Hopefully fans of the Annie comic strip are reading because Oliver Warbucks, The Asp and Punjab are making a crossover appearance this weekend in the Dick Tracy comic strip! Tracy has been investigating Moon Maid sightings and Oliver Warbucks Lazarus Project might be a clue. Even more exciting, we get to see what might be happening in the world of the cancelled Annie with Warbucks, Asp and Punjab preparing for to search out lost Annie. Warbucks even asked for Tracy’s assistance should their expedition fail!
If you’re feeling a little in the dark on the whole Annie angle, the Little Orphan Annie strip made it’s debut August 5, 1924, rougly seven years before Dick Tracy. Annie was written by Harold Gray until this death in 1968 and was the inspiration of the play and movie by the same name. In the strip, the mop headed little orphan girl is adopted by Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks and goes on many exciting adventures with her dog Sandy. Additional foreign characters joined the strip, including The Asp, Punjab and Mr. Am.
After Gray’s death in 1968 the strip was taken over by artists and writers hired by the Tribune Media Services, the same owners of the Dick Tracy brand. Some artist/writer teams fared better than others but sadly the Annie strip slowly declined popularity and was finally cancelled on June 13, 2010. At the time our little Annie was kidnapped in Guatemala, leaving us with a cliffhanger ending that may never be finished. With a new Annie movie possible in the next couple years, perhaps the Tribune will restart the comic strip, hopefully with a pair of writers as skilled as Dick Tracy’s Mike and Joe!
For an excellent in-depth read on the Little Orphan Annie, check out the Comic Journal’s “The Orphan Epic” article.