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Complete Little Orphan Annie Volume 1 (Complete Little Orphan Annie) Hardcover – June 24, 2008

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Product Details

  • Series: Complete Little Orphan Annie (Book 1)
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Idea & Design Works Llc (June 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600101402
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600101403
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 11.2 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #231,114 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The fact that Little Orphan Annie remains a recognizable pop-culture figure is due more to the frequently revived Broadway musical than its comic-strip progenitor, which began in 1924 and continues, albeit in a moribund state, to this day. In its heyday, the strip’s spunky redheaded heroine, plucked from a Dickensian orphanage by kindly millionaire Daddy Warbucks, proved irresistible to mainstream America. The initial three years of daily episodes collected here have a mostly humorous tone. In subsequent decades, Gray would lead the cast on darker adventures that were vehicles for his conservative, pro-business politics. Like many early-twentieth-century strips, Annie was at first primitively drawn. Unlike most of his peers, Gray never totally shed that initial crudeness, which, in tandem with his equally rough politics, guaranteed the bluntness that gave Annie much of its distinctive charm. Gray had the foresight to hold on to nearly all his original drawings, so that they were available for this attractively designed volume that includes an invaluable biographical essay by comics scholar Jeet Heer. --Gordon Flagg

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Customer Reviews

Little Orphan Annie was a great comic strip!
Johnny Heering
The book is massive, much bigger and heavier than I expected, and the printing is clear.
Mac Buddha
I really look forward to the next volume and when they get into the post-1935 years.
Michael R. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dan on July 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE is a pioneer of girl's adventure, alongside Frank L. Baum's OZ books. If your only exposure to Annie is the musical, then you'll be surprised by the melodrama that is Harold Gray's newspaper strip.

In volume one of IDW Publishing's complete LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE series, the strip begins. The first LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE comic appeared in daily newspapers on August 5, 1924. The strip made its first appearance in the Sunday funnies three months later.

Gray wrote and drew LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE for forty-four years, from 1924 to his death in 1968. It is my hope that IDW completes the run in the series of books beginning with this volume.

It would take a lifetime to assemble a run of original newspaper pages of a comic strip, in order to read them.

About 36 months of strips (nine stories) were reprinted by Cupples & Leon between 1926 and 1934, and the Platinum Age comic books have been recently reprinted, but they are abridged and incomplete.

In 1970, Arlington House (Nostalgia Press) published ARF: THE LIFE AND HARD TIMES OF LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE: 1935-1945. Although it's a lavish production, the handsome, massive volume is wrought with errors, omissions, and lengthy gaps in storylines. Many of the strips are shuffled out of order, and only about half of the stories from the period are represented.

To date, the best presentation of a run of LITTLE ORPHAN ANNIE was published by Abrams in 1977 in an impressive book titled THE SMITHSONIAN COLLECTION OF NEWSPAPER COMICS. The complete story, about four weeks in length, which was originally published in newspapers from October to November, 1938, is reprinted with a week of dailies arranged on a page facing the Sunday, reprinted full page.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Smith III on June 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Received my copy - beautiful to behold and read. The introductory text and accompanying photographs are well-researched and written. The reproductions of the strips are astoundingly clear (almost all of them come from Gray's own copies).

I, too, am interested in seeing the Sundays included... not necessarily in color. Given how Gray constructed his stories, they're certainly not mandatory from a plot perspective, but it would be nice to have all of them included along with the dailies.

With all of these gorgeous reprint projects underway, I hope that IDW can keep up and continue on into the 50s and 60s (with Dick Tracy, too) as many projects in the past have lost steam and interest once the 30s or 40s are completed. Gray's (and Gould's) work in these later decades strikes me as the most ignored in reprint editions...

In any case, can't wait to read more in September with volume 2.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Grossman on July 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
another classic comic strip lovingly reproduced for today. and what choices: terry and the pirates, moon mullins (not good reproduction but well worth seeking), dick tracy,, li'l abner, gasoline alley (what a wonderful strip!!!), krazy kat and others from the golden age of the comics and annie is a great as the rest.

this is one of the best buys on amazon as there are hours of reading here and it's almost impossible not to fall in love with harold gray's spunky creation. sandy is more human than 95% of today's comic characters and annie, being a girl, was a trailblazer. she took nothing from anyone and usually clobbered boys whenever she had a fight - and she had many.

the 1920s were a fun time and annie and the other comic strip characters make a wonderful time machine to - for a while - leave the world of today. this is a trip back in time well worth taking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barat on January 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Like IDW's ongoing DICK TRACY reprint project and Fantagraphics' THE COMPLETE PEANUTS series, IDW's exhaustive cataloging of the adventures of America's favorite orphan (now there's an ironic turn of phrase...) bids fair to be on my "pull" list (or, in this case, my "pick up gingerly and deposit the large item carefully into the box" list) for a long time to come, economic vagaries permitting. It may even top those fine efforts, since it enjoys the added feature of a legitimately interesting and challenging series of essays by comics scholar Jeet Heer that, when they are finally fully compiled, should shake up a lot of what comics fans think they know about Annie's creator, Harold Gray, and the singular worldview that informed his work from day one.

This first volume reprints daily strips from Annie's debut in August 1924 through October 1927, plus a handful of Sunday pages. (Most of Gray's Sundays during this period were standalone gags; the editors reprint a few of these, plus a handful that actually tie in with the ongoing daily narrative.) For those, like me, who got most of their previous exposure to Gray's spunky, two-fisted waif from the massive Arlington House volume that only reprinted strips from the period 1935-1945, Gray's earliest strips will seem crudely over-elaborate, the work of a modestly talented artist trying to distinguish himself from the style of his ex-boss Sidney Smith (whom Gray assisted on THE GUMPS) by punching above his weight. It doesn't take long, however, for Gray's "natural" style to reveal itself.
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