8 For him it was an apolitical morality tale about human nature. I think the Shmoo was one of those bursts of genius. He was a genius, there's no question about that." 9 The Shmoo inspired hundreds of "Shmoo clubs" all over North America. College students—who had made capp's invented idea of the sadie hawkins dance a universally adopted tradition—flocked to the Shmoo as well. One school, the University of Bridgeport, even launched the "American Society for the Advancement of the Shmoo" in early 1949. Capp introduced many other allegorical creatures in li'l Abner over the years—including Bald Iggles, kigmies, nogoodniks, mimikniks, the money ha-ha, shminks, Abominable william Snow-Hams, gobbleglops and Bashful Bulganiks, among others. Each one highlighted another disquieting facet of human nature—but none have ever had quite the same cultural impact as the Shmoo.
During the remainder of his life, capp was seldom interviewed without reference to tree the nature of the Shmoo story. The mythic tale ends on a deliberately ironic note. Shmoos are officially declared a menace, and systematically hunted down and slaughtered—because they were deemed "bad for business". The much-copied storyline was a parable that was interpreted in many different ways at the outset of the cold War. Al Capp was even invited to go on a radio show to debate socialist Norman Thomas on the effect of the Shmoo on modern capitalism. "After it came out both the left and the right attacked the Shmoo according to publisher Denis Kitchen. " Communists thought he was making fun of socialism and Marxism. The right wing thought he was making fun of capitalism and the American way. Capp caught flak from both sides.
I thought it was a perfectly ordinary little story, but when it appeared in newspapers, all hell broke loose! Life, in an editorial, hailed the Shmoo as the very symbol and spirit of free enterprise. Time said I'd invented a new era of enlightened management-employee relationship, (they called it Capp -italism.) The daily worker cussed me out as a tool of the bosses, and denounced the Shmoo as the Opium of the masses. Superficially, the Shmoo story concerns a cuddly creature that desires nothing more than to be a boon to mankind. Although initially capp denied or avoided discussion of any satirical intentions If the Shmoo fits he proclaimed, "wear it! 2 he was widely seen to be stalking bigger game subtextually. The story has social, ethical and philosophical implications that continue to invite analysis to this day.
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And the thought that came to me was this: Here we have this great and good and generous thing—the earth. It's eager to give us everything we need. All we have to do is just let it alone, just be happy with. Cartoonists don't think like people. They think in pictures. Little pictures that will fit into a comic strip.
And so, in my mind, i reduced the earth. Down to the size of a small critter that would fit into the li'l Abner strip—and it came out a shmoo. I didn't have any message—except that it's good to be alive. The Shmoo didn't have any social significance; it is simply a juicy li'l critter that gives milk and lays eggs. When you look at one as though you'd like to eat it, it dies of sheer ecstasy. And if one really loves you, it'll lay you a cheesecake —although this is quite a strain on its li'l innards.
The boy shmoo, as a dogpatch native, is required to run from the girl shmoo in the annual Sadie hawkins day race. (Shmoos are usually portrayed as gender-neutral, although Capp sidesteps this issue to allow the comic plot twist.) When he is caught by her, in accordance with the rules of the race, they are joined in marriage by marryin' sam (whom they "pay" with a dozen. The already expanding shmoo family is last seen returning towards the valley of the Shmoon. The sequence, which ended just before Christmas of 1948, was massively popular, both as a commentary on the state of society and a classic allegory of greed and corruption tarnishing all that is good and innocent in the world. The Shmoo caused an unexpected national sensation, and set the stage for a major licensing phenomenon. In their very few subsequent appearances in li'l Abner, shmoos are also identified by the.
