A Modern Take on Popeye for His 90th Birthday
You might know Popeye the Sailor from trawling YouTube for clips of theatrical cartoons from between the 1930s and the 1950s. 1960's Popeye the Sailor 1978's The All New Popeye Hour 1987's Popeye and Son . You might even know him from Robert Altman's terrific 1980 live action musical, Popeye starring the late comic legend Robin Williams and Shelley Duvall. Draw Together and Family Guy .
But however you know Popeye, you know Popeye. You know him by his oversized forearms. You know his anchor tattoo. You know his coarse mannerisms and gravelly accent, the consequences of a lifetime spent smoking a pipe. He is in the spinach, that leafy green vein of iron. No wonder he's got a mean right hook. He's got metal flowing through his fists.
Popeye's colorful icon of masculine identity, and has been for almost a century; the surly old salt just enjoyed his 90th birthday on January 1
7th this year. Even at that age he retains all of his punchy, pulpy vitality, but of course comes with age change and even evolution. No macho icon stays the same forever. Arnold Schwarzenegger popped up in buddy comedy and kid films all over the 1990s. Bruce Willis took a saddle role in one of Wes Anderson's deadpan classics. After a while, even the toughest guys soften up, if only just.
And that's okay! Close your eyes and think of Popeye right now. Picture him in your mind's eye. What do you see? Likely something along these lines:
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If the last two strips are different than the rest, that's because they are, respectively, drawn by David Reddick and Jeffrey Brown, and they're two original Popeye's Cartoon Club. Back in Popeye's younger days, EC Thimble Theater comic strip, the stage on which Popeye made his debut; he likes giving his readers the chance to share space with his own creation. Segar was that child of dude.
January 17th, Popeye's actual birthday, the return of this lovely inclusive tradition on Comics Kingdom which, in 2019, expands considerably on Segar's intent by passing artists in 2019 a forum for presenting their own contemporary takes on Popeye's representation. For Reddick, that means occasionally popeye steps in it with an unintended but fellas, never compare your better helped to a leafy green. Mars, women are from Venus;
Which is the reason why his wardrobe is stuck in the 1930s: