Popeye, by Bill Zaboly (1945)

Bill Zaboly was an American cartoonist, who is best known as one of the many artist who worked on the 'Thimble Theatre' comic strip, created originally by Elzie Segar. He was born Bela Zaboly in Cleveland as the son of a Hungarian born cabinet maker and his wife. Upon graduation, he began his career with Cleveland's NEA agency as an office boy and staff cartoonist. Also a painter, printmaker and illustrator, Zaboly exhibited his art in both Cleveland and Chicago in the early 1930s. During the 1930s, he had his own Sunday strip 'Otto Honk' until 1936, was an assistant to Roy Crane on 'Wash Tubbs', and continued Gene Ahern's 'Our Boarding House' between 1936 and 1938.

Popeye, by Bill Zaboly (1945)

By this time, he began signing with Bill Zaboly and became one of the main artists on the King Features newspaper strip 'Thimble Theatre', starring the sailor Popeye, in the period after Segar's death in 1938. Zaboly worked on the strip with writer Tom Sims, and later Ralph Stein, until Bud Sagendorf assumed control over it in 1959. Zaboly signed his 'Popeye' strips using the figure of a bee. He also worked on a Sunday character created by Segar, called 'Sappo'.

After his run on 'Thimble Theater', Zaboly returned to Cleveland, where he resumed his work for NEA and also worked as an art salesman for the Alan Junkins Studio.

Popeye, by Bill Zaboly

Last updated: 2014-02-02

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