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Cartoon Culture

Blow Me Down!

This year, Popeye celebrated his 80th birthday (his first comic strip appearance was on January 17th, 1929). This painting, from 2007 by monster-movie make-up guru Rick Baker, shows what the sailor-man would actually look like at this age.
Pretty disturbing.

(Thanks, Doran Gaston)

  • Robert Schaad

    Hoping that Rick did not also do paintings of Poopdeck Pappy, Olive, etc.

  • Hunter

    Sooo scary! I would not like to run into him in a back alley, even if I ate all my spinach!

  • Dock Miles

    Oooh — see a little Basil Gogos homage in there. Nice.

    But hey — wasn’t Popeye a bit of an old salt when he first appeared? Must be 120 or 130 by now.

  • The eye would be redder ;)

  • Wouldn’t mind a rendition of Bluto. Might look a little worse for wear, though, what with the incessant beating he was put through.

  • Galen Fott

    To call this a “painting” is a bit misleading; it was done with ZBrush.

  • Ryan

    Oh dear god! Thats horrible, and yet so….closely accurate, lol

  • Awesome, I wish could hang that up in my room.

  • Oh my. *said in a Sulu way*

  • Rick

    Jeez, not only is Rick Baker a living legend, he’s also a great painter. That is so cool!

  • uncle wayne

    as long as he never stops mumbling adlibs and scatting his own musical score!!

  • Chris Sobieniak

    The kind of person I don’t want to meet on a lonely night at the docks!

  • FP

    Wasn’t Popeye’s age stated as 40 or 50 years old in those early appearances? That would make him at least 120 years old today. Baker paints him as dang spry for that age.

    Is that a painting or a Z-Brush creation? Baker was active on the Z-Brush discussion boards as “Monster Maker” for a while.

  • Grimmy

    Isn’t that just Keith Richards in a sailor cap?

  • victoria

    Popeye is that way from all those years of smoking

  • 3d, not paint, but still awesome. That link didn’t work for me, but here’s another. The detail is rediculous…

  • Mandy

    Victoria, that was my joke… I think he looks around 120 years old.

  • Gary

    Great pic, but like so many before him, Mr Baker got the eyes mixed up. According to E.C. Segar, Popeye lost his right eye in a fight, not the left.
    While we’re speaking of The Pop, what’s going one with those Famous Studio restorations. It’s been about a year since Popeye the Sailor Vol 3.

  • Good thing REAL cartoon characters never age.

  • Karl Wilcox

    What’s with the Dumbo ears? Popeye’s ears are much smaller.
    Otherwise, a rather scary (and accurate) image!

  • Karl Wilcox

    .. I meant to add that, yes, the right eye is the one that should be

  • Pedro Nakama

    Actually Popeye was just arrested. His mug shot is here…


  • He looks like Freddy Krueger.

  • It’s an interesting painting. But it’s not Popeye. The features are all off. Where’s the cleft chin, the small ears? As an aged Popeye it misses the mark. But as a Popeye-inspired zombie design it’s pretty good.

  • Dock Miles

    “What’s with the Dumbo ears?”

    Ya ears get bigger and bigger the older you get, son —


  • I like this face much better: http://img42.imageshack.us/i/popeye.jpg/

  • Adam

    In the Fleischer cartoon “Goonland” made in 1938, Popeye claims his father has been lost since the day he was born, which at that point was 40 years prior. This would mean he was born in 1898 which would make him about 111 years old today.

  • Ron

    That’s actually not far off from the real guy that popeye was based on- an old man named Frank ‘Rocky’ Feigel who lived in Segar’s home town. Check it out…


  • Dock Miles

    “In the Fleischer cartoon ‘Goonland’ made in 1938, Popeye claims his father has been lost since the day he was born, which at that point was 40 years prior. This would mean he was born in 1898 which would make him about 111 years old today.”

    Excellent scholarship, Adam! A larger point is that Popeye, who I think Jules Pfeiffer nominated as the first “superhero,” was no teen titan but an indomitable middle-aged guy. Before youth-fetish set in, one source of power was to be, in the olde time parlance, “weathered.”

  • Samjoe

    Regardless, Still a BadAss, he would still kick anybodys ass. Bluto’s included.

  • matt

    For those commenting on “accuracy”, this Zbrush picture actually started life as a portrait of Baker’s dad. Obviously Rick then had a “waaaaiiitaminute!” moment!

  • JG

    Brilliant! Got to love these “realismed” cartoons…

    Deffinately looks like Zbrush was involved.

  • Andre

    Wow! That’s wicked (in both senses).

  • Russell H

    In the 1936 THIMBLE THEATER comic strip story arc titled “Popeye’s Search for his Poppa,” Poopdeck Pappy, on first encountering Popeye, has a thought-balloon containing a picture of an infant Popeye and the date “1894.” So, at least in the Segar comic-strip continuity, Popeye would have been 42 in 1936–coincidentally(?), the same age as Segar himself.

  • joe

    I knew Popeye and the Seahag were somehow related.

  • Adam

    @Russell H
    I guess the Fleischer’s didn’t take that into consideration when making “Goonland” in 1938 which Popeye claims his father has been lost since 1898.

  • EB

    He looks like Casey Stengel

  • John A

    Rick got the eye wrong! his right eye’s the squinty one.