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POPEYE CHARACTERS

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Swee’Pee

Swee’Pee or Swee’Pea, appears for the first time on July 28th, 1933. When Popeye sees Swee'Pee, entusiastically says: “Woopee, I always wanted a baby!”.

Segar usually gives food’s names to his characters, so we cannot exclude that Swee' Pee was a clear reference to the child’s sex.

Swee' Pee, in a wool wrapper as it used to be for all babies at that time, doesn’t speak but emits strange sounds.
He’s an orphan child. He’also the heir to the throne of Roccaverza, called Demonia: he will be indeed the chief character of an exciting episode in 1937 (probably the most beautiful), when he seats on the throne cheered by everyone.

Eugene the Jeep

This strange and little animal comes from the fourth dimension’s world. It appears for the first time in “The Thimble Theatre”, on March 21st, 1936.

Segar called it Eugene, from the name of his daughter’s boyfriend; this mythical creature is able to answer sincerely and exactly to any questions about the past, the future and the present. Its acting is magnificent: if it will take a step forward then the answer will be yes but if it will stand straight then the answer will be no.
The Jeep eats a lot of orchids; there are 363 fellows living in a island called “Jeep Island” and illustrated in the story “the Eighth Sea”.

J. Wellington Wimpy

Wimpy appears for the first time in 1931 on the occasion of a boxing match between Popeye and the general Bunzo: he is the slovenly and slimy referee.

He is a mean person who only thinks of his primary scope: a free sandwich.

Wimpy’s unemployment is a symbol; his parasitism fully answers an innate survival’s instinct. The name of the American chain “Wimpy”, specialized in hamburger, derives from this greedy character.

Olive Oyl
She is Popeye’s girlfriend and Castor Oyl’s sister.
Thin, peevish, self-assured, idiot and sometimes endowed with great tenderness, she is the only one able to beat Popeye.

Olive appears in 1919.

Castor Oyl

He is a Boss and future Popeye’s brother in law.
Short, presumptuous, domineering and bore, he was born to order and oppress. He’s the symbol of success.

Castor appears many years before Popeye in 1919.

Popeye

He is Poopdeck Pappy’s son, Olive’s boyfriend and Swee' Pee’s putative father.
Cross-eyed, and quarrelsome, endowed with tender heart and strong punches, he acts with fairness and honesty.
It has been erected a monument to him in Crystal City, Texas.

>>Read "Popeye" and "Whiffle hen"

Popeye appears for the first time on January 17th, 1929.

Geezil

He’s a presumed professor with a shaggy beard. He has words with many people but finally he’s an easy going. Is he a member of the lower middle class or a timid homeless? Somebody says he was an illustrious master.

P. Zupe appears in 1931.

Toar

He is Swee' Pee’s “baby sitter” and Popeye’s “puppet”.
He’s delicate and kind but he could lift your house with a hand!

Brutus appears in 1935-36.

Alice, The Goon

She is bald, with hairy forearms, laughing and intent on feminine work.
Love is spiritual meat and drink to her.

She appears in 1935-36.

Poopdeck Pappy

He is the aged Popeye’s father-counterpart; he appears in the comic strips late.
Pappy is a degenerate father who has abandoned the son as soon as he was born: his excuse is that he had to buy a packet of cigarettes.

We know Pappy under a lot of names: Father of Edge, Arm of Wood, Poppa…

Palmiro Boschesi wrote about this character:
“He’s sullen, quarrelsome, ladies’ man, irritable, impolite and brutal; he’s 99 years old and however he is in perfect form. Women are his great passion: he even hides in the children’s prams to be kissed by the ladies”.
He tried to take advantage of his likeness with the son in order to conquer Olive, cutting his beard. He fell in love with his future daughter in law and he tried to marry her; but the Popeye’s revenge was quick and Popeye punched Pappy many times.

In an unforgettable adventure called “The Search for Popeye's Poppa” and begun on August 4th ,1936, Popeye leaves with all his tribe in search of the father.


Translation by Carlo Cianci

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