Hip! Hip! Allais! Alphonse! Hooray!

Captain Cap


Black Scat proudly announces the publication of Captain Cap by Alphonse Allais—the first of three volumes in a series of “captails” translated from the French by grand maestro Doug Skinner—who also illustrated the edition and produced its sublime cover.

Vol. I (“Captain Cap Before the Electorate”) covers the captain’s notorious political career—including an unexpurgated appendix of his favorite cocktails**.

That this work by Allais has never before appeared in English makes this a literary event worthy of balloons, noise-makers, champagne, and an inebriated marching band.


And to celebrate the Captain’s launch we’re christening this limited edition by offering a FREE Captain Cap campaign button to the first twelve connoisseurs who order a copy.

UPDATE (2/15): All the buttons are gone, alas.

Now if you’ve read this far and are wondering who Captain Cap was, here’s a brief excerpt from the translator’s introduction:

“Many discerning readers think Alphonse Allais was
the finest humorist France ever produced. I will have
to concur. Many go further, and class him simply as a
master of the short story. I will have to agree with that
as well. And many claim that his greatest creation was
that hard-drinking adventurer and inventor, Captain
Cap. I will go along with that too, but with one quibble:
Captain Cap really existed.

His real name was Albert Jean Baptiste Nicolas
Caperon, and he was born in Paris in 1864. His father,
Paulin Caperon, had inherited a fortune in his twenties,
and devoted himself to radical politics, bibliomania,
and banking, in no particular order. It was while
practicing the last that he sold railway shares in Alsace
to a Swiss bank; when Germany annexed Alsace in
1871 after the Franco-Prussian war, Germany confiscated
the stock. The Swiss bank wanted its money
back, leaving Caperon in an uncomfortable situation.
He resolved it by fleeing to Belgium, and then to
America, where he adopted the name of Peter Coutts,
and bought land in Mayfield, California (now Palo

We would be remiss did we not mention that the first title in our Absurdist Texts & Documents series was Masks by Alphonse Allais, for its author embodies the spirit which inspires this small press.

Captain Cap is limited to 125 copies, so we suggest you order quickly before it’s too late.


And have a drink on him!

**Be sure and try the recipe for Corpse Reviver (pg. 53)

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