The Origin of Popeye
If you are a parent of a small kid crazy about Popeye, you probably know who is. There are millions of kids along with people from older generations who are loyal fans of this unsung hero who is celebrating his diamond jubilee this year. It goes to the credit of Elzie Crisler Segar who conceived of a comic strip where the central character was a short, balding, one eyed sailor having no teeth. He was Popeye, an ugly man with a golden heart and who always smoked pipe. It is hard to conceive of a man like Popeye to be accepted as a hero in today’s’ times. Popeye used to mutter to himself and was shown as a frustrated man though he was a man of great morality. Popeye the sailor man is the comic created by Segar that enjoys tremendous popularity even after 75 years of its launch in February 1929.
Every episode of the cartoon series ends with Popeye singing the famous song I’m Popeye the sailor man…….. Pom Pom. Thimble Theater is the actual name of the strip that was published in newspapers from 1919 onwards, and Popeye as the central character appeared only ten years later in 1929. It is a fact that is hard to believe, but not many are aware of this fact that Olive Oyl’s family was looking for a sailor and Popeye was hired because of his abilities. Popeye was a character so loved by the audiences that he became the central character leaving all previous ones behind. Olive soon became his girlfriend and Popeye is seen fighting with Bluto, another sailor, trying to impress Olive. Bluto is double the size of Popeye and beats Popeye easily. It is when Pope is seen losing the fight does he take out a can of spinach. As soon as he gulps down the content of the can, he gets instant strength and muscle power, using which he overcomes Bluto’s strength.
If Popeye is ugly as a hero, Olive is not far behind, flat as a paper and having a pickle shaped nose. She is a girl who is gullible and falls to the tricks and antics of Bluto and in every episode, Popeye has to save her from the clutches of Bluto. If Olive is Popeye’s love, the cartoon series also has a small baby called Sweat Pea whom people mistake as the child of Popeye and Olive.
Take a pause and think why we are talking so much about Popeye and the cartoon series Popeye the sailor man. Yes, you guessed it right. 2012 happens to be diamond jubilee year of Popeye and the event is being celebrated in different parts of the world to honor this unsung hero who makes use of, not any super power but the super food spinach to gain muscle power and strength. Honoring Popeye is equivalent to making people aware of benefits of spinach to make them take up eating spinach. Spinach contains all essential vitamins and minerals required by our bodies.
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