Friday, January 17, 2014

Popeye is 85 today!

Back around Christmas, I did a post about some Popeye toys we received on Christmas Day 1959. Well, it turns out that the squinty-eyed, spinach-eating sailor with the "muskles" is celebrating the 85th anniversary of his first appearance in the comics today.

Click here to read a great, detailed article telling the whole story of Popeye's career in comics and the movies, as well as about his creator, cartoonist E. C. Segar. After that you can drop by the official Popeye website!

I remember watching those 1960s made-for-TV Popeye cartoons on Sunday mornings (that ran on WKYC in Cleveland) for years. I can still hear the distinctive and catchy Ken Lowman 'chamber music' (with lots of wah-wah muted trumpets) that was used in the episodes produced and directed by Jack Kinney.

Recently, I bought an inexpensive DVD collection of TV Popeye cartoons (at left) and discovered they weren't as bad as I remembered – and in fact are pretty entertaining. Unlike the rather monotonous Paramount cartoons that were made for the theaters – that consisted of endless variations of Popeye and Bluto fighting over Olive Oyl – the TV cartoons featured more of the characters and plots from the newspaper comic. That meant you got to see Wimpy, the evil Sea Hag, little Swea'Pea and the magical Jeep!

So be sure to open up a can of spinach today to toast your old pal Popeye!

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