Number 2207: Frank Frazetta and the imitation li’l Abner
Looie Lazybones was a character based on Al Capp’s “Li’l Abner” comic strip. In this entry, from 1949, a fan of Capp’s creation can see the similarities between the two. After all, “Li’l Abner” may have been the most popular comic strip in America at the time, or at least the one with the most cultural impact, and also remunerative. Every cartoonist would be lusting after Capp’s success. According to Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary by Denis Kitchen and Michael Schumacher, Capp wanted to hire Frazetta: “When Capp decided to hire another assistant in 1954, he had one particular artist in mind. Some years earlier, Frank Frazetta was doing his own hillbilly comic, ‘Looie Lazybones,’ which owed much to “Li’l Abner” . . . Capp concluded that Frazetta was not only very talented; he was also capable of mimicking a wide range of styles.”
The artwork in the Frazetta “Looie Lazybones” strip doesn’t rise to the level of plagiarism, but the story could star Li’l Abner and Daisy Mae; it reads like a sequence from “Li’l Abner.”
From Thrilling Comics #71 (1949).
Here is an example of the work Frazetta did for Capp. Just click on the thumbnail.