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Well, blow me down!

Popeye, 6/4/06

So as I have mentioned, I’ve been reading Popeye lately. The daily comic is pretty bizarre, though admittedly no more bizarre than any other iteration of the whole Popeye mythos, if you think about it. Anyway, one of the things in the Popeye comic that’s new to me is the presence of Popeye’s parents. Popeye’s father (or “Pappy”) is blatantly just Popeye with a beard; more disturbing is the fact that Popeye’s mother is blatantly just Popeye in drag. And not very convincing drag at that. Don’t their corncob pipes knock into each other when they make out?

Mark Trail, 6/4/06

We all knew that last Sunday’s Mark Trail totally awesome crab installment would be hard to live up to, but it looks like everybody’s favorite naturalist didn’t even bother trying, serving up an extra-lame installment of licorice, for Christ’s sake. Not even the vague possibility that Mark might accidentally spook the bear in the bottom left panel and get mauled perks this thing up. However, faithful reader Dave Horlick writes to point out the hilarious message at bottom right: “More information on licorice can be found on the Internet”. You know, the Internet. In general. Somewhere. Personally, I think messages like this should appear on all comics. (Apartment 3-G: “More information on proper use of quotation marks can be found on the Internet.” The Phantom: “More information on fetish gear can be found on the Internet.”)

After a few minutes of staring at this message in dumb fascination, though, I realized something very important about it: unlike the rest of the text in this comic, it’s not in Jack Elrod’s handwriting. I think it’s pretty clear that ol’ Jack orignally wrote something there that the syndicate didn’t want you to see. My theory is that the text box contained instructions on using licorice to get high. Or maybe a shout-out to Elrod’s homies in prison.

64 responses to “Well, blow me down!”

  1. Marc
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:01 pm [Reply]

    Nah, I don’t think the box was there to hide something….It may be like Ziggy a few weeks ago with Animal Adoption….

    (Mary Worth: For more information on how you can become a meddling hag, please go on the Internet.)

  2. Sophietje
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:06 pm [Reply]

    Oh my gosh! I wasn’t looking at the Popeye comic closely, and I thought his “Pappy” was talking to the Gorton’s fisherman the whole time.

  3. Bill Peschel
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:39 pm [Reply]

    Yeah, MT is lame, but I still get a kick out of seeing Bambi talk in panel 4.

  4. Marge
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:42 pm [Reply]

    What’s with the Popeye-parents’ accents? Are they from England? I’ve never known Popeye to use the term “whilst.” (Of course we’re not in regular communication so I could be wrong.)

  5. Doug Puthoff
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:47 pm [Reply]

    When the Hayley Mills are the PC Nazis going to get after Popeye and his odd-@$$ parents for their pipe-smoking habits? They’re goofing off on the job!

  6. Chet McCord, Wildlife Defender
    June 4th, 2006 at 10:59 pm [Reply]

    Remember the piece on chewing gum a while back? That was highly educational and quite interesting, I thought. Licorice seems like a logical follow up, and maybe there’s a good piece on sassafrass still to come.

  7. Wimpy III
    June 4th, 2006 at 11:04 pm [Reply]

    More information about corncob pipes knocking can be found on the Internet.

  8. treedweller
    June 4th, 2006 at 11:18 pm [Reply]

    Yes, that licorice is truly an amazing plant. Not only does it grant the power of speech to deer and bears, it also grows hovering in midair (or is it magnetically attracted to geese?). I’m going to go right out on the Internet and learn more about this remarkable species.

  9. NotThatGuy
    June 4th, 2006 at 11:32 pm [Reply]

    I think the editor stuck in the suggestion to find out more about licorace on the internet because heaven knows, ~someone’s~ gonna get their butt sued when a faithful reader goes out to identify it fom the comics page and gets a mouthful of oleander.

  10. Uncle Lumpy
    June 5th, 2006 at 12:11 am [Reply]

    Alas, Wimpy III – until today, there was nothing on the Internet about corncob pipes knocking. An era begins.

  11. Talia
    June 5th, 2006 at 12:39 am [Reply]

    Pappy’s been around for a while; he’s even the subject of the only Max Fleischer Popeye cartoon I ever saw. He was a very popular topic in Tijuana Bibles, also.
    Popeye’s mother, though, I’d never seen before this.

