Most of us think of the Harvey characters - Richie Rich, Little Lotta, Playful Little Audrey, Jackie Jokers, Billy Bellhops - as universal constants, having always existed in the form of piles of comic books left lying around playrooms and pediatricians offices throughout our childhoods. But the fact is that these characters are not eternal mysteries of the cosmos, they were dreamed up by Harvey Comics professionals. OR WERE THEY? What about, say, Little Dot?

Our archeological researchers have uncovered PROOF that dot-obsessed Little Dot existed long before any other Harvey World characters and in fact pre-dates the existence of comic books themselves!!

That's right, our dotty heroine has roots in turn-of-the-last-century Christian children's literature published by the famous religious book house Moody Press.

How did creator Mrs. O.F. Walton choose to depict her Little Dot? Is she - dare we ask- obsessed with dots?

Or is she a normal, flower-picking girl without any unhealthy obsessions whatsoever? Surely there must be SOME compulsion driving this character.

Ah, now we get the whole picture. The Moody Press Little Dot is obsessed all right; not with dots, but with death.

Taking time out of her busy little-girl schedule in order to personally witness as many burials as possible, this Little Dot is a prototype goth if there ever was one.

But as gloomy as this Victorian Little Dot is, never underestimate the power of church ladies to make things even more depressing. Little Dot will soon experience one of her beloved funerals - first hand. Yes, DEATH COMES FOR LITTLE DOT. But how will our obsessive-compulsive little girl meet her end? I always thought it would be in an auto accident.

or perhaps some kind of jungle trap.

However, as it turns out the Moody Little Dot was done in by a vaguely described illness that was probably TB. Though in the days before compulsory vaccinations it could have been anything from polio to scarlet fever. It's left to her friend "Mr. Solemn" to sadly dig the grave for his only friend. Isn't this great reading for boys and girls? Don't you want a special child in your life to have a giant depressed hole in his or her heart left from experiencing this wonderful story of a little girl who died? Shouldn't all children be reminded constantly of the spectre of death? Might quiet 'em down a little.

And let's wrap up LITTLE DOT with the clutching hand of mortality yanking at Mr. Solomon's sleeve, soon to drag him down into the grave as well. BTW, the other story in this volume - WHITER THAN SNOW - is also about a little girl who dies. Way to keep things positive there Moody Press!

Wow, what a bummer. Luckily somewhere in the universe, the other, REAL Little Dot continues to careen wildly through Bonnie Dell, head filled not with death, but with dots.