The “ideel” of Li’l Abner, Detective FEARLESS FOSDICK was Al Capp’slong-running parody of Chester Gould’s famous detective strip “Dick Tracy.” Debuting in 1942, Fearless Fosdick became so useful to Capp and so popular in his own right, that the unique strip-within-a- strip became a regular feature in “Li’l Abner” for thirty-five years. Dick Tracy fought horrible villains and, while sometimes wounded, always emerged the classic comic strip hero. In contrast, Fosdick was a farcical and guileless hack and was never simply wounded. Perpetually riddled by flying bullets, An enduring Fosdick trademark was the “Swiss cheese”look, with bullet holes revealing his truly two-dimensional comic strip body. Though extremely gullible and incompetent, Fosdick was unfailingly loyal to his department, even though absurdly underpaid ($22.50 per week). He remained reverent of authority even though his chief was a transparently corrupt scoundrel. He never married his own longtime fiancé Prudence Pimpleton, but Fosdick was directly responsible for the unwitting marriage of his biggest fan, Li’l Abner to Daisy Mae in an historic 1952 dailies episode.

(deniskitchen.com)

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