    I wonder if Popeye is frozen in time in the 1930s? Because who uses coat racks in restaurants anymore?

  12. Analyzer
    June 5th, 2006 at 12:41 am [Reply]

    Popeye’s father’s full name is Poopdeck Pappy.

    Having spoken this, I retreat now in shame.

  13. Dingo
    June 5th, 2006 at 2:15 am [Reply]

    An Apartment 3G haiku:

    Tiny fingers dance
    Making spaces in the air
    Quote me, Margot! Quote!

  14. Karim
    June 5th, 2006 at 2:27 am [Reply]

    Wait, wait. I think “Popeye-in-drag” is supposed to be *gasp* Popeye’s grand-mother!

    Besides, if his father and mother both look like each other… incest, anyone?

  15. mentarman
    June 5th, 2006 at 3:21 am [Reply]

    “More information on licorice can be found on the internet.” Sounds gear worthy to me.

    (Someone’s gotta say it about something at least once a week. But I really do think so.)

  16. Sexy K
    June 5th, 2006 at 5:36 am [Reply]

    Now if only we could get a gratuitous sighting of Pipeye, Pupeye, Poopeye, Peepeye (Popeye’s identical nephews)
    Thank you Wikipedia. More information on Popeye can be found on the Internet.

  17. GotFuzzy
    June 5th, 2006 at 5:57 am [Reply]

    Treedweller, I believe that is the subspecies known as leapin’ licorice. It’s somewhat akin to flying fish or sugar gliders.

    One more thing that bothered me about the Sunday comics, but it took a night’s sleep to bubble up through my unconscious. Did Dagwood call his boss a son of a bitch, or was it just a poorly punctuated sentence?

  18. Sexy K
    June 5th, 2006 at 6:49 am [Reply]

    “More licorice on the internet, mule!”

  19. yellojkt
    June 5th, 2006 at 7:45 am [Reply]

    Once again Elrod makes a terrible error and repeatedly misspells “marijuana”. That has got to be the weed used “to treat many ailments.”

  20. Fred P.
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:08 am [Reply]

    The missing link is a … sausage link? Um, is this supposed to be some kind of a slam against evolutionists? ‘Cause if so, I’m not feeling all that slammed. Mostly I just feel a sort of gentle pity for Hart, for apparently his last screw has come loose..

  21. Jives
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:20 am [Reply]

    #8 Treedweller:

    Yes, that licorice is truly an amazing plant. Not only does it grant the power of speech to deer and bears…

    You’re right, the bear in panel five is obviously taking over the lecture while Mark looks on in startled amazement. However, if you read what he says, it’s not licorice that gives the bear powers of speech. It’s cigarettes. There you have it. According to Mark Trail, bears that smoke cigarettes can talk. Go find out more on the internets.

  22. Karim
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:22 am [Reply]

    I thought the missing link in B.C looked like a penis. Hm. Is it me or are there way too many phallic objects in this week’s comics?

  23. Abbey the Wonderdog
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:37 am [Reply]

    Tests….

    Tests???????

    TESTS????? TESTS????? TESTS?????????

    We don’t need no stinking tests.

    More ice cream, Mule.

    BARK! BARK! BARK!

  24. Hogenmogen
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:42 am [Reply]

    Saturday’s Mallard: This reminds me of the commercial where this guy in a big office complete with doting sycophant is saying “It’s my little way of sticking it to The Man.” And the sycophant says “But, aren’t you The Man?”
    “Yes.”
    “So, you’re sticking it to yourself.”
    “…Yes.”
    The notion that there’s some leftist nut secretly controlling the country from an underground bunker in an undisclosed location is pure fiction, since that man is Dick Cheney and although he’s wobbly on the whole gay marriage thing, he’s no lefty.

    To stay in the political genre, Stantis did a good job with the rolling hills in several frames in Prickly Shitty. It shows potential to have decent enough artwork if he ever took an extra hour or so to elevate his sketches to a finished product so the characters don’t all look like scribbles.

    Still on Saturday, falling farther from the political arena: Dick Tracy – Sweet Mad Zombie Reagan! Monday’s DT: Panel 1: What kind of sorry excuse for a hand is that?

