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Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary

by

Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Al Capp created one of the most successful comic strips of all time in Li'l Abner. The high school dropout was a 'first-rate storyteller, comic strip artist, humorist,... occasional liar' who conned his way into art schools and saw Li'l Abner appear in print, on stage, and on the screen. The strip about the Kentucky hillbilly Yokum family was no lowbrow affair; Capp 'mined the literary world' of authors like Charles Dickens, and parodied pop culture to the extent of drawing threats of legal action from the likes of Margaret Mitchell and Joan Baez. Biographer Schumacher (Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg) relies on Capp's letters to friends and enemies, his unpublished autobiography, and numerous media accounts in presenting Capp's successful artistic and business acumen without idolizing, as well as his personal shortcomings without condemning. Cartoonist Kitchen This book offers an insider's perspective on the clannish but competitive world of comic strip and book artists. The combination provides an engrossing look into the life of an American luminary as well as the evolution of an art form. Photos, illus. Agent, David Black. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

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." As a satirist, Capp 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 was a known sexual predator. Late in life, his politics became extremely conservative; he counted Richard Nixon as a friend, and his gift for satire was redirected at anti-war protesters on campuses across the country.With unprecedented access to Capp's archives and a wealth of new material, Schumacher and 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.

About the Author

Denis Kitchen, an underground cartoonist, founded the pioneering Kitchen Sink Press and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. The Oddly Compelling Art of Denis Kitchen, a monograph of his art career, was published in 2009. He lives in western Massachusetts.

Michael Schumacher has written biographies of Allen Ginsberg, Eric Clapton, Phil Ochs, Francis Ford Coppola, George Mikan, and comics artist Will Eisner. His other recent books include Wreck of the Carl D. and Mighty Fitz. He lives in Wisconsin.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781608196234
Author:
Schumacher, Michael
Publisher:
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Author:
Kitchen, Denis
Subject:
Artists, Architects, Photographers
Subject:
Biography-Artists Architects and Photographers
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20130231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8p 4/c insert; 16p BandW insert; BandW a
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.125 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » Drawing
Arts and Entertainment » Humor » Cartoons » General
Biography » Artists, Architects, and Photographers
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » History and Criticism
Fiction and Poetry » Graphic Novels » Toon History

Al Capp: A Life to the Contrary New Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781608196234 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Al Capp created one of the most successful comic strips of all time in Li'l Abner. The high school dropout was a 'first-rate storyteller, comic strip artist, humorist,... occasional liar' who conned his way into art schools and saw Li'l Abner appear in print, on stage, and on the screen. The strip about the Kentucky hillbilly Yokum family was no lowbrow affair; Capp 'mined the literary world' of authors like Charles Dickens, and parodied pop culture to the extent of drawing threats of legal action from the likes of Margaret Mitchell and Joan Baez. Biographer Schumacher (Dharma Lion: A Critical Biography of Allen Ginsberg) relies on Capp's letters to friends and enemies, his unpublished autobiography, and numerous media accounts in presenting Capp's successful artistic and business acumen without idolizing, as well as his personal shortcomings without condemning. Cartoonist Kitchen This book offers an insider's perspective on the clannish but competitive world of comic strip and book artists. The combination provides an engrossing look into the life of an American luminary as well as the evolution of an art form. Photos, illus. Agent, David Black. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
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." As a satirist, Capp 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 was a known sexual predator. Late in life, his politics became extremely conservative; he counted Richard Nixon as a friend, and his gift for satire was redirected at anti-war protesters on campuses across the country.With unprecedented access to Capp's archives and a wealth of new material, Schumacher and 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.
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