|dr_hermes (dr_hermes) wrote in scans_daily,|
@ 2009-08-10 17:19:00
|Entry tags:||char: popeye, creator: e.c. segar, era: golden age|
Why isn't Popeye rich?
From July, 1934, a Sunday page by E.C. Segar. Popeye has survived his first encounter with the Sea Hag and her Goon, and come home with a fortune. Finding treasure is not his usual means of support, when not at sea he's a fighter who normally gets in the ring with an opponent three or four times his since. But over the course of his life, the sailor has sometimes been wealthy. It never lasts, though.
This sequence must have been much more powerful back in 1934, when the Depression meant millions were out of work (the unemployment rate hits 30%), families were homeless, lots of children were trying to sleep with empty stomachs. It was a time before unemployment benefits, welfare (Roosevelt would introduce that), child services, shelters (the few church missions had long been swamped by then), any of that... when you hit hard times, you were on your own. Popeye being rich and impulsively seeing to it that poor families had good food to keep them was as much a wish fulfilment as any super-hero slugging a Nazi spy. And more satisfying.