The sun will go out tomorrow …
… Well, technically on June 13. That’s the last scheduled day for the “Little Orphan Annie” comic strip.
The generation that doesn’t read newspapers won’t notice becoming the first generation not to see Annie and her entourage in print, but the Harold Gray creation has become an American icon since he introduced the first strip all those years ago.
Annie has spawned everything from merchandise to comic books to a Broadway show and movie simply titled “Annie” to a sexual parody, “Little Annie Fanny,” in Playboy magazine.
The curly-haired orphan with the pupil-less eyeballs and her dog, Sandy, and her fabulously wealthy guardian, Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks, romped through adventure after adventure during the Great Depression, World War II, all the wars since then, endured 15 presidential administrations, a few kidnappings, and even some domestic industrial espionage plots. If Annie seemed to be perpetually youthful for a now-86-year-old woman, chalk it up the fact she was born on February 29, a Leap Year day, and so only marked a birthday every four years.
As with so many comic strips, Annie has run her course. She once was published in hundreds of newspapers, but now is in fewer than two dozen. However, hope springs eternal. The final Sunday panel will end with a cliffhanger.