Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sunday Funnies #11: Leapin' Lizards! June 1942 Little Orphan Annie Gets in the Scrap

 "What are you doin' to help win the war, mister?"
When the country went to war, so did America's "strippers" that is, the author's and illustrator's of the comic strips already enjoyed by millions of fans young and old.  Little Orphan Annie was no exception.  The gangster stories of the 1930s that had entertained readers were out and war service stories were in as Annie became a home front sweetheart.

And it didn't take Annie long to organize the Junior Commandos with her friends.  And the idea caught on - before long there were thousands and thousands of real Junior Commandos all over the country, 20,000 in Boston alone.  And even Dottie's little brother Burk in the novel Crystal City Lights embodied the Junior Commando spirit, despite being interned by the country he was helping.  So, what is a Junior Commando?  I think Dottie explains it best:
"Little Orphan Annie is organizing groups of kids all over the country to collect newspapers, scrap metal, and all kinds of stuff that can be reused for the war effort.  They sell the scrap and then buy war stamps and bonds.  Burk even made himself a special armband with "JC" written on it so everyone will know he's a Junior Commando just like Annie." (page 135)
The Junior Commandos came into being on June 15, 1942 when Annie and her friend Loretta tell the other girls they have no time to play - they are busy doing war work and the rest is, as they say, history.  And Annie and the Junior Commandos returned to the comic strip on and off as needed in the various storylines that ran throughout the war.  But for now, I hope you enjoy the beginning of this pop culture phenomena:

Ckick to enlarge and read
Click to enlarge and read
Click to enlarge and read
Click to enlarge and read
From: Arf! The Life and Hard Time of Little Orphan Annie 1935-1945 by Harold Gray

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