Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Land of the Whopper

Tuesday Comic Strip Day.

We live in the age of reprint. But everytme there is a valuable new reprint book or series announced, I come across two new ones worth reprinting. Sometimes they are so obvious, it is hard to know why they are overlooked. For years Bud Sagendorff's Popeye has been seen as the only worthy successor to Elzie Segar's original creation. As is know by most comic fans, Sagendorff was Segar's assistant at the time of his death and was cheated out of his rightful place as his successor. For years, the strip stumbled along under wellmeaning but just not ultimately mundane creators. Sagendorff sidestepped to do Popeye for the comic books, some of which were gloriously reprinted in a big book by my new internet friend Craig Yoe. In the late fities, Sagendorf finally took over the newspaper strip and made it his own. So why was none of hi run on the strip ever reprinted? I think it has to do with the fact that he did it for so many years. Like Beetle Bailey, Hi and Lois and B.C. there were small pocket book collections, but not nearly as many. For years no one needed to see Sagendorff's work reprinted , because it was in the newspaper every day. But years have passed since he last drew the strip and still we are left with this 'been there, done that' feeling among publshers. So, doing what I do in this blog, I went back to the first few years to see if they maybe were as good or even a little bit better than what cae later. and although Sagendorff kept his brilliance until the end, the bigger format of the early years certainly makes it worth looking at. I came across four early Sunday pages that make me think that a reprint of the first few years might not be a bad thing. Still, I'd hesitate if I would want to see them in this badly cut up tabloid version or go for a hopefully less wobbly three tier version.

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