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Okay, so that was a couple of weeks of prediction coverage…hope you all enjoyed the last few posts while I took care of that. I’m still taking 2017 industry predictions in this post here, but we’re nearing the end of January, so I’m probably going to shut down comments there shortly. Get them in while you can! …I’m not sure if I’m going to take 2018 predictions after the next new year, but I still have some time to think about it. Your thoughts could sway this vital decision.
Let me catch up on a few things, here:
A couple or three weeks ago twitter pal Dan put up a picture of the cutest darn Swamp Thing that you ever did see, and one “uh, how much do you want for that?” DM later, I have it in my hot little hands:
Look at how adorable that is. …Dan also designed my Twitter icon, and you can see more of his swell art here.
Recently, I was pricing up a bunch of comics that, um, I may have acquired a while ago and am only getting around to processing now, when I came across this Richie Rich cover and the following thought got stuck in my head and I had to let it out:
…Well, I mean, he is hangin’ out with Casper and all. Also, I had to create the letters “T” and “H” by altering other letters in the same balloon. This is a dumb amount of effort, but now this exists so…um, there it is, I guess.
My blogging sister Tegan just celebrated her lucky thirteenth anniversary of her blog about a week ago, and I certainly wanted to point you in her direction for more of her great writing. Tegan said a few very kind words about me in said post, for which I am most appreciative and flattered. She’s always been one of the comics blogosphere’s (if I may still use the term) foremost essayists on the topic of funnybooks and the industry that mostly supports them, and is always worth reading. (And you can help fund her work via her Patreon.)
Speaking of Patreons, Dog Boy creator Steve Lafler just started one up to support a new series of political cartoons. I do like Steve Lafler comics, so I signed up, and maybe you can, too. I mean, yes, it is political in nature, so you may not see eye-to-eye with him, and that’s okay. However, if you do like his work, Patreon makes it easy to throw a dollar or two his way to directly support his efforts.
But one thing we can all agree on is that Nazis are terrible, and Bully, the Little Bull Stuffed with Patriotism, brings us another of his Ten of a Kind posts featuring those lousy Ratzis getting what-for, and how.
1. Okay, that better be non
-alcoholic cloud beer.
2. And if it isn’t…surely Wendy wouldn’t be drinking and broom-flying, setting a horrible example for young witches everywhere.
3. Why is Casper drinking? What good that does him, unless he likes having a bunch of brownish liquid visibly sloshing around inside him given the previously established semipermeability of ghost skins in the Harveyverse.
4. Hold on, maybe that’s just brown water coming from dirty clouds. Ew.
5. What’s holding that spigot in place? And don’t tell me “magic” — I demand scientific rationality from my comics starring a dead boy and the youngest member of the coven.
Meanwhile, Richie Rich is basically just daring the poor of Richville to rise up:
“Richie, please, can I have just a dollar? I’m so hungry.”
“Ha ha, oh Freckles, you’re so funny. But seriously, all this money…! What to do, what to do.”
cover from Wendy the Good Little Witch #38 (October 1966); panel excerpted from a 1970s Harvey house ad
Richie Rich Diamonds #30 (May 1977)
…you’re gonna turn up your nose at this outfit:
…when you normally dress like this:
…you drive one of these:
…you talked your butler into joining you on this:
…and, as noted before
, you own one of these horrible things:
You sure draw the line at the oddest places, Richie Rich.
Also, you say stuff like this. I mean, what the hell.
(Some images “borrowed” from the Grand Comics Database.)
So I don’t know which is more disturbing:
That 1) there was a comic book series devoted to the love life of Richie Rich…
…or 2) that Richie Rich is totally ripped:
I’m half-surprised Harvey didn’t put out a title called Richie Rich and His Manly Torso
, so long as they were putting out six dozen other
Richie Rich series.
…and that would be THE LOVE LIFE OF RICHIE RICH:
…Well, Richie’s love life as Gloria is imagining it, but once seen, it cannot be unseen
Please enjoy the rest of your day. Thank you.
from Richie Rich Bank Book #12 (August 1974)
In the comments for yesterday’s post, both Tim and John comment on the “intense” adventure-oriented nature of the Richie Rich comic I presented. I’ve always thought this kind of Richie Rich comic, as common as it was, seemed a bit…peculiar, myself, contrasting the exceedingly cartoony nature of Richie with drama, action, and intrigue. Archie did it, too on occasion. I suppose ultimately it’s no more ridiculous than, say, Uncle Scrooge McDuck going on world-spanning and sometimes life-threatening adventures (though there are, I imagine, several reasons why Scrooge’s adventures feel less out of character than they do for Richie or Archie…perhaps a topic for another day).
I’ve presented these panels before, about five years ago, but this remains my favorite cognitively dissonant bit from one of the “adventure” Richie Rich comics…in this case Richie Rich Diamonds #56, where Richie is stranded in a foreign country and faces off against…um, the Vietcong, maybe?
Here’s another Harvey book I came across with a similarly out-of-character presentation:
Okay, not so much in the cover image but in the promises made in the blurbs: “shiver with fear..shake with laughter.” C’mon, it’s Casper…how much shivering in fear are we seriously expecting, here? (And the “shake with laughter” part…well, your mileage will vary, I guess.)
