The Press: No Vent

Reader Terrence O'Toole of Moorhead, Minn, was troubled. Why had Al Capp's comic strip, Li'l Abner, been missing from the Minneapolis Sunday Tribune for four weeks in a row? Wrote Reader O'Toole: "Censorship? Slow mail service? Forget to pay the syndicate?"

The missing Capp sequence concerned one Happy Vermin, the self-described "world's smartest cartoonist," who had hired Li'l Abner to draw Vermin's comic strip in a dimly lighted closet. Instead of using Vermin's tired characters, Li'l Abner had inventively peopled the strip with hillbillies. Cried bighearted Vermin to his slaving assistant: "I'm proud of having created these [hillbilly] characters!! They'll make millions...

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