Popeye is Back!

I’m Popeye the Sailor Man,
I live in a garbage can.
There’s a hole in the middle,
Where I do me piddle,
I’m Popeye the Sailor Man!
Brought back by IDW, Roger Langridge and Bruce Ozella, Popeye’s glorious return to comics is precisely that: glorious.
You may remember the old comics, or perhaps like me the cartoon they used to play on CBBC (or was it CITV?) every afternoon. Regardless, the classic Popeye characters are instantly memorable, from Popeye’s amazing sailor-speak to Olive Oil’s vindictive damsel and Bluto’s gruff pettiness. Here we have assembled a grand cast of mismatched characters, who bump off each other at every iven opportunity and argue bitterly. It’s great fun to watch Langridge – known for Snarked and Thor: The Mighty Avenger – turn his hand to a comic like this, which matches his voice as a writer so perfectly. Ozella, also, does a superb job at matching the style of Popeye creator E.C. Segar, giving each page a deliberate feel of slow-burning tension.
The jokes are brilliant, from Popeye’s dismissal of a shark to the nattering of Olive Oil. Each page works alone, but better as a whole story, in conveying a joke to the reader. While the dialogue hits readers with about seven or eight jokes each page, the action itself builds up to a satisfying punchline on almost every page. And with Langridge choosing to write this four-issue miniseries as a collection of one-shot tales, that structure pays off beautifully over the course of 22-pages.
This is a rather short review, and apologies for that. I shall boost it up a little later! But for now, just remember: Popeye. Buy it!

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