Friday, March 30, 2007

Little Orphan Annie

Read the following last night in America's Great Comic Strip Artists, From the Yellow Kid to Peanuts, by Richard Marshall -

'Gray's philosophy, for all the other factors that could be admired or debated about his work, was the most obvious preoccupation in Little Orphan Annie, or at least in the minds of liberal critics. When Warbucks dispatched kidnappers by a wink to his henchmen, civil libertarians howled. When he depicted union organizers as opportunistic thugs, papers were swamped with complaints. He caricatured a local bureaucrat, a ration board official in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and he seldom pictured a politician in a flattering light. For these efforts he was frequently assailed: The New Republic published an article by Richard L. Neuberger (later a U.S. Senator) decrying Little Orphan Annie as "Hooverism in the Funnies" and later ran an editorial about the strip titled "Fascism in the Funnies." Ultimately the attacks were as numerous and about as effective as gnats while Harold Gray continued to produce his comic strip. But they are remarkable for their intemperance; after all, the object of the critic's wrath was only a comic strip. What the vituperation proved was that Gray was doing an effective job, that he was creating a real world that was strikingly compelling, that his ever-present commentary had notable resonance.'

Fellow conservative cartoonists, take note.

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