The Popeye Clone Saga.

§ December 9th, 2022 § Filed under popeye § 8 Comments

So I had a couple of questions in response to Wednesday’s post about the Popeye action figures:

Daniel T sez

“How do you feel about the Sunday Popeye by Randy Milholland or the ‘manga’ Popeye?”

I have to admit I hadn’t been following the new Sunday strips by Milholland very closely, for no really good reason other than “I forgot.” I have seen a handful of those strips, however (and here’s the most recent one as of this writing) and I think they’re perfectly fine. I’m glad New Popeye Drawings are still being generated on the funny pages (paper or virtual) and keeping our favorite Sailor Man alive and well. I really do need to keep on these strips. And the new Nancy too.

Now, “Manga Popeye” — I gotta say, that didn’t ring much of a bell for me. First thing I thought of was Momeye from Antarctic Press:


And I gotta tell ya, the first time I saw this comic, it took a few seconds for my brain to register what it was I was seeing. I’m still not sure it does.

Anyway, news of the actual thing slipped past me somehow, but now I’ve learned a cartoonist doing a fanfic Popeye Vs. Goku comic got tapped by King Features to do an actual, authorized manga-esque version of the classic character. The official page for the strip is here, and it appears the plot revolves around discovering the deal with Popeye’s missing eye. I’m sure whatever’s uncovered will be as canon as the story of the eye-loss related here, but…hey, it looks pretty good. Seems to mix the two styles nicely. A complete digital edition of the comic can be ordered for $5, but I’m hoping there’ll be a print edition someday.

“And will you be getting Popeye Variations?”

I think I saw that on Kickstarter, right? It’s a book featuring many artists’ interpretations of Popeye, as well as selected strips and some of the IDW covers, and it sounds great. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it through one of my distributors for the shop because I’d love to see it.

• • •

Real Live Comic Book Artist Les McClain popped by to relate

“I designed two waves of non-poseable PVC figures for this line with a whole bunch of obscure characters but I don’t know if they’re ever going into production.

“The Flash Gordon/Phantom PVCs I designed are coming out, so maybe?”

Oh, you designed those? I saw them on the manufacturer’s site and they look great! I hope to see more!

• • •

joecab pulled up to the curb to say

“Is the package set by Stephen DeStefano? Because it sure looks it and it’s gorgeous.”

I did some Googling and I can’t find DeStefano’s name specifically connected to these items, but apparently he’s The Guy when it comes to providing illos for licensed Popeye product, and has been for a couple of decades. It does look a bit like his work, doesn’t it? These are wonderful packaging designs, which I hate because it means I can’t discard the wrapping after I open ’em up to pull the figures out. Oh, well.

• • •

Snark Shark bites off more than he can chew with

“I always thought [Brutus and Bluto] were the same guy!”

They are in fact two different guys, with Brutus created to replace Bluto after the Popeye cartoons switched animation studios. The reason why the replacement was made (and also why it was unnecessary in the first place) you can read about on Mark Evanier’s site, which is how I learned the story.

“‘the nephews Pupeye, Peepeye, Poopeye and Pipeye’

“There’s gotta be some SERIOUS inbreeding going on in that family tree!”

I’m going to assume genetic experimentation in an attempt to create a vast legion of super-sailors.

• • •

Thanks for your comments, pals (as well as for all the kind replies on my anniversary post), and I’ll see you next week…possibly with less Popeye talk.

8 Responses to “The Popeye Clone Saga.”

  • philfromgermany says:

    Just imagine a 12 issue Popeye Challenge, by a rotating creative team like Pete Bagge, Jaime Hernandez, Tom King, Dan Slott, Amanda Connor, Garth Ennis etc.

  • Thom H. says:

    I never knew that about Bluto/Brutus. I think I just glossed over the fact that Popeye had two identical nemeses with different names. Maybe I assumed they were brothers? It has been decades since I’ve seen a Popeye cartoon.

  • Snark Shark says:

    twitter: “And now, the only issue of SAGA OF CRYSTAR that anyone wants”

    Thay was a cool issue! But I had #1 and the last issue, also.

    ” Popeye’s missing eye”

    It was used in Lord of the Rings to watch over Mordor!

    “Snark Shark bites off more than he can chew with”

    ACTUALLY, Sharks can eat pretty much anything! Except kale.

    “Brutus created to replace Bluto”

    Ah! That explains it!

    “possibly with less Popeye talk”

    I’ll bet this is the MOST Popeye talk since the live-action Popeye movie came out in 1982!

    Note: I WOULD buy a Robin Williams action figure.

  • Brad says:

    Milholland did a strip where Poopdeck points out Popeye is an only child and thus can’t have nephews. It turns out the “nephews” were mechanical, part of a long game by the Sea Hag.

    Milholland has done several strips on the relationship between Brutus and Bluto (the latter is more aggressive).

    He’s also doing a twice-weekly strip called Olive and Popeye. (Just take over the regular strip already!)

  • Andrew says:

    Your comment about ‘inbreeding’ reminded me of a thought when I recently rewatched all the Back to the Future movies – why does Marty’s 1880s ancestor look like his mom? Why would that be? Shamus played by Michael J Fox makes sense since it’s the McFly line – but why does Shamus’ wife look like a woman from a completely different family? I don’t remember it bugging me when I first saw it in my 20s but .. now it totally irks me. (I mean, I realize the real life reason is that the actress was popular and it was necessary for the continuation of “Marty sees his mom in shadows when waking up in a new time” joke… sigh. I think too much about this stuff. :)

  • Okay, I’ll confess:

    it never occurred to me that Popeye’s eye was MISSING.

  • S says:

    Agreed, I always just thought he was squinty.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “but why does Shamus’ wife look like a woman from a completely different family?”

    It WAS a REALLY small town…

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