Sunday, March 02, 2014

Number 1534: The monster sets her Capp for Li'l Abner

It’s been a generation since Li’l Abner disappeared from newspapers. It was 1977 when creator/writer/artist Al Capp, sick with emphysema from a lifetime of smoking, shut down the strip. It, like Capp, had been in decline for some time. Capp died two years later, in 1979.

The strip was one of the most popular comic strips during the period of the thirties through at least the mid-sixties. It even influenced popular culture. Sadie Hawkins' Day, which is the subject of today’s post, became an annual event at some colleges and high schools. Up until 1952 Li’l Abner avoided being caught by Daisy Mae.

As biographical information about Capp shows, he had a troubled life and probably had personality disorders which caused him to be a total jerk at times,and then a generous, funny and friendly person at others. Maybe sitting at a drawing board for over 40 years, putting out sharp and oftentimes savage satire — Capp was a conservative when he died, but as a former liberal he still had a stinging view of the rich — will do that to a guy. Speaking of savage, the little character in this story who straps dynamite to his chest is a lot closer to today’s world than that of Li’l Abner.

I have shown this before, several years ago. These are new scans. From Al Capp’s Li'l Abner #74 (1950):

Cartoonist Mel Lazarus (Miss Peach, Momma was an editor at Toby Press, which published this comic. The company was founded in 1949 by Capp’s brother, Elliott Caplin. This page of gag cartoons by Lazarus is from the inside front cover of the issue.
More Li’l Abner is available at the Hairy Green Eyeball blog, including Li’l Abner Sundays from 1960 and reprint strips of Li’l Abner that appeared in newspaper in 1988 and 1989: Part 1 and Part 2.


Alicia American said...

Spozedly theirs a Nixon recordering of him dixcussing wether he can intarveen & save Al Crapp frm a sex scandel that Crapp got hisself involved in LOL. John Lennon named him AL CRAPP aftr Al went 2 a John & Yoko bed-in & sed racist things about Yoko like she waznt sitting rite their. My advise, Pappity, is 2 just make frends with cartunes but stay awhey frm cartunists LOL LOL No cartunists will reed this post, rite? TYSM Pappy! XOXOXOXO ♥

Pappy said...

Alicia, Capp did a nasty when he groped a co-ed or two and got himself in trouble with the law. He was a bit of a sex fiend, you know, like all of us men! :-)

I remember some old show from about 1970 where he was in on some discussion with the band, Mountain, and claimed "I invented all you people 25 years ago." Big Leslie West, lead guitarist and vocalist, was ready to deck Capp, one leg or not.

You can see Leslie West and Felix Pappalardi of Mountain and their biggest hit, "Mississippi Queen", live in 1970, on this YouTubular video:

Pappy said...

Oops, Alicia, cartoonists abound on this site, and I'm sure they have put their cartoony eyeballs on you.

rnigma said...

And of course, Capp parodied Joan Baez as "Joanie Phoanie," claiming that she lived a life of luxury while singing for the less fortunate.

He had documented his ill-treatment at the hands of Ham Fisher while assisting him on "Joe Palooka," yet he got very testy when his former assistant Frank Frazetta found success as a fantasy artist.