Lil Abner #73

Lil Abner #73

Published in October 1949, issue 73* of Al Capp‘s (Alfred Caplin) Li’l Abner comic stands as both a showcase of good girl art and a lesson in economics and geopolitics.

In this installment, the fate of Slobbovia hangs in the balance with the declaration, “Three billion rasbuckniks or Slobbovia perishes!!”

Li'l Abner #76

Li’l Abner #76

When  Lil’Abner ventures to Washington “T’git our annooal handout o’ free turnip seeds”, he finds himself inadvertently involved in international finance as he seeks a loan for the impoverished nation. To the chagrin of his longtime love, Daisy Mae, this journey leads him to encounter Jinx Rasputinburg, “the prettiest girl in all Slobbovia, in fact she is the only pretty girl.”

Yet, the comic was rife with other alluring characters, such as pig farmer Moonbeam McSwine, Stupefyin’ Jones, Wolf Gal, and Appassionata Von Climax—a role that propelled Tina Louise’s career in the 1956 Broadway musical. Each character was depicted with alluring curves, clad in the iconic country-bumpkin blouses and high-hemmed skirts that defined the series’ aesthetic.

Though the loan for Slobbovia doesn’t materialize, it’s revealed that three billion rasbuckniks equate to a mere $175, a sum even the denizens of the destitute Dogpatch community could scrape together in 1949. Notably, the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $175 in 1949 would amount to $1,663 in 2012.

Life Magazine March 31, 1952.

Life Magazine March 31, 1952.

The narrative of Li’l Abner and Daisy Mae culminates in their marriage in 1952, a milestone so significant that it graced the cover of the real-world Life magazine March 31, 1952.






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