Popeye the Sailor is famous for appearing in comic strips, animated films, numerous TV shows and a live-action 1980 film (directed by Robert Altman & starring Robin Williams). He was created by Elzie Crisler Segar and made his first appearance in the daily King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929.
Segar's Thimble Theatre strip was actually in its tenth year when Popeye made his debut, but the character quickly became the main focus of the strip and Thimble Theatre became one of King Features' most popular strips during the 1930s. Thimble Theatre continued after Segar's death in 1938 by several writers and artists, including Segar's assistant Bud Sagendorf. The strip, retitled Popeye, continues to appear in first-run installments in select Sunday papers, now written and drawn by Hy Eisman.
In 1933, Fleischer Studios adapted Popeye the Sailor into theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. The cartoons proved to be popular enough to continue production through 1957.
[The strip shown above is Popeye's 1st app. from 1929.]