Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Harvey Comics, Another Ad, and Nightmare Fuel
I hadn't really heard much about Richie Rich other than the horrible live action movie that came out in the 90s that starred Macaulay Culkin and this conversation from The Simpsons:
Lisa: Hurry, mom! If we don't get to the convention soon, all the good comics will be gone!
Bart: Ah, what do you care about good comics? All you every buy is Casper the Wimpy Ghost.
Lisa: I think it's sad that you equate friendliness with wimpiness, and I hope it'll keep you from ever achieving true popularity.
Bart: Well, you know what I think? I think Casper's the ghost of Richie Rich.
Lisa: Hey! They do look alike.
Bart: I wonder how Richie died.
Lisa: Perhaps he realized how hollow the pursuit of money is and took his own life.
Marge: Kids, could you lighten up a little?
So I was mildly curious about him. Mildly.
(This issue has lots of pretty lame references to Happy Days. This would have been around the time that Harvey was in decline so maybe they were trying to rope the kids in by trying to be hip?)
Richie Rich, like all Harvey Comics Characters, is a one gag character. While Casper's gag is that he scares the fuck out of people but doesn't mean to and Little Lotta's is that she is fat, Richie's thing is that he's rich. He's rich and uses money to get out of tough situations.
Other than the occasional unintentionally sexual gag
it's pretty darn bland. He was Harvey's most popular character though and to be fair, the comics were aimed at little kids. I suppose the fact that he's rich but not snobbish was enough to endure him to a whole generation. But that's where Harvey's genius lies. They knew what kids wanted. They knew that the stories just had to be simple with characters that their readers would either want to be or hang out with, and they ran with it for 40 some years. So, while I wouldn't read these comics everyday, I can appreciate them for what they were.
For a really good history of Harvey Comics and it's impact on a generation of kids (Way better than I could hope to write), please go here: http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/archives/v3_3/jackson/
And now for some Casper:
Jesus, what the Hell is that?
Casper wants to suck your soul out through your nose!
I'm saving the really weird ads for tomorrow night. Here's a movie related one.
Can anyone tell me who the artist is that might have drawn this?:
I just know it's in the style of one of the usual gang of idiots from Mad, but I can't seem to recall which one!
And finally, something completely unrelated:
Ray Bradbury is one of my favorite authors ever. He's had a huge impact on pop culture, but he always seems to get stiffed when it comes to film adaptations of his work. They tend to range from okay to freakin' terrible. This Russian short is pretty damn good, but it misses out on a lot of the subtle creepiness and aching sadness of the original story and instead goes for the throat with some pretty heavy handed imagery. The one scene that I think it does do right though is when the robot wakes up the family at the beginning. I would love to see an animated adaptation that would stick closer to the original story. Actually, I think a lot of his work would be amazing if handled by the right animation studio.
My computer is being a douche tonight and there's something else I need to work on, so I bid you all good night and many happy nightmares!