Wednesday, June 14, 2017


This honestly looks like Abner stole her man.

Here's what I know about Al Capp: He had a wooden leg. He was a helluva cartoonist but Li'l Abner looked tremendously better when Frazetta was drawing it, as Capp's assistant. Nonetheless, Abner was a cultural phenomenon which took all media by storm. Col.Potter read the strip where Abner and Daisy Mae got married over the intercom during one episode of M*A*S*H. Um. He got super-rich but it made him less happy and more self-aggrandizing, he tried to force himself on Goldie Hawn and he hated the counter-culture with a red-hot passion. He was, in essence, the original Scott Adams. But with a wooden leg.

That last bit, the part where he hates the counter-culture with a burning passion? Well, that didn't only manifest itself in catcalling and kibbitzing John Lennon and Yoko Ono. It also showed up in this promotional comic for the Job Corps program, Li'l Abner and the Creatures from Drop-Outer Space. Get it, kids? They're drop-outs and they're like aliens because they're so weird, not wanting to have anything to do with the cultural system which allowed a grope-happy establishment crank to get rich by exploiting the historically oppressed economic and regional underclass of America's rural poor? God, how fucking weird. Kids are messed up.

Anyway, capitalizing on what he says is his own background as an uneducated juvenile delinquent and high school dropout, Capp (or someone) pens the story of Abner trying to turn around Danny Driftwood, a promising but idle young man. Daisy Mae expends her efforts on Sloppy-Belle, "who is unkempt, unemployed and undated" which is bullshit because she looks hotter than a Weber on fire in hell. If Capp's suggesting that he's picky when it comes to pulchritude, then he's got some explaining to do.

Well, bless your heart, ma'am.

Danny Driftwood's got it bad for a coiffed and coutured redhead named "Bouncy Belle," like some goddamn kind of Smurf, but he settles for Sloppy-Belle because, christ man, why wouldn't you? Also, these names were never near as clever as Capp thought they were.

Abner spends a decent amount of the opening pages slut-shaming Sloppy Belle and predicting dire circumstances for their future kids, which is jumping the gun.

Anyway, the book finally gets around to lauding the Job Corps, which is good because they're a pretty handy organization. Danny goes away, gets some skills, comes back as a technician of some sort and hooks up with Bouncy Belle whose high standards have apparently kept her dateless for the subsequent year. I don't have a problem with this, but fucking Capp burned Sloppy Belle by insinuating that no one would date her so who's the unlovable mess now, Capp?

Naturally, the Job Corps is set to straighten out Sloppy Belle, too. And look at the promising careers awaiting her!

I expect they've updated their allowances at this point ...


Tom said...

Didn't he draw a weird parody of Joan Baez or some specific folk singer into his strips too?

Calamity Jon said...

Yep, "Joanie Phoanie," exhibiting his tremendous wit.

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