Cactus Gallery LA
ALICE THE GOON by artist Joe Alvarez
Acrylic on repurpose wood, 16” x 12”
Alice the Goon is a character in the Popeye cartoon series. She worked as a guard for the Sea Hag, a vicious pirate and the last sorceress on Earth. Alice is portrayed as a bald, 8 foot tall Amazonian giantess with a large nose, no visible mouth, and extremely hairy forearms and legs.
Popeye meets Alice during a fight when Popeye threatens to her off a cliff. Her child appears and shouts, "Mama!" Realizing that he is fighting a woman, which goes against his principles, Popeye releases Alice and discovers that she became the Sea Hag's slave only because the Hag had threatened her baby. Alice is the leader of a race of goons enslaved by the Sea Hag; Popeye and Alice lead them in a successful Spartacus-like slave rebellion. After being liberated from the Sea Hag, Alice comes to live with Olive Oyl and becomes a nursemaid to baby Swee'Pea.
At the time, Alice caused controversy with protective mothers, who claimed that her frightening appearance alarmed their children. Alice was therefore toned down to become a gentler and more motherly apparition donning a skirt and flowered hat.