I believe in art. I believe in its capacity to entertain us, to enlighten us, to challenge us and to change us. But above all I believe in its ability to punch us in the face. And nobody did that better than EC Segar.
Of course we're all familiar with Popeye the Sailor Man and his penchant for fisticuffs, but unless you've read his origins in Segar's Thimble Theatre strip, you have no idea how truly dynamic and visceral his unique brand of cartoon violence could be. Segar would bend the concepts of anatomy and physics to his will in such a masterfully unhinged way that the fight scenes threatened to spill off of the comics page and onto your breakfast table.
Segar passed away in 1938, and Popeye continued under the care (and in some cases I use that term quite loosely) of other entities. Thankfully Fantagraphics has spent the last several years publishing those handsome oversized collections of Segar's Thimble Theater, from which I have assembled this small repository of Popeye punching things.
Fig 1. Popeye punches a guy with a knife
Fig 2. Popeye punches a cowboy
Fig 3. Popeye punches a giant snake
Fig 4. Popeye punches his doppelgänger
Fig 5. Popeye punches Sherlock Holmes
Fig 6. Popeye punches a caveman
Fig 7. Popeye punches a yuppie
Fig 8. Popeye punches twins
Fig 9. Popeye punches a cop
Fig 10. Popeye punches a whole town basically
Fig 11. Popeye punches a horse
Fig 12. Popeye punches an innocent bystander
Fig 13. Popeye punches a boxer
Fig 14. Popeye punches a boxing sasquatch
Fig 15. Popeye punches a shifty businessman
Fig 16. Popeye punches like 3 dudes at the same time
Fig 17. Popeye punches a guy while in drag
Do I really need to keep going with these? I think it's pretty clear that Segar is the funny pages' all-time master of the wallop. And that I spend entirely too much time thinking about Popeye. But what can I tell you? I yam what I yam.