If I were to name my top five favorite comics creators they would be George "Krazy Kat" Herriman, E.C. "Thimble Theatre" Segar, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Walt "Pogo" Kelly and Harold "Little Orphan Annie" Gray, 5 unique artists with unique viewpoints who had totally individual and diverse ways of expressing themselves on the comics page. Each one a master at what they did and who showed all the different directions a comic strip could go.
This was my first real in-depth exposure to a strip that had died with it's creator and, in my lifetime, been replaced by pale imitations of itself. This is "must read" material for anyone who appreciates an artistic minds viewpoint and what can really happen when things are not homogenized by committee.
Richard Marschall in his editorial can say it all more concisely than I...and does.
This issue is split into 4 separate articles and I'll be posting them over the next 4 days. This opening essay, 24 pages on "The Life and Love, Friends and Foes, Trials and Triumphs of Little Orphan Anne" is the longest by a long shot and may be a bit long for a blog post, but it will serve as a primer for when I begin posting whole issues every Sunday.
Besides, it's the Friday before the long "Independence Day" weekend. Half of you have to go to work today and you know good and well there will be absolutely NOTHING to do because the other half is already beginning their long weekend. So go ahead and "stick it to the man" who made you come in to work on the chance that he might make $14 today, and spend the entire 8 hours at your desk reading about something much more important than all that work bullshit.
You'll be glad you did in the long run.