I never knew that some of the main characters from Thimble Theatre, the 1920s newspaper comic that birthed Popeye, were based on real people that E. C. Segar knew from his hometown! What the what! Above, photos of the real-life Popeye (Frank “Rocky” Fiegel), Olive Oyl (Dora Paskel), and J. Wellington Wimpy (J. William Schuchert). No sign of Bluto or Eugene the Magical Jeep.
More things I did not know: on the right is Jack Mercer, the famed voice of Popeye from 1935–1984, and on the left is Margie Hines, who voiced Olive Oyl from 1938–1943. The two were married in 1939. How romantical!
Went digging through my archives and came across this, one of my favorite frames from the first year of the original Fleischer Brothers’ Popeye shorts. In a contest of manliness, Bluto smokes an entire cigar in one drag and blows the smoke in Popeye’s face. The sailor retaliates by doing the same but blowing the smoke out of his one good eye. This is what makes animation great, folks!