Li'l Abner, Al Capp 1968

Alfred Gerald Caplin, known as Al Capp, inherited his talent from his father, who used to draw comics for his family's entertainment. After attending several art schools, Capp found himself a job at age nineteen, with the Associated Press, doing a strip called 'Col. Gilfeather'. He moved to New York, leaving his strip to a young Milton Caniff, and began ghosting 'Joe Palooka' by Ham Fisher.

Colonel Gilfeather, by Al Capp

At the age of 26, Al Capp presented his own strip, 'Li'l Abner', to the syndicates, and it became a great success. In 1935, he also began a 'Li'l Abner' Sunday page, which was accompanied by the "topper" 'Washable Jones', a fairytale comic. Capp also wrote the first episodes of Raeburn Van Bueren's 'Abie an' Slats'. Al Capp went on to head Capp Enterprises in Boston, and established a Disneyland-like amusement park called Dogpatch. He became a humorous writer and critic. He continued 'Li'l Abner' until 1977, and died two years later.

Al Capp
photo © 1966 The Newspaper Enterprise Association

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