That’s about as scary as it gets. But it’s not as if we were realistically expecting “OH MY GOD! It’s Baby Huey…but where’s his head
!? AAAAIIIIEEEE!!!” I’d totally read that, of course, but alas, our actual Harvey scares are more gentle and friendly in nature.
Seriously, you think you’d want to double-check the latch on your case if you’re going to pull a stunt like this:
Richie Rich Gems #1 (September 1974)
- Employee Tim noted something to me yesterday as he was working on the cycle sheets: Kevin Smith’s Batman: Cacophony #2 hasn’t come out yet. The first issue was released November 12th, and if it’s supposed to be monthly, issue #2 would have been out last Wednesday. And since it’s not going to be out this coming Wednesday, that means it’s a minimum of six weeks between these two issues.
Not a big deal, especially nowadays where a delay of a week or two is fairly common on monthlies, but something to keep an eye on considering the assurances made ahead of time for this series. (‘Course, I think the assurances made have been more along the lines of “all the scripts are in” and “it won’t take years to complete, honest” rather than “this series won’t be late at all.”)
- So that reprint of Watchmen #1 came out last week, and whenever we get a comic in with a promotional price point (like Watchmen‘s $1.50) I like to put a tag on the shelf to advertise it.
Here’s the tag I put up…you can blame Employee Aaron for giving me the idea for the Watchmen-related details I added:
We find our fun where we can.
Now, I did make an effort to let people know that there was only going to be the #1, but I am curious to see if, a month or so from now, we start getting inquiries for the second issue.
It does make me wonder, if DC went ahead and just rereleased the entire series, how it would sell. We ordered modestly on the first issue, figuring we might move a handful of copies off the shelf and then have them around as “samplers” for people who don’t want to drop twenty bucks for the softcover. But we sold through all our copies over the weekend, and that has me thinking that maybe there are enough comic fans out there who don’t tend to buy trade paperbacks to make a full comic book format reprinting of the Watchmen series worthwhile. I know it’s hard to imagine, given the general direction of the comics market from periodicals toward collections, but there are still comic fans who resist buying any squarebound reprint books. And, equally hard to believe I’m sure, there are still comic fans who haven’t read Watchmen. A full twelve issue reprint series could be a good way to grab at least some of those holdouts.
Hey, with a movie coming out, you might as well hit every market level while you can. I’m hoping…praying…for a prose novelization of the Watchmen movie knocked out by Hacky McHackerton. You just know that would be fantastic.
- I was poking through a copy of Harvey Hits #1 (1986) and noticed this story with Richie Rich and Little Audrey, ripped from today’s headlines 22 years ahead of time:
Basically, they’re strapped into this menacing-looking chair and they’re “thought-projected” into a TV show they can watch:
But there is one hideous, horrible aspect to these shows they’re generating:
THEIR BIG HEADS ARE EVEN BIGGER.
Seriously, this is terrifying, watching those big ol’ noggins threaten to snap their spindly little bodies like balsa wood.
But this does bring up the idea of body-image in the Harvey-verse. Are the characters aware of the freakishly-large craniums they have? Does this awareness translate to an exaggerated self-image that, as seemingly evidenced by the thought-projection seen above, results in a belief in a body-versus-head size ratio far greater than actuality?
Surely this serious topic requires further investigation.
Not that it was a real kneeslapper to begin with, but still:
Anyway, in other news:
- Congratulations to pal Ian for his new editorial position at BOOM! Studios. At last! I shall use my nefarious influence over his weak will and DESTROY THE COMICS INDUSTRY from the inside! HA HA HA!
Okay, actually I’ll just keep nagging him about a Warhammer Vs. Cthulhu comic book every time I see him. That’s nefarious enough.
Good luck, Ian! I know you’ll do a great job!
- So Rick Veitch does this thing on his site where he uses those online sign graphic generators to post quotes about his work. Well, guess who made it onto one?
- Bully, the cute little stuffed bull, has had his his third anniversary of cute little bull blogging. Wow, he’s been blogging since he was three and a half years old! Amazing!
- So a few days ago I mentioned Brainiac 5’s conversion of Computo from “dangerous murderous machine” to “swell personal assistant.” I’ve been rereading some of my Legion of Super-Heroes comics lately, as you may have gathered, and I completely forgot about this:
Brainy had just resigned from the Legion, but not before “upgrading” the new, friendly ‘n’ helpful Computo into a new biomechanical body that, oh, just by pure coincidence, looks like a really tiny version of that old Legion villain Validus. A nice touch in the series is that everyone else on the team is totally creeped out by this damned thing. Particularly Saturn Girl, who had just reclaimed one of her sons from, well, having been Validus. (Don’t make me explain that…here’s the wiki.)
- I paged Dr. Polite Scott, and lo, there he is, discussing that issue of Booster Gold. Hi, Scott!
- Coming to your local funnybook store this week: the Nearly Complete Essential Hembeck Archives Omnibus! Fred Hembeck has lots of pictures of this massive tome, and I can’t wait to have a copy of my very own. That’s 900+ pages of pure, unadulterated Fred, and every home should have one.
images from Richie Rich Inventions #5 (1978); Legion of Super-Heroes #51 (Oct. 1988) by Paul Levitz, Keith Giffen & Mike DeCarlo
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