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Elzie Crisler Segar 1894-1938
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Castor Oyl – Created in 1919 for the comic strip Thimble Theatre.  Castor Oyl is Olive Oyl’s brother.  He was the main protagonist before Popeye was introduced years later.  A quick-witted adventurer, he continued to be an important character in the Popeye comics but played a very unimportant part in the animated cartoons.

Harold Hamgravy – First character to appear in the Thimble Theatre. Olive’s longtime boyfriend before Popeye is introduced.

J. Wellington Wimpy – Wimpy made his debut in the Thimble Theatre as a nameless boxing referee in 1931.  He is Popeye’s best friend and loves to eat hamburgers, but is usually too cheap to pay for them. Wimpy often tried to make people who are angry with him happy by saying, “I’d like to invite you over for a duck dinner.”  Once the person is satisfied wimpy quickly moves away and from a safe distance yells, “You bring the duck!"

Popeye - Segar's most popular character, Popeye, was a short, strange-looking sailor with only one good eye. He has huge muscular forearms, a unique way of speaking, and is often seen smoking a corncob pipe. His humorous adventures would take him all over the world where he would often find conflict. In the animated cartoons a villain would clobber him until Popeye couldn't take anymore. He would then eat an entire can of spinach, which gave him the superhuman strength needed to fight the evildoer. In the comic strips Popeye is naturally tough.

Olive Oyl - Popeye's girlfriend, Olive Oyl is not your typical damsel in distress. She is tall and lanky with short black hair, and a not particularly attractive face. Actress Mae Questel who also voiced Betty Boop did the voice for Olive Oyl. Olive Oyl appeared in the comic strip Thimble Theatre years before Popeye was introduced.

Bluto - Bluto was created in 1933 as a nemesis of Popeye. He is large and muscular, bearded, and shows some ability for tactical planning, although he mostly uses his physical brawn to do his dirty work. Like Popeye, he has a crush on Olive Oyl, and often attempts kidnapping her.  Actors Billy Bletcher and Pinto Colvig are the most famous voices of Bluto. After the animated cartoon Popeye went out of production in 1957, Bluto's name was changed to Brutus.

Poopdeck Pappy - Poopdeck Pappy is Popeye's father. He is the spitting image of Popeye with a white beard. He made his first appearance in Goonland (1938).

Swee'Pea - Swee'Pea is a baby found on Popeye's doorstep. He is adopted by Popeye, and raised as his son. Initially his speech consisted entirely of the sound "glop", but as years went on, Swee'Pea aged enough to speak normally. However his appearance remained that of a crawling baby.