When Oliver Warbucks first sees a strange little mop-headed girl in his mansion, he exclaims:"What th - Say - whose kid are you?" "I'm nobody's kid, Mr. Warbucks," she sheepishly replies. "I'm just an orphan Mrs. Warbucks took on trial." So begins one of the most endearing, enduring relationships in the history of American comic strips-the relationship between Little Orphan Annie and "Daddy" Warbucks. This sequence, which hasn't seen print since its initial 1924 newspaper appearance, is among the many treasures to be found in "Will Tomorrow Ever Come?"-the first volume in The Complete Little Orphan Annie, by Harold Gray, to be published by IDW in February 2008. The Complete Little Orphan Annieis the second series to be released under IDW's The Library of American Comics imprint, edited and designed byDean Mullaney. "With Dick Tracy, Terry & the Pirates and Little Orphan Annie, IDW has the crown jewels of the world famous New York News-Chicago Tribune comics section, making the California-based company a major player in what has become a new golden age of comic strip reprints," reports ICv2.
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Volume One will contain more than 1,000 daily comics in nine complete stories, from the very first strip in August 1924 through October 1927. In the pages of "Will Tomorrow Ever Come?" readers will discover how Annie escapes the orphanage and is ultimately adopted by "Daddy;" how she finds that loveable mutt Sandy and rescues him from being tortured; how she meets the Silos, who become recurring characters throughout the series; how she joins the circus and first encounters Pee Wee the elephant; and how, broke and alone, she hits the road on a succession of dangerous yet spiritually uplifting adventures. "These early stories establish Annie's spunky character,"says Mullaney. "It's through the incredible trials and tribulations of these first three years that Annie emerges as the kid with a heart of gold and a quick left hook." "Harold Gray's Little Orphan Annieis one of the great American comic strips," adds comics historian Jeet Heer, who is writing an extensive Harold Gray biographical essay that will run continuously through the series. "With Dickensian imagination and gusto, Gray put his spunky orphan through a world of trouble. We should all be glad to see Annieagain in her truest incarnation." The text will be illustrated with rare photographs and background material.