How To Ruin A Classic Character

POPEYEContinuing our Popeye news from a few days back, Fred Grandinetti (Popeye expert and author of the forthcoming book POPEYE: AN ILLUSTRATED CULTURAL HISTORY) is preparing a lecture on the subject: “How King Features Has Ruined Popeye.” The lecture will be given at a comic convention in Boston this summer and possibly at other venues. Here are the seven main points, based on his study of the audience’s perceptions over the years, of how the character has been ruined:

1 – Popeye switching from classic outfit to white sailor’s uniform

2 – The redesign of Olive Oyl

3 – The name change from Bluto to Brutus

4 – The poor quality of the TV cartoons produced by Al Brodax

5 – Popeye being used as mainly a product rather than as a character

6 – The decline in circulation of the comic strip

7 – Hearst Entertainment blocking the release of the Fleischer cartoons onto DVD/VHS.

If the still posted below of the CG Popeye is any indication, a number 8 can probably be added to this list too after the TV special airs later this year. Fred also writes that, “King has to realize that to ensure the on-going (not short-lived) success of their attempts to revive Popeye, they have to create good will among the fans. Corporate studios often forget this. I’m trying to use whatever influence I have on King to get them to give the fans what they want: classic Popeye on DVD (not more ’60s toons!)”