“Leapin’ lizards—Gee whiskers!”
I loved the fact that Annie was inspired by a real person. Author Harold Gray reported that Annie’s origin lay in a chance meeting he had with a ragamuffin while wandering the streets of Chicago looking for cartooning ideas.
Little Orphan Annie debuted as a comic strip in 1921. She was a generous, compassionate, optimistic orphan of no definitive age who never seems to age. She is highly independent and wanders through a corrupt world while experiencing a series of unrelated adventures. Beginning her life in a dreary orphanage, she is adopted by Daddy Warbucks, a wealthy industrialist. Her character is endearing and unique. Her best friend is her dog Sandy. Annie’s life is complicated by thugs and gangsters, as well as do-gooders and bureaucrats. Her character endeared me to her because of my own parallel experiences as an adoptee. Like Annie, I was unfamiliar with my own beginnings, loved my dog Toby, and was adopted by a wealthy business owner.