Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Popeye. Popeye was created by E.C. Segar and has appeared in comic strips, Big Little Books, movies, and tv shows from 1929 to the present, beginning with the comic strip “Thimble Theater" (Jan. 17, 1929).
Popeye is a Superhuman. He is a one-eyed, craggy sailor with an idiosyncratic form of speech who has a colorful series of adventures around the world. He fights the Sea-Hag of Plunder Island, pacifies the Black Valley, and restores the true king to the throne of Demonia. Popeye is a skilled sailor and gains superhuman strength from, variously, rubbing the head of the Whiffle Hen, and eating spinach. Popeye is assisted by the W.C. Fields-like J. Wellington Wimpy, by Swee’pea, Popeye’s adopted son, by the wise animal Eugene the Jeep, by his cantankerous father Poop-deck Pappy, and by his girlfriend Olive Oyl.
* I'm including the Popeye comics, etc. in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because they are well-drawn, well-told, and a huge amount of fun to read. E.C. Segar doesn't get his due credit for making the Popeye comic strips look good--which they do, more so as time progressed and Segar honed his skill. Segar does get credit (but not enough) for the imaginative and surprisingly witty writing of the Popeye comic strips, which were pure fun and usually light-hearted adventure of the sort not often appearing in the 1930s. Popeye himself is an appealing everyman, his supporting characters are entertaining, his enemies suitably villainous, and in all the Popeye comic strips are some of the best entertainment of the 1930s (Segar died in 1938) and 1940s (under the various writers and artists who followed Segar on "Popeye").
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