Thursday, May 13, 2010

That terrible red-headed Annie


The decline of newspapers and changing technology for the delivery of information and entertainment leads to the demise of one of the longest-running comic strips in the US. From the AP, as published at World Magazine:
Tribune Media Services announced Thursday that it will cease syndication of the "Annie" strip on June 13. ....

The comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" made its newspaper debut on August 5, 1924, first written and illustrated by creator Harold Gray. The strip later was renamed simply "Annie." The spunky orphan was adopted by Daddy Warbucks and later joined by her lovable dog Sandy. ....
The classic era for the strip may have been the thirties and forties, especially the war years. Harold Gray reflected the editorial views of his paper, the Chicago Tribune: Republican, anti-union, anti-FDR and New Deal, isolationist before the war, and strongly supportive of the war effort after Pearl Harbor.

From the biography of Harold Gray at the beginning of Arf! The Life and Hard Times of Little Orphan Annie, 1935-1945:
In many ways Annie epitomized Mr. Gray's personal convictions that all Americans should act with honor, independence of thought, and industry, mind their own business and remain true to the traditional pioneering virtues.

Describing his brainchild, Gray said: "Annie is tougher than hell with a heart of gold and a fast left, who can take care of herself because she has to. She's controversial, there's no question about that. But I keep her on the side of motherhood, honesty, and decency."
Annie led a perilous life, hunting spies, sabotaging U-boats, and supporting the war effort at home. The strips below are from 1942.

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