    Mark Trail: So Dr. Evil didn’t go to jail? Just like that? He orchestrated a nefarious plot involving destruction of public property in the amount of over $3000. Isn’t that a felony? I’m sure he’d be released early because they’ve got to make more room for all those dognappers out there.

    Phantom: I could do without the “*”, indicating that when turban-man said the “Ghost knows”, meant was instead “Ghost-who-walks has a thousand eyes and ears and big muscles and guns and looks really hunky in that purple lycra! – old jungle saying”

    Monday A3G: Tommie’s wet dream for oh so many years!

  25. Hogenmogen
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:47 am [Reply]

    #20 – Fred – Yeah, I didn’t quite get the BC “joke”. They’re digging for sausages? Are they going to grill them out later? Without finding a missing link, that means creationism is solid fact? Did I mention that they’re digging for sausages?

  26. Jives
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:51 am [Reply]

    Note on Spiderman: Used to be an action comic. Now it’s about a drag queen coming on to Peter Parker.

  27. Robert
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:52 am [Reply]

    Actually, I think that’s Popeye’s Grandmother; she was introduced by Bud Sagendorf sometime in the ’70′s (Sagendorf was Elzie Segar’s assistant for most of the classic run of Thimble Theatre and did the strip on and off for years after his death)

  28. dlauthor
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    GF: I learn more about world history every day.

    Spidey: The Chronicles of Narna drag on. OK, not only is Peter Parker a complete shiftless misogynist idiot, but HE ONLY HAS ONE EXTREMELY WIDE TOOTH. But then, aging starlets seem to have the same feature, so maybe it’s some ideal of beauty. Or maybe they both have the X-gene for Super Chewing.

    Pluggers: Surprised the enormous chicken isn’t talking on one of those hand-cranked, wall-mounted ur-phones from the ’20s. That’s what _real_ Pluggers use, dammit!

    Mallard: Lemme guess. The U.N. is tapping the phones of everyone under its jurisdiction? U.N. troops slaughtered civilians at Haditha? The U.N. is choosing to focus on the “threat” of gay marriage rather than things that actually endanger people? The U.N. refuses to do anything useful to stop global warming? Stop me when I get close, Tinsley. Nice offensive caricature, however — though you must have been annoyed that she wasn’t a Jew.

    Foob: Strip’s still dwelling up its own ass, but at least Lynn’s lackeys got the retail experience right in Panel 4. The choad-monkeys who try to pull scams like that in stores need to be dropped from a great height onto something rusty.

    F-Minus: I dunno, I chuckled. Not the greatest joke, but the ridiculousness of it struck a chord.

    Monty: Oh, dear. He’s gonna have a foot growing out of his forehead or something by Thursday.

    Prickly: For a Supreme Being, God is surprisingly nonspecific. Also, he has surprisingly skinny fingers.

  29. Chris
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:02 am [Reply]

    Analyzer knows whereof he speaks:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032924

  30. dlauthor
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:07 am [Reply]

    Just realized why I enjoyed F-minus so much — it resembles an incident from my childhood, where on a field trip to an esoteric show at an art galley, my teacher and my mother (who was a chaperone that day) decided to start “admiring” the thermostat on the wall, as if it were one of the exhibits. They managed to attract a small crowd of other admirers. Almost got us all thrown out.

  31. Pelagius
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:23 am [Reply]

    Why you got to be hatin’ on MT? I, for one, did not know that licorice is used in cigarettes. No wonder they’re so addictive!

    The box originally read ‘More information on anise oil can be found on the Internet’, but… it didn’t end well.

  32. Bigfoot
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:41 am [Reply]

    Oh Great Curmudgeon, thank you for greeting me with Popeye this morning!

    Last night I watched a DVD (bought for 50 cents at the grocery store) of old Popeye cartoons. They did a lot of thee/thou talking, by the way, which also struck me as weird (see #4). But, boy o boy, was it good stuff! Much better than all of the work I was supposed to be doing, at least.

    Another oddity to note about Popeye…the Fleischer’s must have liked that round-nose big-jaw look. They not only kept it for Pappy & G’ma (with pipes to connote the genetic connection to Popeye) but they also used it on a ton of minor characters (minus pipe). Check out the Popeye (1936) where he meets Sindbad the Sailor or the 1937 episode with Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves — that Popeye must have spread his seed in a lot of ports!!

