Not too long ago, but then again maybe two years ago, I received an unopened copy of this read-along from a collector who was unloading lots of extra stuff from his collection. I re-discovered this item over the weekend, opened it (remember kids: old shrink-wrap just KEEPS SHRINKING over the years!), scanned the book, and ripped the record.
If you were a child in the 70's, then your experiences often included items from Peter Pan/Power Records. The very thorough listing in the back of this book only shows 45-sized items. There were comic-sized read-alongs, and scores of long-playing albums, often using very talented actors.
There are pros and cons to this Popeye story. The biggest "pro" is that Popeye is voiced by the late, great Jack Mercer, and thank goodness for that. And also, I have to give the artist they hired credit for a decent and passable job trying to re-create the feel of the Bud Sagendorf era of Popeye comic strips...in fact, it's unusual for this size of read-along that the entire book is done in comic-strip format, and that is interesting in itself. There's also a bit of the KFS-era cartoon feel, in that we have "Brutus" rather than "Bluto." (Still wish it was Jackson Beck, though.)
The "cons" are weird, though. It's very sparse on sound effects...there's not even a whistle for the pipe-blowing at the end of Popeye's theme song; Mercer has to vocalize it. The story is rather nonsensical and anti-climactic, and the title, while a decent play on Olive's name, has no meaning to the story itself, as she is just along for the ride, and there's hardly much of a ride.
The worst part to me is the deus ex machina of the whole thing...Popeye eats his spinach, SAYS he's going to do something magical, and does it, without so much as a sound effect to indicate this....and then Olive congratulates him on saving the day...all in one panel. This could have been executed so much better!
But, at the end of the day, it's a classic Peter Pan read-along, so what are you gonna do. Plus, it was fresh out of the package (but shouldn't brand-new, unplayed vinyl NOT be crackly? That is suspicious, like it was duped from another record....but I cleaned it up, so worry not). Enjoy!
|Wha? Did WHAT?! Is he The Flash now or something?|
|Dig that poor kid's 70's Game-Show host blazer!|