Press: Mr. Dogpatch

Al Capp, 1909-79

Their names were enough to make most Americans guffaw: Moonbeam McSwine, Fearless Fosdick, Lonesome Polecat, Joe Btfsplk (pronounced Btfsplk). For 43 years they frolicked across the funny pages lampooning the foibles of the high and mighty and mouthing the pungent politics of their raspy-voiced creator, Al Capp. He called his hillbilly vaudeville Li'l Abner, and it made him a wealthy man, though not an especially happy one. Racked by emphysema and distressed by the social changes he saw around him, Capp abruptly retired in 1977. He took up a reclusive life in Cambridge, Mass., where he died last week...

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