AL CAPP: A Life to the Contrary, by Michael Schumacher and Denis Kitchen. Bloomsbury; 305 pages; $30.
Al Capp used to reduce me to hysterics, even after I grew to hate the politics which gradually overwhelmed his work. Specifically, I loved “Fearless Fosdick,” his utterly ruthless parody of Chester Gould’s “Dick Tracy,” perhaps because I never understood why Tracy was so popular. Fosdick was a dim bulb who regularly slaughtered innocent bystanders in hot pursuit of some exotic villain modeled after Flattop. Fosdick was paid a measly salary, regularly relieved of his duties and still evinced a dog-like devotion to the job he did so poorly.
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