Tuesday, October 25, 2011

1974 - Little Annie Fanny and Oh Wicked Wanda

Little Annie Fanny

When I was 12 behind the apartment complex we lived in, down the road and next to a small patch of trees, sat a small, beat-up and abandoned shack. It was a wooden building, with large separations between the boards that sunlight would stream through in a dirty orange color. There was one small, miraculously intact window, but the floor was dirt and the door would only close when the board we had nailed into it was attached to the door frame

Abandoned and empty it was a natural spot for vermin or wildlife to take over, and indeed it had been infested by 6 or 7, 5th grade boys who in their youthful bravado would sit around on stolen lawn chairs or bits of cardboard, smoking cigarettes and looking tough, telling dirty jokes, going through the bountiful treasures we would find in our excursions dumpster diving in the apartment  complex down the street that catered to the young GI’s and was a constant source of quality black light posters, odd smoking items, underground comics and tons and tons of Playboys, Penthouses and other glossy magazines.

We looked at page after colorful page of knowing, 70’s girls showing themselves off to the world, much to the overwhelming excitement of these boys who discovered they really liked girls, but hadn’t had that first powerful hormone blast turning them into the screaming, vicious, little monkeys of puberty.

Now I was always a strange kind of kid, I admit that. And while I certainly enjoyed the happy sight of naked young girls as much as the next guy, being the lifelong comicbook geek that I am, I spent way more time reading the comic strips inside of Playboy and Penthouse then I spent looking at the naked girls.

Playboy featured Harvey Kurtzman and Will Elder’s satirical sex farce, the great Little Annie Fanny.

Annie plays dress-up

Fanny, produced by the legendary Mad magazine team, was brilliantly drawn, with each page meticulously produced, hilariously funny writing from Kurtzman and a sharp political sense that was always pointed and smart.

Annie drawn by Will Elder

I really enjoyed Little Annie Fanny.

The obvious Orphan Annie parody, the sexy blonde with unsinkable breasts, the broad slapstick mixed with subtle parody made Fanny one of the great comicstrips of the 1960’s and 70’s.

Little Annie Fanny

As much as I liked Little Annie Fanny, it was pretty obvious even to 12 year old me, that there was a lot of things going on in the Kurtzman and Elder strip that I just didn’t understand. Still Fanny even if I didn’t get all of the jokes, the fastpaced, good natured, slapstick of Annie Fanny was a real eye opener, not only about sex, but also politics, satire, celebratory and that comics could be more then Superman or Casper.

A Happy Christmas to all

As much as I liked Fanny though, my favorite “spicy” adult comicstrip was over in Bob Guccione’s Penthouse.

It’s funny about Guccione, whenever I saw him interviewed on television, he always came across as the perfect 70’s douche, with his shirt unbuttoned to the navel, lots of gold chains, and cocaine dripping out of every orifice,. And yet, Guccione was also the publisher of Omni, the decades premiere science magazine and who it was later revealed after his death, had anonymously financially supported science programs in numerous primary schools across the country.

Sorry, got distracted there for a minute.

Wicked Wanda and Candyfloss

The comic over in Penthouse that was the sly and sexy, Oh Wicked Wanda, written by British novelist FredericMullally and exquisitely drawn by artist Ron Embleton.

Sweet Gwendoline

Wanda, the literary daughter, of British bondage artist, John Wille’s Sweet Gwendoline, was a fun loving but happily evil, lesbian daughter, of billionaire industrialist and degenerate, Walter Von Kreesus, who died of exhaustion at the hands, and other parts of Wanda’s 16 year old protégé and companion, the eternally underdressed, and often insatiable, Candyfloss.


Along with her monstrous servant J. Hoover Grud, and Homer Sapiens, the perverted mad scientist in residence at the Von Kreesus schloss, Wanda and Cadyfloss would face adventure all over the world and eventually across time itself in her quest for wealth, power and a general good time.

Homer Sapiens, J Hoover Grud, Wicked Wanda and Candyfloss

Sharp, cynical, aware and more then willing to use either her sexuality or superior physical strength to get her way, Wanda was as far from the innocent Little Annie Fanny as you could get.

Candyfloss and Wanda prepare for a new adventure

As different as Wanda was from Fanny, both strips had several things in common, including great art, truly funny writing, the use of both political and social satire and a willingness to go places American comics had never gone before.

Sister Wanda and Sister Candyfloss


  1. Annie was better-even both were sometimes not funny,you did get to look at the boobs

    1. are you kidding?
      Wicked Wanda was Grade A fap material when I was a kid! It was all about the incredible artwork.

  2. I met Harvey Kurtzman once years ago at a Phil Suelling Comic Con.He said,even it was an extention of a Little Orphan Annie parody,he once did for MAD,he said he mixed her up Marilyn Monroe,Jayne Mansfeild and couple of other busty blonde,he's seen over the years.I think there was a movie or slide show of Annie,that accompanied the lecture.

  3. I always thought that Annie was a cheerful, good natured strip. There was a sometimes mean spirited and occasionally borderline anti-semitic edge to Wanda. "From now on, most of my worst enemies will be Jews," she said. I think Guccione was on the anti-semitic side as well, he never missed a chance to show Israel in a bad light. Remember Playboy's legendary series about organised crime? Guccione would never print anything that had a remote hint of criticising Italians.

  4. Do you know a black guy drew Annie?