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Cover of Little Dot Dotland #46 (Aug. 1970), drawn by Warren Kremer
|First appearance||Sad Sack Comics #1 (Sept. 1949)|
Alfred Harvey (writer)|
Vic Herman (artist)
|Full name||Dot Polka|
|Team affiliations||Little Lotta|
|Abilities||Dottiness, Love of Dots|
|Series publication information|
Sept. 1953 – Apr. 1976
(Little Dot Dotland)
July 1962 – Sept. 1973
|Number of issues||
Little Dot: 164|
Little Dot Dotland: 62
|Main character(s)||Little Dot, Peter Polka (father), Little Dot's Uncles & Aunts|
Dot first appeared in 1949 as a supporting feature in Sad Sack. Until 1950 she was referred to as "Li'l Dot" in Little Max Comics' first volume. In 1953, she was given her own series, joining Harvey's growing cast of child-oriented comedy characters. The title lasted almost three decades between 1949 and 1982, and then sporadically until 1994. Dot introduced several other popular headliners (including Little Lotta and Richie Rich) as back page fillers. Another spinoff title which ran for thirteen years was Little Dot's Uncles & Aunts, about the adventures of Dot's impossibly extended family, each with an obsessive interest or quirky personality trait of their own.
Like most of the so-called "Harvey Girls", appearing also in the Richie Rich Girlfriends title, Dot reached her peak between the mid-1950s and the late 1960s, eventually eclipsing Little Audrey in terms of sales. Her popularity began to wane during the 1970s as an industry-wide distribution slump began forcing child-oriented comics off the newsstands. Dot's eponymous title stalled between 1982 and 1986, before being permanently discontinued in 1994.
Apart from the main title, Little Dot, the main character's screwball relatives proved popular enough to rate their own series: three issues of Harvey Hits in 1957, '58 and '59; and a "king-sized" comic titled Little Dot's Uncles & Aunts, published between 1961 and 1974.
Little Dot (real name Dorothy Polka) was a "one-note character" with a reliance on formulaic gags and repetitious images (i.e. Dot's dots). Her stories also involved a considerable amount of slapstick humor and domestic comedy. The character's signature theme only became apparent in 1953, after she was redesigned to conform to the company's emerging house style. Consequently, as Dot became a virtual clone of Famous Studios' Little Audrey (which Harvey was licensing at the time), the 'Dotty' aspect was emphasized so that the two characters wouldn't appear too similar.
Dot's obsessive nature presaged the development of Harvey's quirky child-friendly characters, many of which deviated from the Audrey model by incorporating fantasy elements (Hot Stuff, Spooky), or oddball behavior (Little Lotta). On the other hand, generation-based humor always played an important role in Little Dot's storylines. Like her in-house contemporaries, Dot frequently found herself at odds with parents, teachers and other representatives of Bonnie Dell's adult population. Frequent plotlines involved her parents or teachers, who are annoyed with her obsession with dots, trying to trick her into giving up her dot addiction and catching it themselves. Another recurring story source is her numerous aunts and uncles who have a myriad of eccentricities that Dot has to deal with. In addition, Dot made regular crossovers with Little Lotta from the beginning of the sixties, usually with disastrous consequences (although Dot's fixation and Lotta's insatiable appetite often played only a peripheral role in such pairings). She and Lotta are classmates with Richie Rich.
In other media
- The character is mentioned in The Simpsons episode "I Am Furious (Yellow)" when Marge suggests that Bart rip-off Little Dot for a cartoon character assignment, thinking no one would remember the once popular character.
- A static image of Little Dot was used in on-air promos for ABC's Dot Comedy.
- Little Dot, or simply "Dot", is one of the three main characters in the Netflix original animated series Harvey Street Kids. In this version, she is portrayed as an African-American and is voiced by actress Kelly McCreary. She doesn't appear have an obsession with dots and is more of a genius.
- Markstein, Don. "Little Dot,"[permanent dead link] Don Markstein's Toonopedia. Accessed Dec. 12, 2011.
- "The Talking Dots", Richie Rich Millions #25, October 1967.
- "I Am Furious (Yellow)," The Simpsons, season 13, episode 18 (Apr. 28, 2002).
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-17. Retrieved 2015-01-07. ABC Little Dot Promo.
- Darwish, Meaghan (June 1, 2018). "'Grey's Anatomy' & 'The Middle' Stars Lend Voices to Netflix's 'Harvey Street Kids' (VIDEO)". TV Insider.
- "DreamWorks' 'Harvey Street Kids' Play on Netflix This Weekend". www.animationmagazine.net. Retrieved 26 July 2018.