Longtime collector and enthusiast Gary Greenberg has sold his incredible Popeye collection to Steve Geppi, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond International Galleries.

Greenberg said that he is happy that the collection was going to a good home and that portions of it would be on display at the Gallery for visitors to see.

"I'm really honored that Gary would entrust this collection to us," Geppi said. "To see the breadth, depth and quality of what he's assembled is breathtaking."

Geppi, who was already a serious Popeye collector himself, said that some of the items would be prominently displayed at Diamond International Galleries, while others would be seen at an upcoming museum exhibition in Baltimore in 2006. Others, particular items that are duplicates from his personal collection, may be offered through Hake's Americana & Collectibles in the future.

Born in 1955, Greenberg said he always gravitated to Popeye.

"He's human. He's not a cat or a mouse or a duck. He's not a different type of image in our minds," he said. "He's a guy that just won't give up, that you just can't kill."

Starting out with the TV cartoon version when he was a child, Greenberg said he also saw the 1930s cartoons interspersed with the then-current version. This helped him get a feel from the start that there were different eras of the character, but that he was basically the same relatively timeless creation.

With training in illustration and as he progressed in his career in advertising, Greenberg began collecting, and he said he was fortunate to start at the top. He began his efforts with what were some of the more expensive items instead of at the opposite end of the spectrum.

"I basically started from the top down," he said, pointing out that his art training informed his decision making as he bought simply what he found visually striking.

He quickly developed a reputation of collecting only the best and formed lasting relationships with dealers and other collectors as he assembled his one-of-kind collection.

Greenberg attributes the lasting appeal of Popeye to the "David versus Goliath" spirit of rooting for the underdog to triumph over evil. We'll all get a chance to see if he's right as Popeye's Voyage:The Quest for Pappy, a brand new animated special, airs tonight, December 17, 2005, on Fox TV.