In 1992, the planets (even Pluto) were all aligned and pointed squarely at me and my fellow cartoonist Bruce Quast.
We were animators for Micrograms Software and more importantly, avid Popeye fans. Bobby London, of Playboy's Dirty Duck fame, was employed as the artist and writer of the daily version of King Features comic strip gold mine, Popeye.
One fateful day, Mr. London dropped the ball so hard it hit people in China and he was fired for taking the strip in questionable political directions. The storyline dealt with abortion, and as anyone with half a brain would know, you don't take classic family characters to places like that.
Needless to say, the door was opened and Bruce and I quickly cranked out our own take on Popeye and sent it off to the late Jay Kennedy, head honcho editor at the syndicate. Out of about 150 submissions, we actually made it to the final twelve (according to Mr. Kennedy's secretary at the time). Then... we waited. Ultimately, Popeye never fully recovered the readership it lost because of the debacle and Kennedy never did hire a replacement. In fact, to this day, the daily strips are still reruns from the Bud Sagendorf years (Popeye's longest running artist and writer).
To see some of our Popeye strips, click read more below.