Elzie Segar drew Thimble Theater for ten years before he introduced a minor character called Popeye. The reader reaction was so intense that Segar had to scramble to make Popeye a regular character in the strip, where he soon became the star.
This original Popeye comic strip came out in 1938, the year Segar died. After Segar's death, the strip was continued by Bud Sagendorf and various assistants. Hy Eisman currently draws the Popeye comic strip.