Drawn by Al Capp
, one of the longest running and most popular American comic strips
The strip centered on the character of the same name, and his adventures in Dogpatch, a stereotypical Appalachian town populated by no-account hillbilly yokels. Its true subject matter was human nature and social commentary!
Satire and wit were rife in the strip, but there was plenty of slapstick as well. The result was a broad popularity that led to the strip being syndicated at its height to over 400 papers with a combined circulation of some sixty million.
Impacts on popular culture included an Arkansas theme park, a 1950s Broadway musical, a 1990s TV cartoon, and ongoing Sadie Hawkins Day dances (where the girls ask the boys). The original Smilin Zack was a character from the strip.
The strips can still be seen at http://www.unitedmedia.com/comics/lilabner/
Sources: personal and family recollections, http://www.lil-abner.com/