Li’l Abner featured in Throwback Thursday – Comics Edition in the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

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Al Capp 1950 Elliot, Bence and Al with merchandise

Al Capp (right) cradles a shmoo doll as he shows his brothers Elliot (left) and Jerry “Bence” some of the mountain of merchandise from his comic strip “Li’l Abner” in 1950. Credit: Journal Sentinel files

Article by Chris Foran of the Journal Sentinel:

It’s hard to overstate how big a deal in pop culture “Li’l Abner” was in its day.

At its peak, the comic strip by Al Capp was published in more than 900 newspapers in North America, with more than 70 million readers. The strip sparked merchandising juggernauts, TV shows, movies, a Tony-winning Broadway musical and even a theme park.

It also made Capp a cultural figure in his own right — at least until his personal behavior led to a downfall.

As Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen relate in their terrific biography “Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary,” Capp was working as an assistant on the comic strip “Joe Palooka” in 1933 when he introduced a backwoods brawler named Big Leviticus — a character who became the basis for some of his creations in “Li’l Abner.”

Set in the rural enclave of Dogpatch, Ky., “Li’l Abner” centered on the world swirling around the title character, an oafish, clueless soul with big ideas and a bigger physique.

Capp used Dogpatch as a cornpone canvas, first as broad satire but eventually as creative commentary on the American scene, lampooning everything from rival comic strips to pop stars.

In addition to Li’l Abner, there was his persistent suitor, Daisy Mae (think Daisy Duke before there was a Daisy Duke); Mammy and Pappy Yokum, Abner’s parents; and a slew of supporting characters, including Joe Btfsplk, a jinxed guy with a black cloud over his head, and Sadie Hawkins, a girl so homely her father staged a footrace in which the unmarried women of Dogpatch pursued the hamlet’s bachelors. (The high school dance in which girls ask the guys was inspired by Capp’s creation.)

The strip began in six newspapers on Aug. 13, 1934. The Journal jumped in early, adding it to the Green Sheet in Sept. 10 of that year.

“Li’l Abner” quickly became a cultural obsession. One character — the “shmoo,” a white blob with a cuddly disposition that could provide all sorts of foodstuffs with ease — was so popular that merchandise in its first year generated more than $25 million in sales (about $245 million in 2016 dollars).

… Read more HERE!

Andover, Hebron and Marlborough (AHM) Presents “Li’l Abner”

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Coverage from Melanie Savage at the Hartford Courant:

Li’l Abner, this year’s AHM Summer Youth Theater production, may not be one of the better-known musicals, but it is certainly pertinent to today’s political climate.

“I can think of no play more appropriate than this show for this year,” said Director Mary Rose Meade.

The show is a political farce, based upon the Al Capp comic strip that ran in newspapers from 1934 until 1977. Written in 1956, Li’l Abner “offers a chance to laugh at human nature, both in and out of the government realm,” according to an AHM press release.

“It seems like our political situation is a runaway train,” said Meade.

Hearing what is said in the show about 1950s politics, reminds one that not much has changed in more than 60 years.

“It’s both scary and reassuring,” joked Meade.

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For more, click HERE! 

Strip of the Week: “Beware of Scraggs Bearing Photographs!”

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Happy Wednesday and welcome back to another edition of strip of the week! This week click below and discover some words of caution: “Beware of Scraggs Bearing Photographs!”

lilabner18 beware of scraggs bearing photographs

Strip of the Week: “Which Boy?”

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Welcome back Li’l Abner fans! We’ve got a fresh new strip of the week for you today; click below to check out “Which Boy?”

lilabner17 which boy

Strip Of the Week: “Corsets Make the Woman!”

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Your weekly dose of hilarity is here! This we have “Corsets Make the Woman!” as our strip! Click below for a high-resolution version of more Li’l Abner fun!lilabner16 corsets

Strip of the Week: “Why is Salomey A-Tappin?”

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lilabner15 whyissalomeyWe’re back with anothe strip of the week! Click below to check out “Why is Salomey A-Tappin?”

Strip of the Week: “Virtue Triumphs!!”

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We know you’ve been waiting to see what this week’s strip of the week brings, but have no fear! We’re back with “Virtue Triumphs!!” Click below to check it out!lilabner14 virtue triumphs

Strip of the Week: “A Po’k Chop of a Different Color!”

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Welcome back friends! We’ve got a fresh new strip for you today! Click below for a high-resolution version of “A Po’k Chop of a Different Color!”lilabner13 apokchop

Strip of the Week: “McSwine Plots Again”

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Welcome back to the latest edition of Strip of the Week! This week have a look at the hijinks ensuing in our latest strip, “McSwine Plots Again”!lilabner 12 McSwine Plots Again

Strip of the Week: “What Do it Say?”

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Need your weekly fix of Li’l Abner adventures? Have no fear, Strip of the Week is here again! Click below to check out our newest addition, “What Do It Say?”

lilabner11 whatdoitsay