Monday, March 17, 2014

Al Capp daily - UH OH!

This is my second acquisition of the year.I got it through Heritage, who have been auctioning a few Capp strips every auction for quite a while now. I have been becoming increasingly fond of old strip art, and that created with a brush especially. There are some obvious masters in the area, and for quite some time Al Capp was among them. As much as I would love a L'il Abner drawn by Frank Frazetta when he was Al's ghost in the 50s on the Sunday strips, I would rather have this genuine article. If I get a Frazetta some day, and I will unless I die first, it will be something genuinely Frank, not Frank ghosting someone else's look. And Frank Frazetta, arguably the greatest artist of the 20th Century, spoke well of Al Capp's drawing ability. That alone says it all to me; I had to get me an Al Capp Abner!

So I had been looking and looking at the ones offered for sale. I was not interested in anything from the 60s or later,mostly because strips from the 40s seemed to be just as plentiful as those from the later years. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the Al Capp biography by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen and trust Kitchen enough to go with the information he provides within those pages when it comes to Capp's assistants and ghosts for L'il Abner. It seems that as much or as little as Al Capp had to do with any one strip, he was adamant and unyielding in that he always drew the faces and hands of every character.

So that was that then. I needed an early strip, the earlier the better as Capp drew everything himself in the first years of the strip supposedly, which started in 1934. And I needed a strip with faces and hands,faces and hands. This was not as easily attained as I had hoped. There are quite a few strips of wild abandon and chicanery that featured elongated figures, scenery - streets and buildings and outdoor locations, and maybe little else. So when the strip above came along I remember saying out loud "I love it!", and I knew a little too late that I was in for a penny, in for a pound. Fortunately it was not that expensive and I was able to buy it.

It's freakin' huge! 23x7!

I didn't measure it but it is in my oversize portfolio as it is too big for an 11x17. By far.

It is also in excellent condition for something drawn in 1940. It really is a wonder to behold.

And I haven't even mentioned the content. We'll do that next time maybe, but for now it is potatoes and The Quiet Man and St. Patrick's Day! Erin go braugh! I am a lucky man, Thank the Lord!

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