Jeep - A small, yellow, dog-sized creature with a bulbous
nose, and a long tail that bounced about in a series of animated POPEYE
cartoons. The Jeep (a.k.a. "Eugene") was the pet of baby Swee' Pea,
the adopted son of Popeye the Sailor.
In the original 1936 comic strip, Eugene
the Jeep was mailed in a box to Olive Oyl by her
famous explorer Uncle Ben Oyl while on expedition in Africa. Eugene the Jeep
comes from Jeep Island and has magical powers like the ability to foretell the future,
walk through walls, walk on ceilings, and appear out of nowhere.
When it came to dinnertime, the Jeep favored munching on five dollar orchids.
When it spoke, the Jeep uttered a sound the same as its name.
Thimble Theater Comics, 1936.
Scene from "Eugene, the Jeep" cartoon
Thimble Theater Comics, 1936
"A Jeep is an animal living in a three dimensional
world-in this case our world- but really belonging to a fourth dimensional
world. Here's what happened. A number of Jeep life cells were somehow forced
through the dimensional barrier into our world. They combined at a favorable
time with free life cells of the African Hooey Hound. The electrical vibrations
of the Hooey Hound cell and the foreign cell were the same. They were kindred
cells. In fact, all things are to some extent are relative, whether they be of
this or some other world, now you see. The extremely favorable conditions of
germination in Africa caused a fusion of these life cells. So the uniting of
kindred cells caused a transmutation. The result, a mysterious strange animal."
-- Professor Brainstine explains the Jeep to Popeye
Created by Elzie Crisler Segar, Eugene the Jeep debuted in the Thimble
Theater comic strip section of the Sunday comics in 1936. Segar's most
popular cartoon creation was Popeye the Sailor.
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