Popeye cartoon strip aborted

NEW YORK (AP) - Popeye likes to say 'I am what I am', but when Olive Oyl tried to assert her independence in a veiled reference to abortion rights the artist who draws her got the boot, the Daily News reported yesterday. Bobby London, who draws the daily 'Popeye' comic strip for King Features, says the company told him last week he was being dismissed for submitting a sequence in which Olive asserts her right to choose. A spokeswoman for King Features, which syndicates the comic, refused to comment.

The syndicate sent a letter on Monday to the newspapers that carry 'Popeye', withdrawing the offending sequence and calling it 'inappropriate for the family-oriented 'Popeye' strip'.