Well, Blow Me Down!: 75 Years of Popeye

Original Segar comic strips from the 1930s; ‘30s and ‘40s storyboards, drawings and cels from Fleischer and Famous Studios; cels and artwork from King Features Syndicate and Hanna-Barbera from the ’60s to the ’80s; and vintage toys, comic books and poster art will all be on display.

The Museum of Television & Radio in New York will celebrate the 75th anniversary of Popeye with the gallery exhibit Well, Blow Me Down!: 75 Years of Popeye, on display from November 13, 2004, to January 30, 2005. This is the first exhibit to bring together the history of Popeye from all media: newspaper, radio, theatrical shorts and television, as well as vintage merchandising pieces, comic books and theatrical poster art.

Drawing material from private collections across the country, the Museum has curated an experience that shows the evolution of one of America’s oldest pop culture icons, from a single frame in the comic strip Thimble Theatre to the 3-D enhanced CGI Popeye.

For a character initially conceived to make only a fleeting appearance in the already established comic strip Thimble Theatre in 1929, Popeye, the pipe-chomping, monocular sailor with an affinity for spinach, wound up having an impact on pop culture that his creator, E.C. (Elzie Crisler) Segar (1894-1938), could never have imagined.

Highlights of the Museum’s exhibit include original B&W art for Segar’s 1930s comic strip; original ‘30s and ‘40s storyboards, drawings, and cels from Fleischer and Famous Studios, including a B&W cel from what is widely considered the first animated short; cels and artwork from King Features Syndicate and Hanna-Barbera from the ’60s to the ’80; vintage toys; comic books; and lobby cards and poster art from the theatrical shorts.

The Museum will kick-off the opening of the exhibit on November 13 with a family workshop, featuring a screening of the new 3-D CGI animated special Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy. Following the screening, participants will learn about the art of Popeye animation, have the chance to take photographs with Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto and Wimpy, and participate in art activities. The screening and workshop will be held from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy, which premieres November 9 on DVD and will air on FOX December 17, was written by Paul Reiser and Jim Hardison, and features the voices of Billy West and Kathy Bates and music by Mark Mothersbaugh of Devo. After the event, the Museum will screen classic Popeye cartoons.


For more information:  Visit the Museum’s website at www.mtr.org

To purchase a copy of the all-new Popeye DVD, “Popeye’s Voyage: The Quest for Pappy,” please visit http://www.amazon.com