Military as a major threat to national security. Analysis edit The Shmoo, any literate person must know, was one of history's most brilliant utopian satires. — the baltimore sun, 2002 1 "Capp is at his allegorical best in the epics of the Shmoos, and later, the kigmies wrote comic strip historian Jerry robinson (in The comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art, 1974). "Shmoos are the world's most amiable creatures, supplying all man's needs. Like a fertility myth gone berserk, they reproduced so prodigiously they threatened to wreck the economy"—if not western civilization as we know it, and ultimately society itself. Al Capp offered his version of the origin of the Shmoo in a wryly satirical article, "i don't like shmoos in Cosmopolitan (June 1949 i was driving from New York city to my farm in New Hampshire. The top of my car was down, and on either side of me i could see the lush and lovely new England countryside. It was the good earth at its generous summertime best, offering gifts to all.
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Captains of industry such. Roaringham Fatback, the "Pork king become alarmed as sales of nearly all products decline, and in a series of images reminiscent of the wall Street Crash of 1929, the "Shmoo crisis" unfolds. On Fatback's orders, a corrupt exterminator orders out "Shmooicide Squads" to wipe out the shmoos with a variety of firearms, which is depicted in a macabre and comically graphic sequence, with a tearful li'l Abner misguidedly saluting advantages the supposed "authority" of the extermination squads. After the shmoos have been eliminated, dogpatch's extortionate grocer Soft-hearted John is seen cackling as he displays his wares—rotting meat and produce: "Now them mizzuble starvin' rats has t'come crawlin t'me fo' the necessities o' life! They complained 'bout mah prices befo'! Wait'll they see th' new ones!". The exterminator congratulates him. However, it is soon discovered that Abner has secretly saved two shmoos, plan a "boy" and a "girl".
Usually shmoo hunters, now a sport in some parts of the country, utilize a paper bag, flashlight and stick to capture their shmoos. At night the light stuns them, then meditation they can be whacked in the head with the stick and put in the bag for frying up later. The original story edit In a sequence beginning in late august 1948, li'l Abner discovers the shmoos when he ventures into the forbidden "Valley of the Shmoon" following the mysterious and musical sound they make (from which their name derives). Abner is thrown off a cliff and into the valley below by a primitive "large gal" (as he addresses her whose job is to guard the valley. (This character is never seen again.) There, against the frantic protestations of a naked, heavily bearded old man who shepherds the shmoos, Abner befriends the strange and charming creatures. "Shmoos the old man warns, "is the greatest menace to hoomanity th' world has evah known!" "Thass becuz they is so bad, huh?" asks li'l Abner. "no, stupid answers the man—and then encapsulates one of life's profound paradoxes : "It's because they's so good! Having discovered their value wif these around, nobody won't nevah havta work no more! Abner leads the shmoos out of the valley—where they become a sensation in Dogpatch and, quickly, the rest of the world.
there's absolutely no waste. Their eyes make the best suspender buttons, and their whiskers make perfect toothpicks. In short, they are simply the perfect ideal of a subsistence agricultural herd animal. Naturally gentle, they require minimal care, and are ideal playmates for young children. The frolicking of shmoon is so entertaining (such as their staged "shmoosical comedies that people no longer feel the need to watch television or go to the movies. Some of the more tasty varieties of shmoo are more difficult to catch.
Its feet are short and round using but dextrous, as the shmoo's comic book adventures make clear. It has a rich gamut of facial expressions and often expresses love by exuding hearts over its head. Cartoonist, al Capp ascribed to the shmoo the following curious characteristics: They reproduce asexually and are incredibly prolific, multiplying exponentially faster than rabbits. They require no sustenance other than air. Shmoos are delicious to eat, and are eager to be eaten. If a human looks at one hungrily, it will happily immolate itself—either by jumping into a frying pan, after which they taste like chicken, or into a broiling pan, after which they taste like steak. When roasted they taste like pork, and when baked they taste like catfish.
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This article is about the comic strip creature. For other uses, see. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents. Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. (April 2014 the shmoo (plural: shmoon, also shmoos ) is a fictional cartoon creature created by, al Capp (190979 the character first appeared in its classic comic strip, li'l Abner on August 31, 1948. The popular character has gone on to influence pop culture, language and even science. Description edit, a shmoo is shaped like a plump bowling pin with stubby legs. It has smooth skin, eyebrows and sparse whiskers—but no arms, nose or save ears.