Little Annie Fanny
|Little Annie Fanny|
Little Annie Fanny Volume 1
|Author(s)||Harvey Kurtzman & Will Elder|
|Current status / schedule||Concluded|
|Launch date||October 1962|
|End date||December 1998|
Little Annie Fanny is a comic series created by Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder that debuted in the October 1962 issue of the men's magazine Playboy. The title of the strip is a parody of that of Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annie. The comic follows the escapades of Annie Fanny, a tall, blond, statuesque young woman who finds herself in trouble and naked in almost every episode. The feature ran sporadically from 1962 to 1988. It had a short-lived rebirth in 1998.
After leaving Mad, Kurtzman and Elder with other colleagues created Trump and later Humbug. Both failed. A third attempt at a satirical comic magazine, Help! featured an episode where the main character, Goodman Beaver, attended a night of debauchery at the Playboy Mansion with the characters of Archie Comics. Archie Comics sued and won, but the cartoon caught the eye of Hugh Hefner. The comic was retooled where the male Candide-type character of Goodman Beaver was transformed into the ultra-bosomy and leggy female, Annie Fanny—a parody of Little Orphan Annie—something that was done years before in Mad magazine. Annie was also a mixture of Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and blondes of the era.
The concept is that the title character is a busty and naïve waif who continually finds herself in various bizarre situations where lusty men continually attempt to sexually molest or exploit her.
Most storylines would revolve around topical events and popular culture. Thus, a mid-1960s Annie episode would satirize Beatlemania, whereas a late-1970s installment might place the heroine inside a glittering disco. Topics in the news, such as streaking, nudist resorts, or gay liberation, were invariably pounced upon by Kurtzman and company.
Little Annie Fanny made its publication debut in the October 1962 issue of Playboy. The strip boasted lavish production values and fully painted panels of great detail, and as such was the first fully painted feature in American comics. Though successful, it was time-consuming for Kurtzman, and the amount of work required a steady rotation of assistants. Kurtzman's primary collaborator was fellow Mad Magazine alumnus Elder, but over the years, artwork was also provided by Jack Davis, Frank Frazetta, Russ Heath, and Al Jaffee.
Little Annie Fanny initially started as a monthly feature in 1962 and 1963, but quickly fell off, publishing six to seven episodes per in year in the late 1960s. By the 1970s, only four to five episodes were published annually in the monthly magazine, and only one to two per year in the 1980s. Kurtzman ended the strip in 1988, claiming he had run out of story material, and died in 1993. The comic attempted a revival in 1998 with art by Ray Lago and Bill Schorr, with several episodes published before it was discontinued.
|December||Christmas Office Party|
|March||Films, Italian Style|
|April||The Unhappy Comic|
|July||Fifty Mile Hike|
|November||The Talent Contest|
|January||The Set Jets to South America|
|April||Annie Joins the Peace Corps|
|July||Alone on a Desert Isle|
|September||Lost at Sea|
|January||From Annie with Love|
|May||The Topless Suit Case|
|October||Seven Days with Mae|
|December||Annie Meets the Bleatles|
|January||Battbarton's Holiday Spirit|
|March||On the Brooklyn B.M.T|
|May||Annie in TV Wasteland|
|July||Annie Under the Sheets|
|May||Las Vegas Kidnapping|
|August||Americans in Paris|
|September||The Ultimate Kick|
|January||The Master-tester Institute|
|March||Unionized Cruise Ship|
|June||Annie at the Olympics|
|December||The Real Howard Hews|
|April||Annie the Actress|
|April||This Exploits Women|
|September||Violence in America|
|January||The Gay Scene|
|December||Headstone, Part I|
|January||Headstone, Part II|
|December||Muscle Builders, Part I|
|January||Muscle Builders, Part II|
|January||The Ski Lodge|
|January||Dallas Cowgals Cheerleaders|
|August||1980 Democratic National Convention|
|October||Annie's Twentieth Anniversary|
|January||Raiders of the Temple of Voom|
|September||Cohan the Barbarian|
|January||Jimmy and Tammy|
|August||The Unnatural Enquirer|
|December||Twas The Night Before Christmas|
The December 1978 issue of Playboy mentioned a "world-wide search for the actress who will portray Little Annie Fanny in a live-action movie..." but no film was ultimately made.
Links to other comics
- The feature's logo was an imitation of the one used in Sunday installments of Little Orphan Annie. Two of the supporting characters — Sugardaddy Bigbucks and the Wasp — were direct parodies of Daddy Warbucks and his longtime henchman, the Asp.
- In 1969, the British edition of Penthouse magazine launched the strip Oh, Wicked Wanda which was similar in vein, featuring storylines of a sexual and satirical nature. A character resembling Annie Fanny often appeared: in the opening episode she can be seen chained to a wall, one of her breasts blowing out like a balloon after being pierced by Wanda's lesbian lover Candyfloss.
- In an article in Mad Magazine presenting hypothetical magazines from other planets, a spoof of Playboy includes a cartoon feature: "Little Annie's Seven Fannies"
- Playboy's Little Annie Fanny: Volume 1, 1962-1970. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Comics. 2001. ISBN 1-56971-519-X.
- Playboy's Little Annie Fanny: Volume 2, 1970-1988. Milwaukie, Oregon: Dark Horse Comics. 2001. ISBN 1-56971-520-3.
- Worth, Stephen (March 18, 2008). "Pinups: Kurtzman and Elder's Little Annie Fanny". ASIFA-Hollywood. Archived from the original on March 26, 2007.
- Harvey, Robert C. (1996). The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History (Illustrated ed.). University Press of Mississippi. p. 140. ISBN 0878057587. "...in 1962, with his old classmate Will Elder at his elbow, he settled in at Playboy to produce the most lavish color comic strip of all time, Little Annie Fanny, a satire of hip society and sexual mores."
- Little Annie Fanny at Don Markstein's Toonopedia.
- Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 40. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0.
- Internet Archive of Playback article (April 17, 2000). "Film and Television Production". Archived from the original on September 27, 2007.
- The Ottawa Citizen (March 25, 2000). "Children's TV Producer Gets Playboy Contract".
- Blixt, Johan, ed. (June 12, 2005) Little Annie Fanny (fan site). Archived from the original on April 13, 2009.