In the European Union, Popeye went into the public domain back in 2009, but not in the US It seems to be down to Popeye being labelled work for hire in the US, and thus a beneficiary of the “Disney Laws” that extend such ownership, currently until the end of 2024. Until it gets changed again.
But in the European Union, that doesn’t affect the ownership, and so it remained in copyright until 70 years after the creator, Elzie Crisler Segar, died.
Which means on this side of the pond, we can get books such as Revoilà Popeye. In which Popeye is completely reinvented in all sorts of strange ways by current creators. Including one Roger Langridge…
Here’s the full creator list: Caritte, ced, Lorenzo Chiavini, Michel Colline, François Duprat, Frédéric Duprat, elric, Filak, Pierre Gabus, Stéphane Girod, Goupil Acnéïque, Hendko, Jii, Abraham Kadabra, Kaouet, Kim, Roger Langridge, Le Cil Vert, Le Fred Blin, Lectrr, Loco, Fred Neidhardt, Nemo7, Álvaro Ortiz, Pochep, Sergio Ponchione, Radi, Romuald Reutimann, Saive, Samos, Loïc Saulin, Robert Sikoryak, Thibaut Soulcié, Lucas Varela, Waltch, Wayne, Wouzit, Paul Burckel, Delaf and O.Groj.
And a peek at some of the art (minus the page with Olive Oyl’s swinging naked breasts for SFW sake) by Fred Neidhardt and Thibaut Soulcié. Say, I wonder if IDW realise they don’t have to pay for the rights to Popeye comics when distributed abroad?