Popeye the Sailor Man is a fictional cartoon character created by Elzie Crisler Segar. The character first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929, and Popeye became the strip's title in later years. The character has also appeared in theatrical and television animated cartoons.
- Daily Strips
- Sunday Strips
- External Links
Stories created by Segar
1919-1928 Thimble Theatre began as a daily series of multi-panel gags, at first parodying theatrical films. By the time of Popeye's introduction, however, it had evolved into a serialized humor/adventure comic strip. 1922 1. 07/31/1922 - 10/10/1922 "Great Gobs of Gold" 2. 10/11/1922 - 10/25/1922 (Ham Gravy, moving picture tycoon) 3. 11/06/1922 - 11/17/1922 (The cave man) 4. 11/22/1922 - 02/21/1923 (More gobs of gold) 1923 1. (Blizzard the Fighting Bird) 1928 1. 09/10/1928 - 06/27/1929 (Dice I...
1938-1939 Sims and Winner did two complete adventures as a team and began a third, before Winner left in late 1939. 1938 1. 12/12/1938 - 03/25/1939 "Spinach Juice Springs" 1939 1. 03/27/1939 - 08/12/1939 "Homeward Bound" 2. 08/14/1939 - 02/10/1940 "The Rainbird" 1939-1954 Bela Zabolytook over the art duties in December, 1939, and completed "The Rainbird". The Sims/Zaboly team would maintain Segar's practice of developing longer adventures. 1940 1. 02/12/1940 - 04/20/1940 "The Roving Champion"...
Sundays serialized their own stories in parallel to the daily strip, and also alternated these storylines with standalone gags. 1925-1928 Segar's Sunday pages began as a series of unrelated multi-panel gag strips. While he eventually drew stories or related gags spanning several weeks, the longer adventures did not start until 1928. 1928 1. "The Great American Desert Saga" 1.1. Castor Oyl and Ham Gravy travel to the American West to seek their fortune. This story lasts from March 1928 to March 1930. Popeye would not debut until January 1929, and he does not appear in this story. 1930 1. (Popeye, prize-fighter) 2. (Popeye, boxing instructor) 3. (Popeye, prize-fighter again) 1931 1. "Popeye, the S'Prise Fighter" 2. (Popeye fights against Tinearo) 3. (Popeye fights against a gorilla) 1. 1.1. Popeye is chosen to resolve the matter of who would win in a fight, a gorilla or the strongest man. 1. "The Johnny Brawn Fight" 1932 1. (Popeye fights against a robot) 2. "Orphan Mary Ann" 1. 1.1....Popeye comic strips at Comics Kingdom (Dailies are Sagendorf reruns; Sundays by Hy Eisman; complete archive available via premium membership)Thimble Theatre comic strips at Comics Kingdom(Classic strips by Segar; complete archive available via premium membership)
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Robert Altman's live-action film Popeye (1980) is adapted from E. C. Segar's Thimble Theatre comic strip. The screenplay by Jules Feiffer was based directly on Gelman's Thimble Theatre Starring Popeye the Sailor, a hardcover reprint collection of 1936-37 Segar strips published in 1971 by Nostalgia Press.
- Character History
- Character Designs
- Voiced/Portrayed by
Creation and development in Thimble Theatre
Popeye was created by E. C. Segar and was inspired by a man Segar knew in Chester, Illinois: Frank "Rocky" Fiegel. Popeye would make his debut in the January 17, 1929 Thimble Theatre strip "Dice Island" as a rough sailor for hire. While originally introduced as a minor character (with the actual star of the strips then being Castor Oyl), Popeye's popularity eventually grew to the point where he became the main character of Thimble Theatre, with the strip now focusing on his adventures and hij...
Popeye's huge popularity led him to be adapted into animation, which would only be loosely based on Thimble Theatre due to the limited length of the theatrical shorts at the time keeping them from making proper full-length adaptations of the Thimble Theatre sagas, which resulted in the shorts being episodic. The huge success of the first Popeye the Sailorcartoon (which originally started as a part of the Betty Boop shorts) would ensure a long-running series of independent theatrical shorts fo...
Following the takeover of the Popeye animated franchise by Paramount Studios in 1942, the Popeye cartoons were now handled by Famous Studios, which made drastic changes which abandoned almost all traces of Thimble Theatre and focused largely on plots involving Popeye, Olive, Bluto in something resembling a love triangle, without many other characters appearing and with very few shorts deviating from that setup, which involved Olive falling for Bluto and Popeye beating him after eating spinach...
