30 December 2006

A cool couple of Christmas gifts

As the song goes it is another Saturday Night, I just got paid, and don't have a girl on arm. So I am sitting at home taking care of bills and watching a couple videos that I got from my parents as a kid. The first one is a bunch of Popeye the Sailor cartoons produced after the war by Famous Studios. These are ones that I remember watching on a saturday morning with a bowl of cereal in front of me and getting excited to see the hero win the day. I was a big fan of Popey to the point that when shopping with my mom in the supermarket when we got to the can veggies aisle I would ask for the Popeye Spinach, then after getting home I would try to eat some and squeeze the can with my muscles. Didn't seem to work though. I am still a fan of Popeye Spinach. Though the only thing as I am now older I don't get is how Popeye or Bluto were interested in such a plain jane of a girl as Olive Oyl.
Oh and I am still a big fan of Popeye the Sailor. In fact a poster store near where I live right now is selling a carboard standups of the whole Popeye crew. Now if I could I just find a hundred dollars to get them all. Maybe I will just have to settle with having the Popeye.
The other cool gift that I got with that was a table top book of the "Thimble Theater" drawn by E.C. Segar. These are reprints of all the dailies and Sunday stripes in chronological order from the introduction of Popeye in 1929 up to 1930. These are awesome. Seeing how Popeye was initially introductions as a bit player in a story line of Olive Oyl's brother Castor Oyl attempt to take a lucky bird called the Whiffle bird to a casino and win all the money there. I didn't realize this until I read the introduction this book that until the introduction of an alien vistor from another planet in the comic books. That Popeye was the biggest superstar on the comics pages and the one that most kids wanted to be like. E.C. Segear also had a funny sense of humor. Just for your knowledge the family of Oyl as laid out in a couple of the comics is: Olive Oyl, Castor Oyl (her brother), Cole Oyl (Oyl patrarch), Cylinda Oyl (Olive's Cousin), Lubry Kent Oyl (Cole's Brother), Nana Oyl (Olive's Mother). Nearly all of the Oyl family's names are a play on some sort of oyl...I mean oil.

The other cool gift that I got was a DVD filled with all of the Fleischer studio productions of Superman. I was also a big fan of Superman, having grown up to Christopher Reeves playing him in the movies and seeing such shows again on the Saturday morning TV of the "Super Friends" and the "Batman and Superman Hour".
Anyhow, these Superman cartoons produced in the early 40's are just so cool to watch and the animation is awesome. Such life like drawings and some of the things that the Fleischer crew were able to do, I think give Disney at the same time a run for thier money. I would recommend folks that if you have a chance to watch these Fleischer Superman cartoons you take the chance or if you see a DVD of them in the budget bin at the local movie store or electronics warehouse. Though I will warn you this some of these cartoons were designed in the early part of the war years and some of them show racial sterotypes and eptiaphs towards the Germans and Japanese.

What is really intersting to me is how much two of my favorite heroes as a kid were almost exactly similar to each other exept that Popeye didn't wear a cape or could fly. Even cooler was how the Fleischer studios did Popeye in the Cartoons as well through out the early 30's and through to the middle of the World War 2 before being bought out by Paramount and being folded into thier in house cartoon studio Famous Studios. Now I just wish that the Fleischer Popeye cartoons could be released on DVD and not be bootlegs off TV or copies of copies like I have seen for sale some places.

So here is to a couple of my heroes! They are still keeping me entertained and believing in the ideals of the America even if real life supposed heroes fail me.


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