See All Topics

Home / Section: Comic history

Li’l Abner loomed large in cartoon world

The Daily Review has a story about the success and impact of Li’l Abner by Al Capp.

Last Saturday was Sadie Hawkins Day, created by Capp as a role-switching race in which females become the aggressors in the dating game (something unheard of at the time) and which launched a once-a-year series of girl-asks-boy dances all over the U.S. every November.

I can’t recall any other comic strip ever launching a nationwide “day.”

WHEN HE was 9 years old, Al Capp tried to hitch a ride on a trolley car, slipped beneath the wheels and lost a leg. Restricted in his ability to compete in sports, he turned to drawing as a pursuit and became so good at it that 10 years later, at the age of 19, he became the youngest syndicated cartoonist in America.

“Li’l Abner” ended up in newspapers with a circulation exceeding 60 million readers, and in addition to Sadie Hawkins Day launched such best-selling toy icons as the Shmoo and the Kigmy. The strip was so popular that when Li’l Abner finally married Daisy Mae, the wedding made the cover of Life magazine.

Community Comments

#1 PATRICIA FITZPATRICK
June/2/2008
@ 10:47 pm

TODAY I THOUGHT ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY IN AL CAPP’S LIL ABNER CARTOONS. THE GUY ALWAYS HAD A BLACK CLOUD OVER HIS HEAD WHEREVER HE WENT. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CANNOT RECALL HIS NAME, AND EVEN ASKED AROUND TO OTHER OLD-TIMERS. CAN YOU HELP? I THINK HE HAD A DOUBLE NAME. THANKS FOR ANY INFORMATION YOU CAN SUPPLY—IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY.

YOURS TRULY,
PATRICIA FITZPATRICK
ANGELFITZ@AOL.COM

#2 PATRICIA FITZPATRICK
June/2/2008
@ 4:47 pm

TODAY I THOUGHT ABOUT THE LITTLE GUY IN AL CAPP’S LIL ABNER CARTOONS. THE GUY ALWAYS HAD A BLACK CLOUD OVER HIS HEAD WHEREVER HE WENT. FOR THE LIFE OF ME, I CANNOT RECALL HIS NAME, AND EVEN ASKED AROUND TO OTHER OLD-TIMERS. CAN YOU HELP? I THINK HE HAD A DOUBLE NAME. THANKS FOR ANY INFORMATION YOU CAN SUPPLY—IT’S DRIVING ME CRAZY.

YOURS TRULY,
PATRICIA FITZPATRICK
ANGELFITZ@AOL.COM

#3 Dawn Douglass
June/2/2008
@ 11:13 pm

Joe Ptfsplk – he was a jinx.

#4 Dawn Douglass
June/2/2008
@ 5:13 pm

Joe Ptfsplk – he was a jinx.

#5 June Voorheis
December/8/2008
@ 10:36 pm

How do you pronounce Btfsplk as in Joe Btfsplk from the Li’l Abner cartoons?

#6 June Voorheis
December/8/2008
@ 4:36 pm

How do you pronounce Btfsplk as in Joe Btfsplk from the Li’l Abner cartoons?

#7 timberland shoes
January/29/2016
@ 6:54 pm

That is a really good tip especially to those fresh to the blogosphere. Simple but very accurate information? Appreciate your sharing this one. A must read article!

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.