LEAPIN' LIZARDS! 'Little Orphan Annie' to walk into the sunset
The sun will come out tomorrow -- but not for many more tomorrows for "Little Orphan Annie."
Daddy Warbucks's favorite little tyke may have used pluck to survive the past 86 years in daily newspapers, but now she's apparently outta luck. Come June 13, her clear-eyed vision of the world will her syndicate, Tribune Media Services, sends her off into the sunset.
So reports the Chicago Tribune columnist Phil Rosenthal, who writes: "June 13 will be the first in generations to dawn without 'Annie' appearing in a daily newspaper.
"The final Sunday panel of the strip, once seen in hundreds of papers but now run by fewer than 20, will end with Daddy Warbucks uncertain over what happened to Annie in her latest run-in with the Butcher of the Balkans. And, leaping lizards, what about her dog, Sandy? Arf."
After eight decades, though, it's a hard-to-knock-her-off life. Rosenthal quotes a Tribune Media Services executive who says that "Annie" is definitely not dying,
Said Steve Tippie, TMS'svice president of licensing: Annie "will definitely have a life beyond this newspaper incarnation. ...The daily newspaper strip will go away. Now, that doesn't mean that Annie won't come back ... whether it's [in] comic books, graphic novels, in print, electronic. It's just too rich a vein [not] to mine."
Creator Harold Gray launched the strip Aug. 5, 1924, and his ever-spunky redhead endured the Depression and a world war and travel-happy adventures. After Gray died in 1968, a succession of cartoonists produced the comic, which ran in reruns from 1974-79 until the success of the Broadway musical "Annie" sparked Leonard Starr to bring the strip back to life.
In the '90s, "Little Orphan Annie" was commemorated on a U.S. postage stamp -- one of 20 comics so honored at the time.
The artist who now draws the strip, Ted Slampyak, said of "Little Orphan Annie's" goodbye: "It's kind of painful. It's almost like mourning the loss of a friend."
| May 13, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
Categories: General, The Comic Strip | Tags: Chicago Tribune, Comics, Harold Gray, Leonard Starr, Little Orphan Annie, Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks, Phil Rosenthal, Tribune Media Services
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