- Pop Art Times

"For the most thorough examination of Popeye, no other book comes close" -- Big Reel

About the Author

Cartoonist Fred M. Grandinetti, who does not like spinach, co-founded the International Popeye Fanclub. He lives in Watertown, Massachusetts.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: Mcfarland & Co Inc Pub; 2 Sub edition (July 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078641605X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786416059
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,213,050 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
And the illustrations are wonderful!
Steve Bierly
It is filled with information documenting Popeye's career in print, radio, film and television.
M. Atkinson
Certainly, this book was a labor of love.
A. Gammill

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Steve Bierly on August 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
The breadth of Grandinetti's knowledge about Popeye is truly astounding! This is good news for readers because it means that his book covers all things Popeye. From comic strips to animated cartoons to collectibles to live action to sound recordings to theme park appearances and more, it's all here. Those wanting to learn about the sailor, or find answers to trivia questions, or rekindle childhood memories and finally solve mysteries like "What was the name of that cartoon where Bluto was a bullfighter?" will find what they need. Even long-time diehard fans like me will learn new things. And the

illustrations are wonderful! There are sample strips from all the creators of the comics over the years, stills from the animated films, theatrical posters, sheet music, ads, model sheets and more. Fred includes episode guides, sample scripts, colorizations gaffs, character profiles, mini-bios of the voice artists, a section on the censored Popeye cartoons, and information about The International Popeye Fanclub written by club co-founder Mike Brooks.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should also say that there are two pages about me and my views toward Popeye and the Famous Studios cartoons, but even without those pages I would recommend the book to anyone wanting an education in Popeye and those curious as to why, 75 years after his creation, people all over the world still talk about the one-eyed, pipe tooting hero.

Not everyone will agree with all of Grandinetti's opinions about the various incarnations of Popeye, but Fred tries to be fair and will get you to think. And fans interacting with other fans' thoughts is what fandom is all about.

Bottom line: This is a good job from perhaps the number one Popeye fan in the world.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Atkinson on November 1, 2004
Format: Paperback
Indulge in all that is Popeye! Mr. Grandinetti has put together a book on the American pop culture icon, Popeye the Sailor Man and it is nothing short of fantastic. Popeye: An Illustrated Cultural History is a must for any book collector's library. It is filled with information documenting Popeye's career in print, radio, film and television. The writer has gone to great lengths in his research on the subject matter and it is apparent when admiring some of the rare and hard to find illustrations of Popeye's past layed out in this book.

With the holiday season at our door step I couldn't think of a better gift for that special someone in your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert Rohan on October 16, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is nothing short of genius. A detailed account of the creation of this legendary cartoon character that is still enjoyed by millions. This is the type of documentary that you just can't put down and it answers many, many questions about the history of Popeye the Sailor. Fred Grandinetti has put together an in depth analysis of the old salt and has delivered a classic piece of literature to be enjoyed for generations to come.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Gammill VINE VOICE on March 19, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As others have observed, the author does appear to be a living encyclopedia on the subject of the spinach-loving sailor. The book is, for the most part, exhaustively researched and leaves nary a stone unturned. There are, however, a few of reasons I have rated it 4 instead of 5 stars.

First of all, while no one could reasonably argue Mr. Grandinetti is a Popeye expert, he's hardly an expert writer. His casual writing style unfortunately results in some haphazard organization. An experienced editor would prove invaluable here. Specifically, he's given to going off on tangents while discussing a particular topic. To be fair, such tangents usually are relevant; they simply struck this reader as jarring interruptions to the narrative flow.

The author also inserts quite a bit of opinion in with his facts. This often takes the form of "Popeye fans around the world feel that. . ." While many would probably argue that being co-founder of the International Popeye Fan Club means Mr. Grandinetti CAN speak for many, I again found this style of writing distracting.

Last and least, for the price tag on this baby, I think some color pictures could have been printed. The black and white ones are many and varied, the majority of them quite rare, so this is a minor gripe.

OK, enough complaining. On the plus side, I greatly appreciate having a detailed listing of all the Popeye cartoons from the 30's to the 90's. And while the majority of folks know the character more from the cartoons than E.C. Segar's comic strip, it's gratifying to see a large portion devoted to Popeye's humble ink & paper origins. Certainly, this book was a labor of love. And while I stand by my criticisms listed above, I do feel that this is an essential book for Popeye enthusiasts.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Craig S. on November 23, 2004
Format: Paperback
In the past, I have read many books and articles by Fred Grandinetti about one of the greatest characters ever created - Popeye the Sailor. By reading this book, one finds out what Mr. Grandinetti has already discovered, the truths he has uncovered, opinions he has cultivated and even what he continues to learn and he shares all of this with us about Popeye. Even though this is an expanded update from the first edition published many years ago, one can still learn many fresh things about the character and history of Popeye from this book. With the information, descriptions, photos and illustrations provided, this book is a great springboard for the mind to rekindle one's own personal memories of Popeye from years past. If one is discovering the character of Popeye for the first time, or just revisiting him, this book can introduce and establish who he is and what he is all about. This book is one I continue to enjoy, as it can be read and re-read again and again.
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