Tentacle Tuesday: Tentacles in Hiding

Greetings to all my dear tentacle zealots! This week I am rather exhausted from a move (not mine own, which somehow makes it worse?), and so I will retreat into my cozy shell, just like this handsome fellow:

But I don’t want this to be a complete disappointment, so I will leave you with these two panoramas:

Supper at Sea by Ben Boling, a freelance illustrator who posted this beauty on his deviant art profile.
Characters from left to right: Alice the Goon (topless!), the Sea Hag, Poopdeck Pappy, Brutus, Professor O.G. Wattasnozzle, Olive Oyl, Popeye, the Jeep, J. Wellington Wimpy, Rough House the cook, Swee’ Pea, George Geezil, Castor Oyl.

To quote the man in question: «  This, my dearies, is my takeoff on Leonardo’s Last Supper. All of the characters are from the Thimble Theater strip by E.C. Segar, which later became just the Popeye comic strip. I tried to keep most of the characters in the same positions as the apostles are in Leonardo’s version, and tried to put in a few little fun things relating to the original. For instance, putting Olive in the same place as the apostle John, who some believe to be Mary Magdelene. I also had to put Brutus in the place of Judas Iscariot, and have him holding money (pieces of silver). Some theories also say that both Judas and Christ were reaching for the Eucharist in Leo’s version, so I included that too, replacing the bread with limes so they don’t get scurvy. And the cigar in the ashtray is a tribute to Popeye’s creator E.C. Segar who used to sign his drawings with a little cigar with the smoke forming the letter “S” in his name. The halo effect in the wood around Popeye was pretty much an accident, perhaps there was divine intervention? »

Of course you can also revisit the past in the shape of Tentacle Tuesday: Popeye, the Sailor Man.

And, in a slightly different vein —

« In 1952, Charles Addams, at the height of his skills as a cartoonist, painted a lush, monochromatic mural on canvas for a bar at the Dune Deck, a hotel in the Hamptons. (The work is nearly fourteen feet long and more than four feet high.) When the hotel changed hands, the new owners—one of them a Penn State alumnus—donated the painting to the university’s Palmer Museum of Art. A few years later, it was transferred to the library, where it hung in the Lending Services area, until it was relegated to its current location, in 2000. Somewhere along the way, it picked up the name ‘An Addams Family Holiday.’ »

As seen from the quote, this ‘mysterious’ mural by (naturally) Charles Addams has a quite interesting, recent-ish discovery story. Read about it the excellent article in the New Yorker (excerpted above) here, or if you don’t have access, try the slightly less well-written, but nevertheless informative version here (sorry, Pennsylvania News).

The proud artiste:

~ ds

Tentacle Tuesday: Secrets, Both Sinister and Domestic

Random fact of the day: in Mandarin Chinese, secret is “mimi”, whereas in French “mimi” means something like “cute”. Today’s post is not cute, but it is very much about secrets – DC secrets, to be more precise.

Secrets of Haunted House no. 14 (Oct-Nov 1978). Cover by Mike Kaluta.

The original art for this cover feels a little less cluttered:


Taking a peek at the insides, we will find that they have little to do with the cover, but tentacles are still present. The Discovery is scripted by Jay L. Zilber, pencilled by Juan Ortiz, and inked by Vince Colletta:


Tentacles also rudely intrude in Selina, a story scripted by Nicola Cuti and elegantly illustrated by Ramona Fradon and Bob Smith


The thing about masks was too topical to not include.

Secrets of Haunted House no. 29 (October 1980), cover by Mike Kaluta.

Secrets of Haunted House no. 36 (May 1981), cover pencilled by Rich Buckler and inked by Dick Giordano.

Beware the Sea Hag, the cover story,  is scripted by Carl Wessler and drawn by Wade Hampton:SecretsofHauntedHouse36-bewareoftheseahag


But, wait, this is not what the Sea Hag normally looks like! This is more like it:

Popeye the Sailor no. 73 (August 1964), cover by Bud Sagendorf. I wonder if the Sea Hag realises how much spinach reduces under heat.

Shifting to another sort of secrets (these are sinister rather than haunted), we have another tentacle apparition —

The Monster of Death Island is scripted by Maxene Fabe and drawn by Ruben Yandoc (i.e. Rubeny). It was published in Secrets of Sinister House no. 11 (April 1973).

This story, a sort of take on Bluebeard, is well worth reading, for the plot as well as the stunning art. I don’t want to reveal spoilers – you can read it here.


Since we’re discussing secrets, I might as well throw in The House of Secrets… I will willingly admit that I have the hardest time keeping track of which is which.

