Eliot A. Caplin, 86, a writer who...


Eliot A. Caplin, 86, a writer who devised the plots for a number of well-known comic strips, died Feb. 20 in Stockbridge, Mass. He cooperated with artists who produced strips such as "Heart of Juliet Jones," "Big Ben Bolt" and "Dr. Bobbs." He was the brother of "L'il Abner" cartoonist Al Capp.

Although the brothers never collaborated on a strip, Mr. Capp conceived two strips that he passed along to Mr. Caplin. One, "Abbie an' Slats," drawn by Raeburn van Buren, lasted 23 years. The other was "Long Sam," drawn by Bob Lubbers.

Mr. Capp shortened his name from Caplin so it would fit better in comic strips.

Joji Fukushima, 72, the governor of Japan's southern Kumamoto prefecture, died of a heart attack Friday, said Iwao Tsunoda, a spokesman for the Kumamoto prefecture, 550 miles southwest of Tokyo on the island of Kyushu.

A member of the Liberal Democratic Party, Mr. Fukushima was elected governor in 1991 and won re-election twice, in 1995 and 1999.

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