Paper Trail

1971 The Best Of L’il Abner by Al Capp
1971 The Best Of L’il Abner by Al Capp Li'l Abner is a satirical American comic strip that appeared in many newspapers in the United States, Canada and Europe, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished town of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Written and drawn by Al Capp (1909–1979), the strip ran for 43 years, from August 13, 1934 through November 13, 1977. It was distributed by United Feature Syndicate. Read daily by scores of millions of people, the strip's characters and humor had a powerful cultural impact.
Fans of the strip ranged from novelist John Steinbeck, who called Capp "very possibly the best writer in the world today" in 1953, and even earnestly recommended him for the Nobel Prize in literature — to media critic and theorist Marshall McLuhan, who considered Capp "the only robust satirical force in American life." John Updike, calling Li'l Abner a "hillbilly Candide," added that the strip's "richness of social and philosophical commentary approached the Voltairean."Capp has been compared, at various times, to Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jonathan Swift, Lawrence Sterne, and Rabelais.Journalism Quarterly and Time have both called him "the Mark Twain of cartoonists." Charlie Chaplin, William F. Buckley, Al Hirschfeld, Harpo Marx, Russ Meyer, John Kenneth Galbraith, Ralph Bakshi, Shel Silverstein, Hugh Downs, Gene Shalit, Frank Cho, Daniel Clowes and (reportedly) even Queen Elizabeth have confessed to being fans of Li'l Abner.
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January 21, 2018
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