Original artwork for Li'l Abner comic strip, June 25, 1936, inscribed to Ed Dodd

N.p. N.p., 1936. Original four-panel artwork by Al Capp, dated June 25, 1936, of his seminal comic strip Li'l Abner. INSCRIBED to fellow cartoonist Ed Dodd in holograph ink on bottom margin: "To Ed Dodd / with good wishes / Al Capp." Holograph notation in pencil along top margin: "4. It'll Do - Plenty!" and "6-25" in blue holograph pencil under first panel. A tremendous association between two of the most beloved and prolific comic strip artists of the twentieth century.

An early strip by Capp, this features Hattie Haggle,"richest woman in New York," having her nurse randomly picking a county directory to find someone to spitefully give her money away to. It is, of course, Dogpatch County, Kentucky, home of Li'l Abner.

Alfred Gerald Caplin (Al Capp) was born in New Haven, Connecticut, where, at the age of nine, he was struck by a trolley car, requiring his left leg be amputated. He'd been in a coma and awoke to discover his leg removed. "I was indignant as hell about that leg," he'd say years later. Capp's notably dark, sardonic humor, as compared to his contemporaries, was likely, largely influenced by the young tragedy.

Having never received a high school diploma, Capp attended three art schools, only to be thrown out of each one for inability to pay the tuition - the Boston Museum School of Fine Arts, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Designers Art School in Boston. In 1932 he moved to Greenwich Village and worked turning out advertising scripts. A year later he was working on his first single panel "Colonel Gilfeather."

In 1933 and 1934 Capp worked for Ham Fisher as a ghost artist on "Joe Palooka." It was during this period he worked at night on samples for a strip based on mountain-dwellers he met hitchhiking through West Virginia and Cumberland Valley as a teen. This was the birth of one of the most popular and original strips of the twentieth century about the life of Li'l Abner Yokem, an innocent hayseed, living with his family in the backwater hamlet of Dogpatch, Kentucky. Outrageous, ironic and full of black humor and biting social commentary, "Li'l Abdner" went on to run for 43 years (1934-1977) and had 60 to 70 million readers in over 900 American newspapers and 100 foreign papers in 28 countries.

Capp said he found the right look for Li'l Abner in Henry Fonda's portrayal of Dave Tolliver in Henry Hathaway's 1936 film "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine." Capp also credits himself with the invention of the mini-skirt, which he drew on the "Li'l Abner" character Daisy Mae in 1934.

Edward Benton "Ed" Dodd, hailed from Lafayette, Georgia, and spent most of his life in Georgia. As a teen he went to work for Dan Beard, founder of the Boy Scouts of America. He continued to work for Beard at his camp in Pennsylvania for 13 summers. Beard tutored Dodd in writing and illustration and it was here Dodd developed his enthusiasm for conservation and ecology. He studied at Georgia Tech and the Art Students League of New York before purchasing a ranch in Wyoming in 1926. While working as a mule pack guide guide in Yellowstone National Park he began "Back Home Again," a single-panel cartoon featuring a hillbilly family from Georgia which ran until 1945.

Dodd launched his iconic environmental and ecological daily strip "Mark Trail" in 1946, adding the more educational Sunday page in 1948. Written by Dodd, drawn by artist and naturalist, Tom Hill, "Mark Trail" was an extremely early champion of wildlife conservation and environmental causes. By the 1960's the strip was distributed to about 500 newspapers through North America and loved by tens of thousands. Dodd continued the series until Hill's death in 1978, after which it was continued by assistant, Jack Elrod. Dodd, a widely respected conservationist, was also the author of several books on conservation, camping, hunting, National Parks and animals.

Strip cut into two sections, framed as it was hung in Dodd's home. 11.25 x 13.75 inches, Very Good plus, pinholes on upper corners, unexamined out of frame. Frame measures 12.25 x 14.5 inches, Very Good plus.


[Book #146031]

Price: $3,500.00