Sunday, March 21, 2010

I'm Strong To The Finish Cause I Eats Me Spinach!

Popeye is a good hearted character and only fights when pushed to the breaking point. Created by E.C. Segar in 1919, the cartoon was the Thimble Theater Comic Strip published in the NY Journal. The original cartoon featured Olive Oyl, her brother Castor Oyl, her father Cole Oyl and her boyfriend Ham Gravy.
Ten years later, Segar needed a sailor to help Castor pilot his ship. Popeye made his debut January 17,1929. An odd shaped sailor man with one squinty eye and a pipe in his mouth, Popeye had huge forearms with tattoos of anchors. He was a true hero winning over the villian.
Bluto is your typical school yard bully from everyone's childhood. He always pushes Popeye to the brink and thanks to his can of spinach, Popeye is transformed into someone with powers. He is a forerunner to a superhero such as Superman.
Olive Oyl, the woman of  Popeye's dreams is just as odd looking as him. She is shaped like a bean pole with a nose like pickle and big clod hopper shoes. These two, so unusual in their appearance made them much more appealing to their fans. Their romantic exploits were unglamourous, but we embraced them.
Remember Wimpy who was obsessed with hamburgers and Swee'Pea, Popeye's adopted son?  This comic strip was so popular over the years, that we were able to see cartoons, comic books, commercials and movies.
Chester, Illinois, Segars hometown is the spinach capital of the world. The cartoon was very good for the spinach industry. I remember trying to choke down canned spinach just to see if it would work for me. Chester is home to Allen Canning which markets the Popeye brand spinach.
On the weekend after Labor Day, the Popeye picnic is held in the town. Fans from all over the globe attend.
I just might think about going this year since it's a day trip for me. So, enjoy the cartoon, I'm going to make myself a spinach salad.


ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh, that was fun! Popeye was always one of my favorites. Thanks for posting the cartoon!

Joy said...

Loved Popeye... always watched the cartoons. I've been to Chester, IL, but have never seen the celebration. There is a prison there!