Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Al Capp Photos 1946-71

Some rarely seen press photos from the life and career of Al Capp.

July 14, 1946: HOME FROM EUROPE - Al Capp, creator of "Li'l Abner," and Mrs. Al Capp return home after a trip to England and France. Capp said he let the country to escape good-natured reader wrath when he refused to draw the face of Lena the Hyena from Lower Slobbovia, the ugliest woman in the world. Capp was overseas seeking background for new adventures for his comic cartoon family, the Yokums.

You can see some of the brush strokes around Capp to pop him away from the background. Close up of photo:

April 29, 1948: GETS CARTOONISTS' 'OSCAR' -- Al Capp, creator of Li'l Abner," which appears daily in the Daily News, receives the Billy deBeck Memorial Award from Mrs. Billy deBeck, widow of the creator of Barney Google. Capp was given the award in New York by the National Cartoonists Society for outstanding work during 1947.

November 20, 1950: Members of the [Chicago] Daily News Keen Teen Press Club interviewed the creator of Li'l Abner at the Blackstone hotel Saturday and learned hos his famous characters came to be. "Who inspired you to create Daisy Mae?"

"Actually, it takes constant research," said Capp, smiling at all the girls. She's sort of an ideal girl,." They smiled.

I was curious what the Chicago Daily News Keen Teen Press Club looked like and I found the below photo dated Feb 29, 1952, the 6th anniversary of the Press Club. This explains Capp's smile. The fellow in the middle is dancing star Gene Nelson. Second from left is Val Lauder, the Daily News Keen Teen editor. The Keen Teen Press Club can be read on the comics page.

1953: Al Capp reads fan mail:


September 29, 1959: WASHINGTON: The Advertising Club of Washington honored United Features cartoonist Al Capp on his 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his "Li'l Abner" comic strip here on September 29. Here, Lawrence Rutman (right), Vice President of United Features Syndicate, presents a citation to Capp - one of several awards he received for public service.

November 20, 1964: Distinguished citizens receive citations from four of the nation's top cartoonists at Immigrants' Service League dinner meeting. The cartoonists (from left) are Al Capp, Allen Saunders, Milton Caniff and Chester Gould. Those honored are (from right) Mrs. Alfred T. Abeles, Ignacia Torres, Lee C. Teng, Samule Levine, Ali Bulent Cambel, Hilda Rubin, Parla and Louis Lukanic, and Judge Samuel B. Epstein. (Photo by Edmund Jarecki.)



Brian Fies said...

Nice comics history. As an one-time newspaper guy, I'm pretty sure that first picture was doctored to turn it into a solo headshot of Capp, minus background and wife (see how they also painted him a fake suit to cover her arm?).

I have very mixed feelings about Capp. "Li'l Abner" is one of the greats but (realizing the man isn't around to defend himself) the more I hear about him the more reprehensible a human being he seems. Goldie Hawn tells an awful story about him nearly driving her out of show business at the beginning of her career with his arrogance and lechery. Capp's reputation really taints his legacy, I think.

Paul Giambarba said...

Brian -- I knew him. He was a bad guy. He finally got busted by the Cambridge (MA) police department for obscene calls to phone numbers he had to the Radcliffe college dorm.