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…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
Now every time I come across this copy of Richie Rich Vaults of Mystery #9 (March 1976), I get the urge to post it on this site and poke a little fun at Google:
‘Course, the thing that usually holds me back is the fact that the actual mathematical term “Googol” (a 1 followed by a hundred zeroes, a fact repeated constantly over the course of this story) is the one being used as the villain’s name.
So, sure, they sound the same, but they look different, which sorta undermines any joke I want to make. Like here:
Sure, it’s still a little funny when read aloud, picturing Google, Inc. as a mysterious red-hooded villian, but the spelling mutes the humor a tad.
Now check out this panel:
That’s just crying out for some kind of “Google is conquering the world, one user at a time” observation, but, again, it’s “googol,” not “Google.” That just seems like one step too many from effective usage in satirical parody.
Some people just don’t understand Google’s business plans, or corporate decisions, or what have you, and I’d like to illustrate that concept with a Richie Rich panel, but instead I have this:
And then there’s…well, feh, I like the idea of Google being unmasked at the end of story, like, say, Agatha Christie gathering all the cast into the library for the final revelation of the murderer. But instead we get:
The heck with it…God gave us Photoshop for a reason:
Well, I think so, and it’s my weblog, so there.
And because you’re gonna ask…here’s who the Googol was:
Yes, the “100 Zeroes” story was related earlier in the comic.
And now the comic is out of my system. Whew.
As we observe this scene, the primary action has already occurred…the burglar is already unconscious, the bump on his head already formed, the bag of coins already at rest on the floor, the loose coins already scattered about, Richie Rich already present, hands smugly on hips, delivering his pithy bon mots. All of the objects of the cover gag, as they are drawn here, are already at rest. The gag has happened, and we are seeing the results.
However, the cover contains an incongruous action element; there are motion lines tracing the path of the falling bag from the broken shelf, to the burglar’s head, and to its stopping point on the floor. This motion is out of place, though perhaps we can forgive the motion lines around the pieces of shelving and the bag itself, perhaps representing some residual “wobbling” from the event. What we are seeing is the end result of a sequence of events; the action is completed. The motion lines more rightly belong in a theoretical “previous panel” to the cover’s “current panel” – a scene in which the burglar, still conscious and upright and in the midst of his crime, is impacted upon his head by the falling coin bag, perhaps even with an exclamation of “Ow!” or “Hey” or “What’s all this, then?” That is an action scene, and that is where the motion lines should come into play.
As it stands now, the motion lines only seem to serve as a hint to the less astute members of this comic magazine’s readership, spelling out the joke for those who can’t look at the broken shelf, who can’t infer that the large bag of coins once sat on that shelf and are clearly the only item in that room able to cause such a goose egg on the burglar’s head, and who can’t even take the hint from Richie Rich’s own dialogue.
A secondary problem in this cover image is the position of the robber. Only a moment’s consideration will reveal that the burglar’s head, when he is standing, is above the shelf in question.
Let us assume, firstly, that the duties of Irona, the Rich household’s robotic maid, do not extend into the confines of the many walk-in safes on the premises. (I realize this may in fact be contradicted by other Richie Rich comics over the years, but a consistent continuity is hardly the franchise’s primary concern…wither “Super-Richie,” for example.) Thus, perhaps the scattering of coins upon the safe’s floor were not from the falling coin bag, but present on the floor to begin with…coins dropped in the Riches’ haste to store away their money and depart to acquire more, and never cleaned up by Irona. Those coins, representing an easy acquisition, attract the burglar’s attention first, causing him to bend over to pick them up.
Judging from the burglar’s current post-impact position, it looks as if he’d fallen backwards against the wall. However, if he had been bent over in that general position when the coin bag fell, it would have impacted his lower back, if it would have hit him at all. Going by the motion line path presented on the cover, the coin bag didn’t make it that far away laterally from its starting point. Its path was primarily straight down, until it made its impact upon the burglar and bounced to the side.
Alternatively, the burglar could have been bent over facing the wall with the shelf. The coin bag falls, hits the burglar…and in the burglar’s moments prior to lapsing in unconsciousness, he perhaps could have spun around, plopped himself down back against the wall, and passed out.
The third option is that the burglar was already sitting underneath the shelf when the coin bag impact occurred, which not only explains the burglar’s position as Richie Rich finds him, but also works with the coin bag’s presented trajectory. Why he was sitting we can only theorize: tired from entering the Rich mansion, he needed to sit and rest, or perhaps he had a bad back, and it was easier for him to sit down and pick up the spilled coins rather then bend over. Who can say?
This third option also answers another question implied by the image: would a bag filled with coins falling from that short of a distance from the shelf to the burglar’s head really be enough to render him unconscious? It would certainly be an unpleasant experience, having that much weight fall upon one’s head, but would it strike with enough of a sharp blow to knock out a full grown adult?
There is a possible solution to this as well, and one that may perhaps even incorporate the seemingly out of place motion lines discussed earlier.
At first glance, the cover presents us with a burglar knocked out by a falling bag of coins. But consider this alternative sequence of events:
1. Burglar enters walk-in safe.
2. Burglar spots coins on the floor, sits to pick up coins with his back against the wall just beneath the shelf.
3. Burglar stands up quickly, possibly alarmed by the noise of someone (most likely, Richie Rich) approaching.
4. Burglar’s head impacts the shelf above, hard enough to not only break the shelf, but to also render him unconscious.
5. The breaking of the shelf dislodges a precariously placed bag of coins, located somewhere off to the side (instead of directly above the burglar’s head). The bag of coin rolls over and falls down through the break in the shelf, off the burglar, and onto the floor.
If this is the sequence of events, then this resolves the cover’s contradictory “completed action” of the unconscious burglar with the “current action” of the falling coin bag. The falling coin bag is not ultimately responsible for the burglar’s unconscious state; he is already out when the bag falls. The falling bag (which is occurring, and we — along with Richie Rich — are observing, in the “now” of the cover image) is simply adding insult to the implied off-panel shelf-impact injury.
And really, “coin-ked out?” I don’t have any explanation for that…that’s just stupid.
Additional thoughts, opinions, and arguments from my fellow scholars are, as always, welcomed in the comments section.