This week we have a bit of sidebar from animation director Bob Jaques. He has noticed a dip in the quality of the Popeye promo art that I’ve posted recently and has reason to believe the earlier work may not have been Hal Seeger’s at all.
“I think the early years were drawn by established Popeye animators (Kneitel possibly) and following that, by Hal Seeger and others I can’t ID.
I found a signed Seeger drawing on my HD that I pulled off of ebay years ago. (bid on it but lost)
The highlight on the cheek is the big giveaway. It looks like he started drawing the ads around 1936.
Take a look and see what you think…”
Bob knows more about the animated Popeye than anyone else alive, so it’d be best to trust him on this subject. I admit that I could be wrong in my ID, as I thought the lettering looked like Seeger’s. Bob says the lettering was probably a house style that all the artists had to mimic, as it’s the same lettering that appeared in the promotional cards mailed to fans in the early ’30s.
What do you think, readers?
Here are a few samples of what cartoon shorts the Paramount salesmen were pushing to theaters at the time these promotional pieces appeared in print.
HOUSE CLEANING BLUES (January 15th 1937)
ORGAN GRINDER’S SWING (February 19th 1937)