239. Li'l Abner's Ideel:
Fearless Fosdick (2002).
Cartoonist Al Capp initially conceived
of Fearless Fosdick as a parody of Chester Gould's
comic strip detective Dick Tracy. But the bumbling parody
was so popular that Capp used him again and again and he became
an integral ---though technically disconnected--- part of the
"Li'l Abner" continuity for decades. Capp made "Fearless
Fosdick" a strip-with-in-a-strip and drew him in a simpler,
starker "Dick Tracy" style than his own cross-hatched
The character Li'l Abner (see button
#236) was devoted to reading every day's episode of "Fearless
Fosdick," whom he referred to endlessly as "my ideel."
Detective Fosdick was pathetically incompetent (but often lucky),
underpaid ($27.50 a week) and disrespected by his police chief
and villains alike. His fiancé was the grotesque Prudence
Pimpleton, whom Fosdick "married" in a critical
1952 plot device. His devoted fan Abner vowed to do "anything"
his ideel did, and so when Fearless "married" Prudence,
Abner reluctantly agreed to marry his long-suffering girlfriend
Daisy Mae (see buttons #237 and 260).
Fosdick's marriage was soon annulled but
Abner was "really" and permanently married to Daisy,
an event that was major "real" news in America. Fosdick's
enduring trademark image was to be riddled with bullet holes,
resembling Swiss cheese. 1952 was a banner year for the character:
he starred in thirteen episodes of his own prime-time Fearless
Fosdick puppet show on NBC-TV!
Kitchen Sink Press published twenty-seven
12" x 9" volumes
of Li'l Abner Dailies, many of which are still available
in this web store. This is the 4th of 7 Li'l Abner buttons
created by DKAA, the agency which represents Capp Enterprises,
Inc. It is intended for promotional purposes only but, while
supplies last, you can acquire this advertising item for $2.50.
1.25 inch diameter
One note, for serious button collectors,
you may want to read the KSP
BUTTON TEXT which explains the numbering systems for
identifying the various buttons produced over the last 30 years,
or see the COMPLETE
KSP BUTTON LIST. The list is VERY long, so be patient
while it loads.