  33. BassoGap
    June 5th, 2006 at 9:45 am [Reply]

    (DT)GT – Panel 1: batter swings before the ball gets anywhere near the plate. Panel 2: to where, exactly, is Rapdog running? if running the bases, why would his back be turned to the fielders? nice Hulk-hands, though…

    GF – Bring back Sexy K!

    A&J – Yeah, Janis…better lose that extra weight, before you start looking like Saint Elly. Arlo, you idiot–the proper response is “You look terrific, Janis”, not “Me, too.”

    RMMD – Not only does June make an appearance (looking hot as ever), but she gets to tell the Docs they’re jumping to conclusions w/o tests. Who was it predicted the rash was on the way?

    SF – I’ve heard parents say similar things at games. Can’t quite read what’s on Ted/Sally’s shirts, though…can anyone decipher these?

    PBS – Return of the Crocs! Woohoo! Who knew zeebas had wings? What’s the striped version of Pegasus?

    MW – What she feels inside hasn’t changed, Lou. Speaking of which…maybe you ought to consider giving the little blue pill a try?

    Adam – Dammit…he stole that from me. I’ve said that dozens of times, when reading to my kids.

  34. rich
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:09 am [Reply]

    Since when does Popeye dine in fine restaurants with skyscrapers all around? I was pretty sure he lived in a quiet fishing village. Did he make a special trip to the big city to check out a trendy new spinach restaurant?

  35. Hogenmogen
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:10 am [Reply]

    RMMD: “Yeah, Troy, without tests, who knows. Anyway, let’s go back to the clinic to get it ready for some kids whose parents bothered to have some tests done.”

    Show some friggin’ concern, Rex! Your kid is sick! Sunday had June looking a little worried, but are the three of you going to sit on your asses all week agreeing “Can’t be for sure unless there are tests.” “Yup, certainly need some testing done.” “Uh-huh. A test would come in handly about now….”

  36. blueeyes
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:18 am [Reply]

    Popeye has degenerated into a vehicle for “Yo Momma” jokes.

    “Yo momma’s so skinny, people hang their jackets on her nose.”

    Can’t wait to see that on the next episode of MTV’s “Yo Momma.”

    …By the way — Pappy says that Olive Oyl is a “skrawny wench.” And Grandma’s first reaction is to say that she’s not so skrawny? She totally ignores the wench comment, as if to say, “Yeah, Olive Oyl sure is a wench. She did Wimpy in the backyard yesterday for two bits.”

  37. Austin
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:20 am [Reply]

    GotFuzzy (#17):

    I think Dagwood meant *sob* as in crying (you can see a tear). But, I like your idea better.

    P.S. – That was “tear” as in to cry, not “tear” as in to rip. I mean no confusion.

    More information on “tear” can be found on the internet.

  38. BassoGap
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    Blueeyes (#36) – Actually, she did Wimpy on credit, to be “gladly repaid on Tuesday.”

  39. King Folderol
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:22 am [Reply]

    #11 – I see coat racks at restaurants all the time. Beyond that, THIS is the biggest issue you have with this surreal comic, Talia???

    #33 – SF: Their shirts say, “Rosemount.” I’m sure parents have said things like this at games, but Ted is such a loser that I can’t help but be disgusted by him. Sally deserves a better husband. Well, she at least deserves one night of unbridled passion where her partner doesn’t wind up whimpering in the corner and mumbling “I’m sorry” over and over.

    GF – This is probably the history they’re going to be teaching after W is completely done wrecking and bankrupting (my bad, bankruptitizing) the government, so this is a nice little preview of things to come…

    Hagar – Is London in Viking times just like London today? I’d imagine that cities in the Dark Ages probably had plenty of plague, and I doubt that Honi is happily looking forward to bringing back shopping bags full of pestilence.

    Ziggy – Should Lenny Shadenfroid Esq. be defending the people who said something offensive? Or shouldn’t the ad imply that you should sue someone who is already down on his luck? At 7:45 in the morning, this comic gave me an ice cream headache.

