Friday, July 23, 2010

POPEYE No. 49, July-September 1959

Bud Sagendorf began working for Popeye creator, E. C. Segar, while still a teenager. After Segar’s death in 1938, Sagendorf worked on Popeye merchandising and Popeye comic books - finally taking over Thimble Theater (Popeye’s home strip) in 1959. He continued to contribute to the strip until his death in 1994. This great cover for Dell, and all the following art and stories, are fine examples of Sagendorf’s comic book work.

I won’t hedge. Among the many artists that have drawn the squinty-eyed sailor over the years, Bud Sagendorf is my favorite. I even prefer Sagendorf's Popeye over (deep breath) Segar’s original. Sagendorf’s drawing was always very relaxed and fluid with a fun-o-meter reading off the charts. His stories, while lacking Segar’s sense of the cosmically absurd; had a sharp, character driven humor that was completely unique. And, not for nothing, he drew the best Brutus ever.

To wrap things up, here’s one of those great Dell B&W inside covers (also by Sagendorf); and a really beautiful ad for Daisy Air Rifles from the back cover.


  1. I can remember in my teens when I was first trying to learn about Segar and all things Thimble Theatre (curse those pedestrian days before the internet) it was the 50th anniversary of Popeye (1979?) and there were a few things out there with Segar info. I became a Segar purist and was always frustrated when seeing Sagendorf sharing the spotlight.

    I've come to be quite the admirer of Sagendorf since then and his technique and depth and his love for these characters. Thanks to posts like this (and the occasional "Sherm" comic post over at Cartoon Snap) I can see all the wonderful work this man did.

    Thanks Mykal!

  2. Popeye always makes me happy. I love those bird's eye view shots that were always in the books, like on page 8.

  3. I come back to my childhood.I greatly enjoyed looking through your blog and found an informative one for sports related topics.
    Spiritual Comic Books

  4. Thank you for printing these stories. This was the first Popeye comic book I ever read at age 4/5. I have since learned all I could about Segar and Sagendorf, and am grateful their work is being reprinted in hardcovers.


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