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Created in 1929 by cartoonist Elzie Crisler Segar, Popeye the Sailor Man is the Classic Underdog with a "long fuse and a keen sense of fair play," who gets his superhero-like strength from eating spinach. Popeye first appeared in Segar's then 10 year old comic strip, "Thimble Theatre", which was based on Olive Oyl's family. Popeye quickly became one of the main characters in "Thimble Theatre", and eventually became the main focus of the comic strip. In 1933, Popeye made the leap to the Silver Screen in a Betty Boop cartoon titled "Popeye the Sailor."

There are around 600 Popeye cartoons that have been produced and are still in syndication worldwide - the strip continues to appear in first-run installments in its Sunday edition, written and drawn by Hy Eisman.