Al Capp was one of the most praised satirists of the 1940s and 1950s. His long-running comic strip 'Li'l Abner' (1934-1977) was a phenomenon during its heyday, published in over 900 American newspapers and 28 countries. It inspired radio series, puppet shows, films, animated cartoons, jazz songs and a theater musical; it penetrated American pop culture in degrees unimaginable today.
Together with George Herriman's 'Krazy Kat', Walt Kelly's 'Pogo' and Charles M. Schulz' 'Peanuts' it was one of the first American comics to receive critical praise and popularity among intellectuals. The series is renowned for its highly dynamic artwork and sophisticated writing. Capp crafted funny and imaginative storylines, filled with colourful characters and sometimes biting social satire. Even though 'Li'l' Abner' is set in a fantasy world with absurd slapstick, odd creatures and fictional countries he frequently gave real-life celebrities cameos and winked at current political and cultural events. The artist even satirized the comic strip medium itself! Compared with other comic artists at the time, Capp was also a notable public figure and one of the most recognizable cartoonists in the USA.
However his reputation was considerably damaged in the 1960s and 1970s due to his increasingly more prevalent conservative opinions about the hippie generation.