The Southern Illinoisan reports that to honor the 75th birthday of world famous cartoon character Popeye, the famous tower lights of the Empire State Buidling will turn green this weekend. “We’re kicking off a yearlong celebration in honor of our favorite sailor man, ” said Claudia Smith, director of advertising and public relations for King Features Syndicate, Inc., based in New York City. “The Empire State Building’s famous tower lights will be going green– spinach green — from sundown the 16th until the 18th.”

Popeye first appeared in ink January 17, 1929, in the Thimble Theatre comic strip created by Chester native Elzie Segar. Though originally a minor character , Popeye became a fan favorite. He leaped to the silver screen in a 1933 Betty Boop cartoon produced by Max Fleischer’s legendary Fleischer Studios entitled Popeye the Sailor. Popeye fans will be glad to know that work is underway to restore the old films and talks are ongoing between WB and King to reach an agreement so the Fleischer cartoons can be released on video and DVD. Also a 3-D cartoon is scheduled to be released in late 2004