Li’l Abner: Dailies

On Monday, August 13, 1934, eight newspapers commenced printing an obscure comic strip by an equally obscure cartoonist about a family of poor hillbillies living in Kentucky. Before the cartoonist retired with his creation 43 later, Al Capp’s Li’l Abner had become internationally famous, syndicated in over 900 newspapers worldwide and avidly followed by millions. Over the years, Capp and Li’L Abner were twin centers of both outrage and delight. Capp’s trenchant outlook and sharp wit found voice in his comic strip and he seldom lacked an opinion about any facet of the national scene. John Steinbeck called him the greatest satirist since Laurence Sterne and recommended that he be considered for a Nobel Prize in literature. Others recommended that Capp be boiled in oil. Through all of it, Capp remained true to his personal vision of what Li’l Abner should be, and in the process, made it the greatest comic strip of all time. In the 1943 run of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner, Madame Lazonga taught Daisy Mae how to woo, and Abner came perilously close to the fate he dreaded most. Sir Cecil Cesspool – “he’s deep, he has a certain air about him” – visited the colonies, and brought a monster with him. And Patricia Hallroom, the girl with the hottest lips in the world made Sadie Hawkins Day even more dangerous than usual. There’s much more in this ninth volume of Al Capp’s Li’l Abner.

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