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Comics and the U.S. South$
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Brannon Costello and Qiana J. Whitted

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781617030185

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781617030185.001.0001

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Li’l Abner, Snuffy, and Friends

Li’l Abner, Snuffy, and Friends

The Appalachian South in the American Comic Strip

(p.3) Li’l Abner, Snuffy, and Friends
Comics and the U.S. South

M. Thomas Inge

University Press of Mississippi

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

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