Popeye the Sailor is a fictional hero famous for appearing in comic strips and animated films as well as numerous TV shows. He was created by Elzie Crisler Segar, and first appeared in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929.
Segar's first Thimble Theatre strip was published on December 19, 1929. Shortly after Popeye's introduction, the sailor quickly became the main focus of the strip and Thimble Theatre became one of King Features' most popular strips during the 1930s. Thimble Theatre was carried on after Segar's death in 1938 by several writers and artists, including Segar's assistant Bud Sagendorf. The strip, now titled Popeye, continues to appear in first-run installments in Sunday papers, written and drawn by Hy Eisman.
In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s, and the Fleischers - and later Paramount's own Famous Studios - continued production through 1957.
Since then, Popeye has appeared in comic books, television cartoons, a 1980 live-action film (Popeye, directed by Robert Altman), arcade and video games, and hundreds of advertisements and peripheral products.
Popeye was a license to sell. Toys. Cookies. Big Little Books. Paint Sets. Halloween Costumes. Puzzles. Christmas Lights. Games. Dolls. Coloring Books. Hankies. Toothbrushes. Fly Swatters. Pinbacks. Figurines. Sheet Music. Marble Bags. Story Books. Comics. Promotional Items. Records. Lollipops. Greeting Cards. Bubble Gum. Soap Figures. Popcorn. Piggy Banks. Caps and Beanies. Pea Coats. You name it.