THE LITTLE MONSTERSMedium: Comic Books
Published by: Gold Key Comics
First Appeared: 1964
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Gold Key Comics is best known for its licensed material. It published not only the comic book versions of Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck, The Pink Panther etc., but also adaptations of movies, including Gay Purr-ee
and The Sword in the Stone. But it also had properties of its own, such as Mighty Samson, Wacky Witch and Doctor Solar. In the era of The Addams Family's TV show, when Melvin Monster, Milton the Monster and other friendly, cuddly versions of horrifying creatures were flourishing, Gold Key published the humorous adventures of The Little Monsters.
The little monsters in question, 'Orrible Orvie and Awful Annie, first appeared in the back pages of The Three Stooges #17 (May, 1964), which actually places them (like Hanna-Barbera's Mr. & Mrs. J. Evil Scientist, which Gold Key also published) before the debut of the television Addamses. But the first issue of their own comic was dated November of that year, so they didn't have star status until the Charles Addams creation had become established in that medium.
Orvie and Annie were the children of the Monster family, all four of whom were reminiscent of the Frankenstein monster, with ugly faces and bolts in the neck to serve as hinges to their jawbones. Along with Mom (Demonica) and Dad (Mildew), they lived in a creepy old castle in a dank, foggy area that humans wouldn't find at all comfortable, where they slept on nail-studded beds and maintained a garden of man-eating plants. Starting in #11, they rented rooms in the towers to Boobert Spook and family, who included a kid, Boobert Jr., to play with Orvie and Annie, and a scream-age daughter, Scarella.
With the near-exception of Space Family Robinson, where the adaptation happened almost by accident, Gold Key didn't go in for licensing out its own characters, so The Little Monsters didn't appear in other media. But they did quite well in comic books, long outlasting the '60s monster fad. Including a few reprints, their title ran more-or-less continuously until February, 1978. 44 regular issues, plus an issue of March of Comics (the shoe store giveaway) were published in all.