Little Dot’s Playful Obsession

« Y’gotta develop an annoying compulsion if y’wanta get anywhere in this world! » — Dan Clowes’ Willy Willions (Eightball No. 5, Feb. 1991)

Dorothy Polka, known to the world at large as « Little Dot », made her first appearance in Harvey’s Sad Sack Comics no. 1 (Sept. 1949). All you need to know is that she’s inordinately fond of dots and circles, and that she has an absurdly large extended family. That raises a few choice questions, but we’ll leave them for someone else to tackle.

While I cheerily dismiss the bulk of Harvey Comics’ post-Code output as at best charming in a decidedly minor way, I opt to focus on the line’s most singular highlight: art director/chief artist Warren Kremer‘s endlessly inventive and escalatingly bonkers cover variations on the Harvey stable’s absurdly formulaic monomanias. Kremer clearly viewed the preposterous task he’d been handed as an opportunity to continually challenge himself with elegant design exercices and experiments. While I see little point in collecting, nor even reading most Harvey Comics, my admiration for Mr. Kremer just grows and grows. Perhaps these examples will give you a sense of what I see in them.

Oh, and bonus points to Kremer for his increasingly callous treatment of that omnipresent visual blight, the Comics Code Authority stamp. Clearly, he judged the censorious seal de trop.

LittleDot29A
Little Dot no. 29 (January, 1958)
LittleDot38A
Little Dot no. 38 (October, 1958)
LittleDot44A
Little Dot no. 44 (May, 1958)
LittleDot51A
Little Dot no. 51 (December, 1959) Gruyère? Impressive refinement for a little kid. Perhaps there’s more to the little lady than meets the eye…
LittleDot52A
Little Dot no. 52 (January, 1959)
LittleDot97A
Little Dot no. 97 (January, 1965)
LittleDot119A
Little Dot no. 119 (October, 1968)
LittleDotland9A
Little Dot Dotland no. 9 (November, 1963)
Dotland38A
A timely one: Little Dot Dotland no. 38 (March, 1969)
DotUncles21A
Little Dot’s Uncle$ and Aunt$ (they’re loaded, I guess) no. 21 (November, 1967)

-RG

6 thoughts on “Little Dot’s Playful Obsession

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