The Home of the Creative Mind

Welcome to PooBahSpiel, the online voice and home of the creative mind of Mark Monlux, Illustrator Extraordinaire. Prepare yourself for an endless regaling of art directly from the hand of this stellar artist. And brace yourself against his mighty wind of pontification. Updates are kinda weekly and show daily sketches, current projects, and other really nifty stuff.

Monday, February 29, 2016

The Comic Critic Reviews "Popeye"

My initial exposure to the character Popeye was through the 1960s’ King Syndicate animations. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I saw the original Max Fleischer Popeye animations from the 1930s. Filled with innuendo and constant background muttering by the characters, they were nothing like the sanitized King Syndicate animations. They had a gritty, worn-show feel to them that definitely let you know on which side of the tracks the characters grew up. It was in the midst of my watching the Fleischer animations that Popeye the movie was released. I was doubly excited because Robin Williams was going to play the title role. The television series “Mork and Mindy,” where Williams played a confused but good-natured alien trying to understand the human condition, was an extremely popular show. Popeye was released while the show was still dominating the Nielsen Ratings, so it didn’t take much convincing to arrange a trip to the theater. It wasn’t a blockbuster and it didn’t win any prizes, but I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Much of the look and feel of the film paid homage to those original Fleischer animations. I thought all of the actors did a great job portraying the characters from the comic. I was particularly pleased to see Ray Walston as Poopdeck Pappy. Regardless of its poorly constructed ending, I feel Popeye remains an underrated movie. This might be due to the bias-created euphoric feeling that pop culture held for me back in the 1980s. Maybe you will catch some of that feeling when you give Popeye a viewing.