Ming Popeye

What is it with Popeye and Journey to the West 西遊記? I've already documented his mercenary work for Gold Horn and Silver Horn (plus his cameo in an unrelated story also by Sugiura Shigeru 杉浦茂, and here he is again in Boku no Son Gokū ぼくの孫悟空 ("My [retelling of the tale of] Monkey") by Tezuka Osamu. Here, Monkey is in the violent rage that will eventually get him imprisoned under a mountain, and Popeye working for the Celestial Bureaucracy that provoked him into it.

Wordy guy, Ming Popeye. Elsewhere, he says "Bah! He's hiding in the surroundings!" Also "Arf arf!"

This was originally published in 1953 and you have to wonder how much of this English its readership were expected to understand. Most of the kids reading this would have no memories of the time when Japan wasn't awash with US culture. Some might conceivably have practiced their English on the occupying forces.

And note that this isn't some freaky experimental thing: this is Tezuka Osamu. I don't think that a mainstream comic book artist would even be able to slip this much untranslated English past their editor these days. The closest example I can think of is Muromi-san talking to a bear in psychic English one time.

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L.N. Hammer:

Tezuka did a JTW telling? I must track this down. Especially given this excerpt.


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