In strip after strip, it didn't matter if it was a daily or a full-color Sunday appearance, the curly-haired pre-teen with blank eyes survived one thrilling adventure after another. Little Orphan Annie debuted as a daily on August 5, 1924 in the New York Daily News. Fans quickly found themselves enthralled with the hard-luck adventures of the tough little girl.
Annie became the life work of her creator, cartoonist/storyteller Harold Gray (1894-1968). His writing and art helped a nation pass through the Depression, inspiring hope in readers everywhere as Annie's can do attitude thrilled millions.
Year in and year out Annie was among the most popular strips of its time. Comic books, hardcover reprints of the newspaper strips, Big Little Books, coloring books and giveaway books proliferated from 1926 through the 1940s.
After Gray's passing in 1968 a string of artists and writers continued the Annie comic strip with the most notable being Leonard Starr who did the strip from 1979 until 2000. The last Annie appeared on Sunday, June 13, 2010.
Today the Library of American Comics features a chronological reprinting of Annie’s original adventures. Each volume contains the best reproduction of original art possible. Their current release in the series is Volume 10. Featuring dailies from 1941-1943, the title contains classic adventrues from the years of the Second World War.
Little Orphan Annie was selected by the United States Postal Service as only one of twenty comic strips to grace their 1995 celebration of a Centenary of Comic Strips. A wonderfully prestigeous honor she fully deserves, she appeared alongside The Yellow Kid, Little Nemo in Slumberland, Krazy Kat, Gasoline Alley and only a few others.
The character has enjoyed success in other media for much of her history as well, beginning with radio and branching out onto multiple interpretations on stage and on screen. A new version is set to theaters this Christmas.
A birthday shout-out to the little girl who has meant so much to so many over the years.