'Little Orphan Annie' comic strip skips off into the sunset

By Michael Cavna
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 14, 2010

The sun will come out tomorrow -- but there won't be many more tomorrows for "Little Orphan Annie."

Daddy Warbucks's favorite pupil-less redhead had enough Depression-tested pluck to survive 86 years in daily newspapers, but now the orphan's outta luck. Come June 13, her clear-eyed comic strip will end as her syndicate, Tribune Media Services, sends her off into the sunset. Canceled.

"Annie," which merited a commemorative U.S. postage stamp in 1995, runs in about 20 newspapers. The strip was created by Harold Gray in 1924.

"Believe me, this wasn't a decision we took lightly," said Steve Tippie, TMS's vice president of licensing. "But we also felt that 'Annie,' unlike many strips, has such wide, almost iconic presence in our culture that it would serve the character and our business best if we focused on other channels more appropriate to the 'kids' nature of the property."

The strip's current artist, Ted Slampyak, said: "It's almost like mourning the loss of a friend."

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