American cartoonist (1909-1979). Born Alfred Gerald Caplin in New Haven, Connecticut. He lost his leg in a trolley accident when he was just nine years old. He was encouraged to develop his cartooning skills by his artistically-minded father, and at age 19, he became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in America, drawing a comic called "Colonel Gilfeather" for the Associated Press. He soon left AP and started ghost-writing the popular "Joe Palooka", but he disliked working for creator Ham Fisher, so in 1934, Capp took an idea for a strip about hillbillies to the United Features Syndicate, creating "Li'l Abner"--what would eventually become the most popular comic strip in the nation, if not the greatest strip in history...

"Li'l Abner" started out in only eight newspapers, but the dirt-poor residents of Dogpatch were just what readers in the Depression were interested in; within three years, "Li'l Abner" was being read by over 15 million people, and just a few short years after that, readership passed 60 million! Capp was also one of the few comic creators of the time to own all the copyrights, trademarks, and merchandise rights to his strip--most strips were owned by syndicates or newspapers.

The popularity of "Li'l Abner" has never been surpassed. In 1937, when Capp introduced the Sadie Hawkins Day race--where any girl who could catch a boy was allowed to marry him--the strip inspired girls-asks-boys dances called Sadie Hawkins Day dances that persist to this day. When the strapping but dim-witted Abner finally married the luscious Daisy Mae in 1952, the event made front page news all over the country. The cast of the strip inspired a Broadway musical in 1957 and two different movies. People loved the hell out of this strip and all its characters, from Abner and Daisy Mae, to the ass-kicking Mammy Yoakum and lazy Pappy Yoakum, to the unlucky and cloud-shadowed Joe Bfstplk and double-whammy dealing Evil Eye Fleegle, to the bullet-riddled and inept detective Fearless Fosdick, to Lonesome Polecat and Hairless Joe, who brewed Kickapoo Joy Juice deep in their cave.

Capp retired from the strip in 1977 and died two years later. Though his original "Li'l Abner" strips are surprisingly hard to find these days outside of the Web, those who remember them still consider them to be among the best examples of Comic Strip Art...

All info taken from www.al-capp.com

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