Harvey Kurtzman, Author, Will Elder, Author, Will Elder, Illustrator . Dark Horse $24.95 (224p) ISBN 978-1-56971-519-2

Little Annie Fanny, the buxom blonde who appeared for 26 years in the pages of Playboy magazine, returns in the first of a two-volume reprint. Created by Mad Magazine cofounder Harvey Kurtzman and legendary cartoonist Will Elder, Fanny's comic exploits (in various states of undress and nearly always topless) are set during the swinging '60s. These panels, published from 1962 to 1970, allow few cultural events of the period to escape Kurtzman and Elder's madcap social satire. Psychedelic drugs, the sexual revolution, the Peace Corps, the civil rights movement and the space race all feature as backdrops for Annie's misadventures—and almost all of the gags involve Annie shedding her clothes while the men around her turn into fawning idiots. Among her many adventures, the witless actress sprints in the 1968 Olympics, plays football for the Green Bay Packers and gets naked with the Fab Four. The book features inspired caricatures of Marcello Mastroianni, Barry Goldwater, J. Edgar Hoover, Frank Sinatra and other figures of the time. The drawings are striking for their color and detail (other artists assisting Elder include Frank Frazetta, Al Jaffee and Jack Davis), and the backgrounds are filled with hilarious antics in the classic Elder style. Sketches, drawings-in-process, a history of Little Annie Fanny, as well as annotations on each comic segment are also included. (May)

Reviewed on: 05/07/2001
Release date: 12/01/2000
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-1-56971-520-8
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