Li’l Abner, Snuffy, and Friends

M. Thomas Inge

in Comics and the U.S. South

Published by University Press of Mississippi

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9781617030185
Published online March 2014 | e-ISBN: 9781621032212 | DOI:
Li’l Abner, Snuffy, and Friends

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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The first successful comic strip specifically set in the South was Joe Palooka, created by Alfred Gerald Caplin in 1933. Caplin, who later abbreviated his name to Al Capp, was a young artist from New Haven, Connecticut. A year later, he began his own strip, titled Li’l Abner, which gave him enormous fame and fortune. That same year, another important comic strip about the South was launched by Billy DeBeck of Chicago: Snuffy Smith. This chapter examines the ways in which the once enormously popular comic strips Li’l Abner and Snuffy Smith blended research, conjecture, and stereotype in their representations of Appalachian culture. It also considers how such representations helped shape the national audience’s imagination of the South.

Keywords: comic strips; South; Al Capp; Li’l Abner; Billy DeBeck; Snuffy Smith; stereotype; culture

Chapter.  10512 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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