  40. Dub Not Dubya
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:36 am [Reply]

    The drag queen in Spider-Man is wearing those plastic wands used for blowing bubbles as earrings:

    http://www.chron.com/apps/comics/showComick.mpl?date=20060605&name=Spiderman

  41. Irina
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:49 am [Reply]

    I’m still wondering how Gil managed to survive a near-certain decapitation, what with that chainsaw coming toward the back of his neck last Friday.

    And on a strip-related note, I am survived no one’s commented on the empty chip/bread bag and open peanut butter/jelly/mayonnaise jar laden kitchen at Chez Raptor. Or did I miss it?

  42. Dan
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:53 am [Reply]

    If the corncob pipes are rockin’, don’t come a-knockin’.

  43. Daniel
    June 5th, 2006 at 11:17 am [Reply]

    I have never seen Popeye’s parents before, but now that I have, I can’t ‘unsee’ it. Though the comic is funny, it’s not because of the punchline, it’s because Popeye’s folks are creepy as all heck…especially his mother.

  44. Moss_Moses
    June 5th, 2006 at 11:22 am [Reply]

    A staple diet of nothing but spinach provides superhuman strength shortly after consumption but also leads to such physical deformities as elephantitis of the forearms, mouth and chin fusing together and corns growing out of the mouth.

  45. generic toaster
    June 5th, 2006 at 11:26 am [Reply]

    That bear is talking out of his ass.

  46. Lyman Returns
    June 5th, 2006 at 11:31 am [Reply]

    I don’t care for the Popeye comic as a whole, but I dig me some Wimpy. That’s a dude who knows how to mooch and how to eat! He puts Cookie Monster, Pac-Man, Jughead Jones, and Dagwood Bumstead to SHAME. Wimpy is OFF DA HOOK, YO!

    That may be the first time in the history of the world that last sentence was typed. It’s some kind of milestone, though not necessarily the good kind.

    FW-So defending his shrimpy friend (whatever his name is) got clean-cut blond dude (whatever his name is) some like from blonde curly-haired belly-shirt girl (whatever her name is). Did we really need two weeks of “teens hanging at the mall while skipping school” to lead up to this?

  47. Jives
    June 5th, 2006 at 12:24 pm [Reply]

    Someone needs to help the DT artist learn how to draw hands holding phones. Josh has pointed it out before but it looks like it fell on deaf ears. Ears with hideously deformed feet holding 1989 cell phones.

  48. Hit Parade
    June 5th, 2006 at 1:01 pm [Reply]

    24 – that IMDB link says Poopdeck Pappy is 99. How old can Granny Popeye be?

  49. Dennis Jimenez
    June 5th, 2006 at 1:13 pm [Reply]

    The Curmudgeon got his own Wikipedia entry. Surely even greater fame will follow! Someone who knows how to edit should add that he also does Cartoon Violence on Wonkette each Friday.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comics_Curmudgeon

  50. roydrink
    June 5th, 2006 at 1:31 pm [Reply]

    Whow! That link to Poopdeck Pappy video was interesting to say the least…

    “Plot Summary for
    Poopdeck Pappy (1940)

    Popeye’s pappy, age 99, wants to go out at night; Popeye wants him to sleep. Popeye tries leg irons, but Pappy manages to put them on Popeye and sneak out to a sleazy bar. Pappy dances with other men’s girlfriends, bumps into everyone, and throws his dancing partner into the band. Soon, the whole bar is lining up to get a piece of Pappy just as Popeye arrives. It takes a little help from some spinach, but Popeye gets everything sorted out, and he escorts Pappy back to the ship, where he hogties him into his hammock. To no avail; as soon as the light’s out, Popeye discovers Pappy’s snuck off again and tied a net around Popeye’s bed.”

    They sure got kinky in 1940!

  51. Jives
    June 5th, 2006 at 2:39 pm [Reply]

    If it’s on Wikipedia, then it must be accurate.

  52. Abbey the Wonderdog
    June 5th, 2006 at 2:45 pm [Reply]

    I read on the Internet that Wikipedia is accurate. I think it was on a blog somewhere. Must be true.

  53. BigJoe
    June 5th, 2006 at 2:58 pm [Reply]

    Re: Wikipedia entry

    I didn’t know I was a Cardinal! I do now.

