Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Elzie Crisler Segar  

Pen Name: E.C. Segar

Genre: C:ADULT C:CHILD C:YA Fiction Illustrator

Born: 1894 in Chester, Illinois

Sites:


Illinois Connection

Segar was born in Chester and also lived in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Elzie Crisler Segar worked as a drummer and film projectionist at a local theater while taking a correspondence course in cartooning. He eventually moved to Chicago, and was hired by the Chicago Herald, which in March 1916 published Segar's first (but short-lived) comic strip, Charlie Chaplin's Comedy Capers. After media mogul William Randolph Hearst bought and closed the Herald, Segar was sent to King Feature Syndicate in New York City, where he created Thimble Theatre, a strip starring a coy flapper named Olive Oyl, her fiance Harold Hamgravy and various members of the Oyl family. It would be another 10 years before the now-legendary Popeye would appear, initially only as a supporting character for one storyline. However, when the sailor bowed out on June 27, 1929, reader complaints poured in; a few weeks later, Popeye was back for good.


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