Turning Over in Their Graves (TOTG) is a new repeating column I do about authors whose works are turned into exactly the opposite of what they wanted after they die.
I was introduced to Little Orphan Annie not through the original comic, but as a child watching the Broadway play. Annie is one of the most successful musicals of all time, spawning films, merchandise, and thousands of parents who would give anything not to hear the songs ever again. The play riveted me, and I instantly fell in love with the star: Shelley Bruce.
|Hey, I was six! I hadn't fallen for Princess Leia yet.|
|"Daddy, there's just one girl for you to meet."|
The musical is set during the Great Depression (there’s even a great song about Herbert Hoover). At one point, FDR calls Warbucks up and asks him to help save the country. Annie sings a song during their meeting and it inspires the two men to come up with the idea for the New Deal.
Sounds great, right? Here’s the problem:
Harold Gray, the author of the original comic, hated FDR and his policies. In fact, he felt so strongly that he had the New Deal kill Daddy Warbucks.
|Yes, he died for capitalism.|
|Turns out Warbucks faked his death (several times). Luckily, nobody was hurt or spent the rest of her life in therapy.|
|And then, Batman rescued him.|