The New York Times finds Jeet Heer’s analysis of Little Orphan Annie’s anti-FDR tone during the Great Depression a “Big Idea” for today, and a mirror of current monetary anxieties. What cartoon character is currently carrying the standard for the Chicago School? And who’s for Keynes?


  1. Here’s some analysis of Harold Gray’s political views, as expressed in Little Orphan Annie:

    As Annie developed, Gray’s art cleaned up and his style coalesced, and “gone were the stories of the 1920s in which Annie befriended baby bears and miniature elephants and briefly became a movie star; in the 1930s she met smugglers, avaricious plutocrats, and venal labor agitators.” (Marschall 168). Gray had become a story teller of the first order in comic strips. But his change in style was with America. The Great Depression had come, and he used Annie to air his views on life, responsibility, government, and human nature.

    Comics characters have affected the real world in various ways. Here are some examples:

    Everyone knows Popeye’s secret. Whenever the cartoon sailor is on the verge of losing a fight, he squeezes open a can of spinach, pours the greens down his throat, and uses his supercharged muscles to pummel opponents. But fewer people know that the U.S. government is directly responsible for his dependence on canned vegetables.