The "ideel" of Li'l Abner, Detective Fearless Fosdick was Al Capp's long-running parody of Chester Gould's "Dick Tracy." Debuting in 1942, Fearless Fosdick became so useful to Capp and so popular in his own right, that the strip-within-a- strip became a regular feature in "Li'l Abner" for over thirty years. Tracy fought horrible villains and, while sometimes wounded, always emerged the classic comic strip hero. Fosdick was a farcical and guileless hack and was never simply wounded. Perpetually riddled by flying bullets, Fosdick's enduring trademark was the Swiss cheese bullet holes revealing his truly two-dimensional comic strip body. He was extremely gullible and unfailingly loyal to his department, even though absurdly underpaid. He remained reverent of authority though his chief was a corrupt scoundrel. While he never married his own longtime fiance, Prudence Pimpleton, Fosdick was responsible for the unwitting marriage of his biggest fan, Li'l Abner to Daisy Mae in an historic 1952 dailies episode.
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