Al Capp

Al Capp

A Life to the Contrary

Book - 2013
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More than thirty years have passed since Al Capp's death, and he may no longer be a household name. But at the height of his career, his groundbreaking comic strip, Li'l Abner , reached ninety million readers. The strip ran for forty-three years, spawned two movies and a Broadway musical, and originated such expressions as "hogwash" and "double-whammy." Capp himself was a familiar personality on TV and radio; as a satirist, he was frequently compared to Mark Twain.

Though Li'l Abner brought millions joy, the man behind the strip was a complicated and often unpleasant person. A childhood accident cost him a leg-leading him to art as a means of distinguishing himself. His apprenticeship with Ham Fisher, creator of Joe Palooka , started a twenty-year feud that ended in Fisher's suicide. Capp enjoyed outsized publicity for a cartoonist, but his status abetted sexual misconduct and protected him from the severest repercussions. Late in life, his politics became extremely conservative; he counted Richard Nixon as a friend, and his gift for satire was redirected at targets like John Lennon, Joan Baez, and anti-war protesters on campuses across the country.

With unprecedented access to Capp's archives and a wealth of new material, Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen have written a probing biography. Capp's story is one of incredible highs and lows, of popularity and villainy, of success and failure-told here with authority and heart.

Publisher: New York : Bloomsbury, 2013.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9781608196234
1608196232
Characteristics: x, 305 p., [24] p. of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Kitchen, Denis 1946-

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