This won't be some proper or specific review of any issues of IDW's Popeye Classic Comics, but the site's been really Marvel-heavy lately, and I do read more than just their books. On my trip to the comic store this week, they'd accidentally pulled an issue of IDW's regular Popeye series into my subscription box instead of Classic Comics. I had to explain the difference to the guy behind the counter - one offers all-new Popeye tales; one is classic Popeye. "But this is classic Popeye," he said thumbing through a recent issue of the non-classic book. No! It's not! Get that junk out of my box! I'm a Sagendorf man!
Okay, I admit, Roger Landridge and company are doing an admirable job with Popeye. But for my dollar, there's no comic with as much pure undiluted comic bookiness in it for your $3.99 as Popeye Classic Comics. These are reprints of old Bud Sagendorf material, with artistically appropriate off-set printing, so they look nice and cheap. It's up to issue #4 now, and it is guaranteed to get the biggest smile from me out of all of my monthly pulls. "Oh boy! New Popeye!" I think, then drool splatters all over my shoes and I'm asked to stop shaking.
I don't know what Sagendorf's process was, but these feel like stream-of-conciousness comics. I think Sagendorf would just start drawing and see where the panels would take him. Because of that, you get some really outlandish stories, like the one where Olive Oyl was in tears that Popeye wouldn't punch her to show his love or one in which a package containing a flying tubesteak with an animal's face (named Zoop) becomes Swee' Pea's favorite form of transportation. Or one where Wimpy is manipulated into killing Popeye and the hamburger-lover actually shoots the sailor man in the face at point blank range. These stories are super weird.
And because of their unpredictability, they're super-fun. I don't know how well the book is doing; I almost feel like IDW's making it especially for me - but if they are, then thanks. Keep 'em coming.