Popeye, Vol. 1: I Yam What I Yam

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9781560977797: Popeye, Vol. 1: I Yam What I Yam
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This series collects the complete run of Segar's comic strip Thimble Theatre (dailies and color Sundays) featuring Popeye. This striking volume, covering 1928-1930, follows his first adventures. These strips are masterpieces of comic invention.

Fantagraphics' Popeye series will collect the complete run of Segar's Thimble Theatre comic strip (dailies and color Sundays) featuring Popeye, re-establishing Segar as one of the first rank of cartoonists who have elevated the comic strip to art. He was the most popular cartoonist of his day, his sense of humor coming straight out of Mark Twain, who also balanced exaggerated tall tales and a perfect ear for everyday speech with dark themes that undercut his laugh-out-loud stories. The series will consist of six volumes released annual through 2011.

In this first volume, covering 1928-1930, Popeye's initial courtship of Olive Oyl takes center stage while Olive's brother Castor Oyl discovers the mysterious Whiffle Hen. Also, the entire cast meets the Sea Hag for the first time in their pursuit of the "Mystery House" (Popeye's first extended daily narrative), and Castor Oyl attempts to turn Popeye into a boxing champion in a series of hilarious Sunday strips. These strips are masterpieces of comic invention. Popeye's omnipotence pre-figures the rise of superheroes in the 1930s and 1940s, though Popeye is a much more sympathetic character, and his very name announces his vibrant personality. His mangled English pulsated with the vital spirit of immigrant America, its rhythm poetic in its own vulgar way: "I yam what I yam and tha's all I yam."

2007 Eisner Award nominee: Best Archival Collection/Project: Strips; and Best Publication Design (Jacob Covey); 2007 Harvey Award nominee: Best Domestic Reprint Project; Special Award for Excellence in Presentation; Winner: HOW Magazine Design Merit Awards: Covers Color and black-and-white comics

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About the Author:

E.C. Segar (1894-1938), creator of Popeye, is a member of the Will Eisner Awards Hall of Fame. He was born in Chester, IL in 1894 and passed away in his longtime home of Santa Monica, CA. The National Cartoonists Society created the Elzie Segar Award in his honor, which was awarded annually to a cartoonist who has made a unique and outstanding contribution to the profession.

From Booklist:

Segar had been drawing the Thimble Theatre strip for a decade when he launched its leading characters, Castor Oyl and Ham Gravy, on a seafaring adventure in 1929. The squinty-eyed seaman they hired for the voyage quickly came to the fore, soon displacing all of the strip's other characters except for Castor's sister Olive, who became the hired tar's scrawny sweetie. Most people know Popeye, as the character was called, through his animated incarnation, but Segar's strip is a far richer creation combining a colorful cast, outlandishly inventive dialogue, slapstick humor, and lengthy story lines that originally unfurled over the course of months. The first two years of Popeye contained in this oversize volume show those ingredients in place right from the start, even before Segar added such beloved second bananas as Wimpy and Swee'pea. The book's series title, E. C. Segar's Popeye, is telling. Although many hands continued the strip after its creator's death in 1938, none of them came close to capturing the brilliance Segar displays in these pages. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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