In 1912 at the age of 18, the yet-to-be-known E.C. Segar signed up for a cartooning correspondence course under a man named W.L. Evans out of Cleveland, Ohio. He would later come to credit Evans as a true mentor, and the lessons he learned in this course as the key to his success in creating Popeye.
“The Jungle Song” pictured above is one of Segar’s assignments from way back then. When enlarged, you can see comments to Segar from Evans including “you have the humorous spirit all right”
In June of 1935, Segar gives a nod to W.L. Evans in a Sappo strip in which the character has recently taken a correspondence course to become a cartoonist. Take a closer look at the first panel and you’ll see the initials “W.L.E.” on Sappo’s diploma.