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Popeye, Vol. 3: Let's You and Him Fight! Hardcover – November 17, 2008

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 3 of 6 in the Complete Popeye Series

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Editorial Reviews

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

Review

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 - Booklist)

Hilarious and adventurous, Fantagraphics’ Popeye edition is a yearly highlight. (Michael C. Lorah - Newsarama)

The daily adventures of this very American character literally changed the face of comic strips. (Frank Santoro - Publishers Weekly)

Though his drawing style features exaggerated cartoons, Segar’s characters are quite “real.” (Frank Santoro - Publishers Weekly)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 168 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics; Reprint edition (November 17, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560979623
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560979623
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 0.8 x 14.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #816,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Barat on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Timing is everything, especially when it comes to a burgeoning pop-culture phenomenon of the sort that Popeye had become by the early 1930s. Bluto, Popeye's eternal antagonist on both the large and small screens, provides the menace in "The Eighth Sea" (1932), this latest Segar collection's first extended narrative. The hulking, black-bearded pirate scourge does enjoy the privilege of an extended fistfight with the sailor man (nearly getting permanently dispatched by the terrible force of Popeye's "twisker sock") but consequently suffers the relatively placid fate of being set adrift in a lifeboat, along with a band of thugs that had stowed away on Popeye's ship in hopes of glomming onto a "vast treasure." That was it for Bluto's comic-strip career, but the Fleischer Studios just happened to be starting its series of POPEYE shorts at the time and latched onto the big brute as an ideal foil.

"The Eighth Sea" cabooses neatly onto a lengthy, though sometimes wandering, story in which Nazilia's King Blozo returns in triumph to his country with gold to prop up his pathetic economy, survives an attempted coup and an electoral challenge from the cigar-chomping General Bunzo (his commander during "The Great Rough-House War"), and then agrees to sell an outlying island to Popeye, who's intrigued with the notion of setting up an entire nation from scratch. "Popeye, King of Popilania" definitely points toward the later "The Dictator of Spinachovia" but lacks the topical satirical sting of that story, including only a few passing references to the Depression (e.g.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Famous characters that have stood the test of time generally evolve into something much greater then their creators could have ever envisioned. Few people look back at the Siegel and Schuster days as the height of Superman or the Kane and Finger tenure helming Batman as the characters peak. Ian Fleming wrote some fine spy novels but without the films Bond would be just another fairly non-descript spy in an obscure series of books. In this respect Popeye is the rare exception to the rule because no one has ever outdone E.C. Segar. Rather than expand on Segar's wonderful, multidimensional Popeye later writers have only watered him down. Even the brilliant Fleischer cartoons failed to capture Segars magic. Segar had a much richer, livelier world for Popeye than any later incarnations. In the nearly 80 year history of Popeye THIS is the best.

If you've never read Segar's Popeye you're in for a shock. Popeye is rude, crude and often a bully. He has a soft spot for hard luck cases but his desire to help often backfires. What makes Segar so great is that he develops Popeye into a fully three dimensional character flaws and all. In one story Popeye tries to help the poor farmers of Nazilia by insisting that King Blozo give each one a doorknob sized hunk of gold. This ends up shattering the countries economy which is exactly what would happen. Segar delves into some deep philosophical issue concerning the danger of excessively helping the poor and the unfortunate fact that sometimes even the best of intentions can blow up in a persons face. After the economy is repaired King Blozo's kingship is challenged by General Bunzo from volume 2 in a general election. Popeye attempts to rig the election and Segar shows awareness for the dubious morality of Popeye's actions.
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Format: Hardcover
Popeye has always been too popular for his own good: almost from the very moment he appeared in E.C. Segar's then-mid-rank comic strip Thimble Theatre in 1929, he almost-inexplicably grabbed the imagination of the public and the strip began to reconfigure itself around him. By the time of the stories reprinted in this volume -- originally published in newspapers during 1932 and '33, about half-way through the Segar Popeye years -- "Thimble Theatre" was universally known as "Popeye," and the wave of other-media versions had already begun.

(I complained about the animated Popeye, in particular, when I reviewed the first two volumes of this series -- "I Yam What I Yam!" and "Well, Blow Me Down!" -- so I won't repeat myself here.)

So this third volume is titled "Let's You And Him Fight!", which is of course one of the catchphrases of the cover character, Mr. Wellington J. Wimpy (along with "I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today" and "Come up to the house sometime for a duck dinner -- you bring the ducks" and "Have a hamburger with me -- on you"). Wimpy only appears in the Sunday continuity, though -- this is from the era in which dailies and Sundays were almost entirely separate, like Earth-1 and Earth-2 versions of the same characters.
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