Political Criticism in Harold Gray’s ‘Little Orphan Annie’

A R T L▼R K

51BHjBD01tLOn the 9th of May 1968, American cartoonist Harold Gray died in La Jolla, California. His death marked the end of a very prolific career, but the fame of his newspaper comic strip, Little Orphan Annie, outlived him for a very long time. The story of an innocent vagabond girl wandering through a world of misery and corruption was remarkable for many reasons but most of all for the fact that it was the first ever comic strip that employed serious political philosophy. “Such expression was unusual because… syndicates did not wish to involve themselves in politics – their newspapers represented various political persuasions.” (Moira Davison Reynolds, Comic Strip Artists in American Newspapers, 1945-1980). And with the growing popularity of comic strips in America, it became more evident that they had become an important tool in shaping public opinion; as noted by Reitberger and Fuchs: “Comics, together with…

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