Popeye's unique and commonly used design is one that is immediately recognizable, being always depicted as a gruff-looking yet skinny sailor with a large cleft chin, a single eye, a mostly bald head and very large forearms with anchor tattoos, while his outfit normally consists of a black dress shirt with a red neckline and sleeves with blue edges along with blue pants, brown shoes and a sailor's cap. During his first introduction in Thimble Theatre, Popeye's appearance was not too different from his current one, the only difference being that his nose was noticeably larger, his chin was slimmer and his forearms were less round and more angular (and also a bit hairy), but as Segar's talent continued to grow, the design would change to match the well known sailor seen today. This design would be his most iconic and most used depiction used in many media, and most notably the first piece of Popeye animated media by Fleischer Studios. Following the attack of Pearl Harbor in 1941 by the...
Popeye is a rough and tough sailor with a heart of gold who always does what he can for others and always doing what he thinks is best. He is brave and compassionate, as he will not back down against any foe and give them all he has got, but his compassionate nature makes it so he always tries to "defends the weakerist", as he cannot stand seeing the weak and helpless get abused. He also has a fondness for "poor dumb animals" and, similarly, cannot stand to see any animal being hurt for no reason. But he also has no patience for violent beasts who attack defenseless people or other animals for no justifiable reason, and he will be quick to turn them into mincemeat for their hotheadedness. Being a sailor, he has a love for adventure and the sea, and will not pass up the chance to find new mysteries, lost treasures and grand adventures. While he is usually a treasure hunter of sorts, he is not greedy and always does his best to share with others and encourage others to do the same. Po...
Later in life (at the presumed age of around 34 according to Bud Sagendorf), Popeye would offer his seafaring services at local ports; it was there he would eventually meet the ever-ambitious Castor Oyl and his sidekick Ham Gravy, who sought Popeye's services in order to travel to the gambling paradise of Dice Island and make it big using the luck-enhancing powers of their mysterious pet, Bernice the Whiffle Hen, and through them he would meet Castor's sister, Olive Oyl who at first was not t...
Since his debut in animation, Popeye has had many unique songs for himself as well as many tunes dedicated to him. 1. "I Yam What I Yam" 2. "Swee'Pea's Lullaby" 3. "Blow Me Down!" 4. "Sailin'" 5. "I'm Popeye the Sailor Man"
- Differences from The Cartoons
The strip first appeared in the New York Journal, a newspaper operated by King Features owner William Randolph Hearst, on December 19th, 1919 before later expanding into more papers. In its early years, the strip featured characters acting out various stories and scenarios in theatrical style. Thimble Theatre's first main characters were the thin Olive Oyl and her boyfriend, Harold Hamgravy. After a while the comic began moving towards a comedic adventure style featuring Olive, Ham Gravy, and Olive's enterprising brother, Castor Oyl. Olive's parents, Cole and nanna oyl, also made frequent appearances. Popeye first appeared in the strip on January 17, 1929 as a minor character. He was initially hired by Castor Oyl and Ham to crew a ship for a voyage to Dice Island, the location of a casino owned by the crooked gambler Fadewell. Castor intended to break the bank at the casino using the unbeatable good luck conferred by stroking the hairs on the head of Bernice the Whiffle Hen. Weeks l...
The Popeye character became so popular that he was given a larger role, and the strip was expanded into many more newspapers as a result. Though initial strips presented Olive Oyl as being less than impressed with Popeye, she eventually left Ham Gravy to become Popeye's girlfriend-and Ham Gravy left the strip as a regular. Over the years, however, she has often displayed a fickle attitude towards the sailor. Castor Oyl continued to come up with get-rich-quick schemes and enlisted Popeye in his misadventures. Eventually he settled down as a detective and later on bought a ranchout West. Castor has seldom appeared in recent years. In 1933, Popeye received a foundling baby in the mail, whom he adopted and named "Swee'Pea." Other regular characters in the strip were J. Wellington Wimpy, a hamburger loving moocher who would "gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"; George W. Geezil, a local cobbler who spoke in a heavily affected accent and habitually attempted to murder or wish de...
Segar's strip was quite different from the cartoons that followed. The stories were more complex, with many characters who never appeared in the cartoons. Spinach usage was rare and Blutomade only one appearance. Segar would sign some of his early Popeye comic strips with a cigar, due to his last name being a homonym of "cigar".
Mar 30, 2012 · Presenting a run of 12 rare beautiful pre-Popeye Thimble Theatre comic strips from 1920. The first Thimble Theatre appeared December 19, 1919. E. C. Segar created thousands of Thimble Theatre episodes before Popeye appeared in the strip ten year later (Jan 17, 1929). For these early strips, Segar kept his drawings simple and to the point.