Little Annie Rooney, December 24, 1936

Muggs McGinnis, December 22, 1937

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Blatant knock-offs were quite common in the early days of comic strips, and even the biggest syndicates were known to copy popular strips by launching their own. Little Orphan Annie was an extremely popular strip published by the Chicago Tribune Syndicate, and which ended up running for an impressive 86 years, as well as spawning a broadway musical with 3 movie adaptations to date. It was popular enough a mere 3 years after it debuted that King Features Syndicate decided to publish their own comic strip about an orphan girl and her dog, called Little Annie Rooney.

While the concept was nearly identical, the execution was a bit different. Little Orphan Annie was adopted by Daddy Warbucks, but Annie Rooney was constantly running from her evil caretaker Miss Meaney and fending for herself. She was fortunate enough now and then to have kind people allow her to stay with them for a short while, as we see in this strip. As we also see, both Annies are incredibly positive and optimistic despite their circumstances. While Annie Rooney didn't achieve the same fame as the Annie that came before her, the strip did run for 39 years under various writers and artists, which isn't bad at all.

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