House of Secrets no. 101 (October 1972), cover by Mike Kaluta. This could have been a Mike Kaluta Tentacle Tuesday!

From House of Secrets no. 100 (September 1972). This page of Abel’s Fables is by Lore Shoberg.

house of secrets 103
Cain & Abel by Sergio Aragonés, printed in House of Secrets no. 103 (December 1972).

∼ ds

Hallowe’en Countdown II, Day 24

« Greetings, friends. Did we catch any of those horrible ghosts in my famous ghost traps? » – J. Wellington Wimpy, up to no good as usual

I absolutely adore how, in Popeye the sailor’s salty vernacular, revenants are referred to as « ghosks ». Aww… Let’s meet a few of these spooks, who most often, to this reader’s regret, turn out to be mere goons in sheets. Oh well.

This is Popeye no.3 (Aug.-Oct. 1948, Dell). As the cover states, story and art by Bud Sagendorf, Thimble Theatre creator Elzie Segar‘s assistant and eventual successor.

Here, then, a few highlights from Popeye 3’s cover story.


Crude but effective.

The facts speak for themselves.


Dell published 65 issues of Popeye, then Gold Key took over… long story. This is Gold Key’s second issue, Popeye the Sailor no. 67 (Jan. 1963). Say, is that Patcheye’s Ghosk? Well, blow me down, it is! Story and art presumably by Forrest Cowles “Bud” Sagendorf.

In a rather more modern, yet still topical… vein, here’s Len Danovich‘s striking variant cover to the most recent issue of IDW’s Classic Popeye (no. 65, Dec. 2017), quite a rarity and now commanding some rather formidable prices, from what I’ve observed. Is this to be the final issue of Classic Popeye, now that the end of the Dell run has been reached? Nearly a year on, the question still remains. Mr. Yoe?

– RG

Tentacle Tuesday: Popeye, the Sailor Man

Since Popeye’s a sailor, one would expect him to run into a lot of octopuses during his adventures. It doesn’t happen nearly as often as one would think, actually, but there’s still enough encounters for a decent-sized tentacle journey. Here we go!

Popeye: Danger, Ahoy! Big Little Book no. 5768 (Whitman, 1969). Does anybody know who painted this cover?


« Zombie Popeye » (and, more importantly for our current topic of discussion, Chtulhu-Olive!) by the talented Roger Langridge. He posted this so-called sketch (how detailed can a drawing be before it stops being a sketch?) on his website on September 2014… and the original is still for sale, I believe! Go here. This isn’t the first time Langridge tentacles slither into a blog post – for instance, go visit « Tentacle Tuesday: pirates and treasure, oh my».


A variant cover for Popeye Classics no. 48, July 2016. These Craig Yoe reprints of Bud Sagendorf’s Popeye are great fun, by the way, and I highly recommend them for the proverbial children-at-heart.


Original art for a Popeye Sunday, published on July 9th, 1958. The art is by Bela (Bill) Zaboly, who worked on Thimble Theater starting from 1939 and until Bud Sagendorf took over in 1959.


A chunk of story in which an octopus makes a very minor appearance… from a strip by Bug Sagendorf published on October 7th, 1960.


A panel from “Hitchhikers!” by Bug Sagendorf, published in Popeye Comics no. 19 (January-March 1952). Read the full zany story here. (Technically, this is a Sherm story, but let’s not split hairs.) I’m not surprised the octopus looks like a spy, wearing a hairpiece like that. Or is it just a nest for the birdies?

– ds

Well, blow me down: it’s E.C. Segar’s birthday!

« I know what’s the matter with your comic artists, they’re all crazy. »
« Of course they’re crazy, they wouldn’t be worth a whoop if they weren’t crazy. »

Today we commemorate the birthday of Popeye creator Elzie Crisler Segar (December 8, 1894 – October 13, 1938). The man succumbed to leukaemia and liver disease at the distressingly early age of 43… but not before making his everlasting mark on the world of cartooning and the world at large.

In this Popeye Sunday strip dated August 14, 1938, J. Wellington Wimpy ably demonstrates his solid-gold mooching wiles.

And for dessert, have a chaser of Segar’s even more endearing (in my opinion) companion strip, Sappo, featuring his delightfully bonkers Professor O. G. Wotasnozzle.

Sappo appeared as Thimble Theatre / Popeye’s “topper” on Sundays. This out of sight entry appeared on April 8, 1934.

Happy Birthday and bon appétit, Mr. Segar, wherever you are!

– RG