Friday, February 29, 2008
Today is Leap Day, so how could Tulgey Wood let February 29 (which after all will not be around again for another four years) go by without mentioning something wild and wonderful? And very little is as wildly wonderful as the classic comic strip Little Orphan Annie. Today remembered as the inspiration for the famous Broadway musical Annie or for the conservative politics of Little Orphan Annie’s creator Harold Gray, the actuality of the strip’s incredible adventure and graphic narrative transcends those oversimplifications. Gray both wrote and drew Annie and he tirelessly devoted himself to the strip, spinning out complex stories of compelling adventure, populated by a Dickensian cast of colorful characters. Fortunately, as part of this wonderful era of appreciation of the comic strip as an art form, Little Orphan Annie is being reprinted in its entirety (it started in 1924) so all may experience its remarkable qualities firsthand. The first volume,pictured above and available here, was released just a few days ago, on February 25. Some of course may recall the famous scene in A Christmas Story in which Ralphie receives a send-away Ovaltine premium from “Little Radio Annie.” What? Annie was the star of a radio show? You bet, and that adventure show was wild and wonderful in its own right. Someday I’ll have to blog about Annie’s radio program. Tomorrow? Naw. How about February 29, 2012?