Alas, E.C. Segar, arguably the funniest cartoonist to ever lay ink on paper, died at the age of 44, leaving less that a decade s worth of strips featuring his immortal creation Popeye so this sixth volume of Segar s 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 Segar s cast of massive Popeye opponents. Other stories include the melodramatic A Sock for Susan s Sake (Popeye becomes the protector of a girl who lives on the streets), Popeye s boxing duel with King Smacko, the return of Thimble Theatre s 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 Swee Pea. And that s 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 Popeye s top strip. The supplementary features include two historical articles by Popeye expert Rick Marschall (one on Popeye s translation to the world of licensing and merchandising, and one on Segar s 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.
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