Speaking of eyes.

§ May 28th, 2018 § Filed under eyeball, popeye § 12 Comments

So, always on the lookout for the latest and freshest Popeye news as I am, I spotted this story about a company about to debut brand new cartoons starring our favorite rough ‘n’ tumble one-eyed sailor with a heart of gold on his official YouTube channel. Well, first I was all “oh hey, new Popeye cartoons, cool” before it dawned on me that “oh, wait, there’s an official YouTube channel?” which I had no idea even existed (putting lie to my initial claim that I”m always on the lookout for Popeye news, I guess). Anyway, there it is, right now mostly heavy on the (relatively) later color Popeye cartoons post-Fleischer Studios, including a number in Spanish and, um, a Beetle Bailey cartoon for a reason not immediately obvious to me (though I suppose there is one if I bothered to look).

According to the article this studio is going to “take over” the YouTube channel once the new cartoons are ready to go, so I have no idea how long the currently-available offerings will remain so. Go watch ’em while you can, I guess. I did sample one myself, “Sky High Fly Try,” which featured the following sequence right at the beginning:

Here’s Olive, cookin’ up some hot dogs at her concession stand:

And along comes Popeye, wearing his traditional pilot gear outfit with which we’re all so familiar, pokin’ his nose right on in there to get a good gander at those wonderful wieners:

…when Olive, in her hot dog preparation exuberance, reaches over with the tongs and inadvertently grabs and yanks Popeye’s nose into one of her buns, resulting in this surprised expression:



Okay, given the limitations of the animation in question, all we can really determine is that there is a black dot where Popeye’s right eye should be…it could represent an empty, black pit, a hideous scar forever reminding him of whatever unknown tragic incident in his past (this notwithstanding) robbed him of that precious orb. However, I think it’s not entirely unreasonable to assume that it in fact represents an actual eye (otherwise, there’d be, I don’t know, an “X” as shorthand for the missing eye, or more likely not have bothered in the first place with briefly doing away with the squint).

Or maybe it was just a one-off gag done for the larfs, and not some kind of secret revelation that Popeye had maybe a scratched cornea, or a persistent stye, or similar, which is why he just kept that eye shut all the time instead of getting some Visine or even, like, an eyepatch.

Anyawy, just thought that was interesting. I’ll try to keep tabs on that YouTube channel for when they start cranking out the new cartoons…I’d like to see what they’re gonna do with it.

Speaking of Popeye, the Funko Pop! Popeye (or Funko Pop!eye, as it should have been called) just came out:

…and it’s just as adorable in person. Yeah, yeah, I know I’ve said before I’m not a Pop! “collector” but occasionally the right one (or, um, three or four, as in the case of the Swamp Thing Pops) comes along and I gotta have it. And yeah, it’s pretty amazing. Here’s hoping they eventually get around to Nancy and Sluggo…they seem like naturals for this particular format.

12 Responses to “Speaking of eyes.”

  • Athelind Llewellyn Long says:

    Popeye is canonically missing his right eye in Thimble Theater, but this gets downplayed in a lot of adaptations. I think the Paramount-era cartoons show Popeye’s second eye more than once.

    And, of course, I will never forget Robin Williams telling Ray Walston “We got the same squinky eye.”

    (“What squinky eye?”)

  • Michael Grabowski says:

    David Lapham has apparently been creating Segar-ish Popeye dailies for his family for years, and his wife Maria just created a tumblr page where she’s posting them. Delightful!


  • Brad says:

    Beetle Bailey and Popeye are both King Features properties.

  • Mikester says:

    Brad – Well, yeah, there’s that…I was wondering if there was more to it, to just have a lone Beetle Bailey toon in there, but I suppose not. Gotta put it somewhere, I guess?

  • Thelonious_Nick says:

    “Marvel movies ranked:
    1. Howard the Duck
    2. Ant-Man, somehow
    3. one of those Iron Mans was pretty good
    4. Dr. Strange (1978 TV movie)
    that’s all of them, right”

    The 1977 Incredible Hulk two-hour TV movie that was popular enough to kick off the Hulk TV series?

  • Jason says:

    I think there has been a gag or two where Popeye looks really closely at something and opens the other eye as well, but I couldn’t tell you which cartoon it was from.

  • Brad says:

    IIRC, the people who did the Popeye TV cartoons put together packages of other King Features properties: Besides Beetle Bailey, they did Krazy Kat and Snuffy Smith. These were unleashed on DVD a few years back.

  • Brad says:

    BTW, a guy named David Latham has been drawing Popeye strips in Segar’s style for years now, and his wife is posting them on her blog. If you’re at all interested in old school Popeye check out: https://marialapham.tumblr.com

  • Bill the Splut says:

    I noticed in the Paramount era Popeyes, the missing eye is always the one farthest from the camera. It’ll be on the left, then 5 seconds later, on the right.

  • Turan, Emissary of the Fly World says:

    Those 1960s Krazy Kat cartoons (you thought I was going to write “kartoons,” didn’t you–sucker!) explicitly present Krazy as female. That seems even more wrong than those 1930s cartoons that changed the character designs and turned Krazy into a blatant imitation of Felix.

  • Casie says:

    I’ve seen it, with the two eyes! There’s a cover where Popeye is looking into a crystal ball with both ‘eyes’ open! (Why am I yelling?) It’s always baffled me. I would love to know the real story.
    Oh and thanks Mike for sharing about this YouTube page. Really excited to see new Popeye cartoons and the oldies are the best! I love Spanish speaking Bluto. Always good stuff here.

  • Sslaxx says:

    Except that most of the ‘toons currently on the channel are the HB-era 70s ones.