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Goodwin at 100: Al Capp Brings a Dose of Show Biz to Goodwin Procter – 1946

04.18.12

Capp

In 1946, a man who wanted to have more of his income left after taxes was referred to Goodwin Procter partner Charlie Post. His name was Al Capp, creator of the comic strip “Li’l Abner” and his Dogpatch neighbors, and perhaps the best-known cartoonist in the country at that time.

Of “Li’l Abner”, Post wrote “I identified completely with [the character] Joe Phfft, plodding along, his foot-long nose dripping, always beneath a working rain cloud, who went from one disaster to another.”

In one of Capp’s first visits to the Goodwin Procter office, he was introduced to Endicott “Chubb” Peabody, a junior associate at the time and later Governor of Massachusetts. Though the cartoon character bore little resemblance to the large and gregarious Chubb, “Peabody Fleabody” was introduced as a citizen of Dogpatch shortly after that visit.

After Post successfully arranged Capp’s finances to reduce taxes, a long-term relationship ensued. Capp brought the world of show biz to Goodwin Procter for the next 20 years, with the firm helping Capp revise his syndication contract, negotiate collateral licensing rights for comic books, plays, music and other media presentations of “Li’l Abner,” and handle copyright, trademark and other IP issues.

For more on our firm's history, click here.