AL CAPP |
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United States (USA) 1909 - 1979
Cartoonist Al Capp (1909-1979) created "Li'l Abner," regarded by many as the greatest comic strip of all time. He was born Alfred Gerald Caplin in New Haven, CT. At the age of nine he lost his left leg in a trolley accident. Encouraged by an artistic father, young Alfred developed his own cartooning skills. At 19, he became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in America, drawing "Colonel Gilfeather," a daily panel for Associated Press. But, bored with the staid and formulaic Gilfeather, Capp left AP and soon was ghosting the popular boxing strip "Joe Palooka" for Ham Fisher. But Capp found the working conditions in Fisher's studio intolerable.
In 1934 Capp struck out on his own. He took his hillbilly idea to United Features Syndicate (creating a lifelong public feud with Fisher) and "Li'l Abner was born. Abner was carried at first by only eight newspapers, but his hapless Dogpatchers hit a nerve in Depression-era America. Within three short years it climbed to 253 newspapers, reaching over 15,000,000 readers. Before long he was in hundreds more, with a circulation exceeding 60,000,000. At a time when syndicates owned the copyrights, trademarks and merchandise rights to comic ...
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