Comic Strip, and Cultural History
Joe Palooka was a newspaper comic strip character created by Ham Fisher that appeared for the first time in April 1930 and lasted for over 50 years who was described by Fisher as “a big, good-natured prize fighter who didn't like to fight; a defender of little guys; a gentle knight.” and who was published for over 50 years.
During that time he became one of the most popular Comics characters of the time, so popular that when Fisher had him enlist in the Army (he flipped a coin to decide between the Army and the Navy) it’s said that enlistment went up so much that President Roosevelt sent thanks to both Fisher and Joe. Soon showing up in films, and on the radio, (he even has a limestone statue set Outside the Oolitic, Indiana City Hall Building!) Joe Palooka quickly made it into the new media of comic books, appearing as part of a number of different publications, as well as in his own book.
In 2011, the character was acquired by Joe Antonacci, a boxing and mixed martial arts announcer, who turned Palooka into a mixed martial arts fighter, with comics published by IDW.