  54. Josh R.
    June 5th, 2006 at 3:18 pm [Reply]

    Of course “ma”, “pa”, & Popeye look like each other. The strip has taken the same downward turd spiral as Eddie Murphy’s career. To save money, and pick up more than one paycheck, Popeye is playing all the extra characters himself.

    The more “family” he can come up with, the more money he can spend on hookers and spinach-cocaine speedballs.

  55. KJH
    June 5th, 2006 at 8:41 pm [Reply]

    And who is talking in the 4th panel? The dear, or Mr. Trail?

    For that matter, who is talking in the 5th panel? The bear’s rear end, or Mr. Trail?

  56. Vince M.
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:11 pm [Reply]

    50: I think Poopdeck Pappy first appeared (in the cartoons) in the superbly insane “Goonland” a few years earlier. He’s imprisoned on Goon Island – when Popeye comes to his rescue, Pappy runs him off (remembering him as a startlingly ugly baby who sucks his big toe). Popeye moans “Ohhh, he don’t even rekkonize his own skin an’ bones!”

  57. 2fs
    June 5th, 2006 at 10:20 pm [Reply]

    No, no, no, no: the obvious and best, most post-modern t-shirt is simply: More information on t-shirts can be found on the Internet.

  58. Anonymous
    June 6th, 2006 at 9:04 am [Reply]

    #32 — The round noses, big jaws with cleft chins, and over-developed forearms I can attribute to (bad) genetics. But three consecutive generations of occular damage?

    That Sailorman fambly got a visual curse going on!

    Does Popeye, Pappy, and Grammaw have a family name? If it’s Sailorman, I’m surprised that they aren’t Jewish!

    As for the corncob pipes — it’s a tradition they learned from Mark Trail (another pipe smoker). But they only smoke licorice in them, giving them the power to speak to bears. Or Wimpy. Or Bluto. Or Thorax. More wenches, Mule!

    (from Len)

  59. Mooncity
    June 6th, 2006 at 5:25 pm [Reply]

    Frankly, I find Pappy to be rather disturbing with all that stubble… it just looks like he has a nasty pair of balls for a chin! A “scrotee!”

  60. John Ellis
    June 7th, 2006 at 3:01 pm [Reply]

    Just stumbled upon your blog looking for Mark Trail strips. I need to say that you should look for friends that have no JPG tag behind their names. MT is just a comic get over it!

  61. Retro Lad
    June 7th, 2006 at 5:38 pm [Reply]

    Besides, if his father and mother both look like each other… incest, anyone?

    Sadly, it’s worse than that — what you see is the result of an early cloning experiment gone horribly wrong. Pappy, his wife(?), Popeye, the unfortunately named nephews — and those are the ones allowed out in public; don’t ask about the rest — all are the ungodly result of a demented witch who cloned an malformed prototype as seen here! (Check out the nose, man! The nose is the giveaway!)

  62. treedweller
    June 7th, 2006 at 7:27 pm [Reply]

    John Ellis says:
    June 7th, 2006 at 3:01 pm
    Just stumbled upon your blog looking for Mark Trail strips. I need to say that you should look for friends that have no JPG tag behind their names. MT is just a comic get over it!

    “Oh, no, you di’nt!”

  63. brucker
    September 5th, 2006 at 7:44 pm [Reply]

    For those who are still not clear on the matter, yes, the woman is Popeye’s grandmother, named “Granny”. Here’s a good picture:

    http://www.math.pitt.edu/~bard/bardware/popeye/popeye3b.gif

  64. Michael
    September 2nd, 2008 at 3:42 pm [Reply]

    The older lady in the Popeye strip is Granny, who was indeed introduced by Bud Sagendorf.

    Popeye’s pappy (who, at least in the Segar years, was always addressed and referred to as “Poppa”) was introduced to Thimble Theatre somewhere around 1936, after Segar was ordered to tone down Popeye’s less savory attributes (gambling, fighting, getting arrested). Segar’s response was, while turning Popeye into a children’s hero, to transfer the darker side to Pappy – thus keeping that element in the strip while cleaning Popeye up a little.

    Prior to this, Popeye had stated that he was an orphan. To this day I don’t believe his mother was ever found; in an early Pappy continuity, he tells Popeye “Yer mother was as good a gal that ever lived”, in the past tense, implying that she was no longer alive.

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