Right you are, bonzogal! Here's the link to where that "bocce flag" came from, and here's my favorite image from that album.

hemlockman wants to make fun of Richie Rich some more, and anybody who offers me free Melvin Monster comics gets what he asks for!

Here's page 5. The only interesting thing that happened on page 4 (besides the hilarious "OOP" reaction) was Richie BULLYING Herman onto the swim team. And I quote: "Don't BUG me. boy! Get into your TRUNKS!"

So here we are at page 5, the grand finale. Herman is of course way behind in the swim match by the end of page 4. Let's watch, shall we?

There's an infinite number of things one could say about this comic. I'll just choose 3.

1. In panel 4, Richie is listening to "Midnight at the Oasis" on his iPod. The verse where Maria Muldaur "kicks up a little dust"!

2. Hogan sure has sissy swim trunks for a bully!

3. And even though the tables have turned, Bully Herman still has a limp wrist! (see panel 7).

Your pal,
The Profiling Stereotyper



Jed said...

Self serving promo:

Blue Kid begins here!

HemlockMan said...

HAHA! What a great lesson for kids! Solve your problems through violence!

I'm sure I read that comic as a kid, but for some reason forgot about it. Man, Ernie Colon must have been really young when he started working for Harvey Comics.

eeTeeD said...

i don't recall how old mr. colon was when he started working at harvey comics, but i don't think he was too young.
the story he told of his start at harvey comics goes something like this...
when an artist started working at harvey comics they were given the job of lettering, and then had to work their way up. ernie was a terrible letterer, and he was going to be fired. but fate stepped in... mr. harvey's wife went to school with ernie colon. mrs. harvey intervened on ernie's behalf and told alfred that ernie was a very talented artist.
so instead of getting fired mr. colon got promoted to artist.

Mark Martin said...

1. What a dumbass way to manage an art department, if that's true. It's pretty hard to believe, but management does some baffling stuff.

2. The more I look at that art (WAY more than I ever would had I not posted it here!) the crappier it gets! Check out Hogan on page 5 panel 5. His left shoulder is fantastically low, legs different lengths, right arm would drag the ground if he straightened it, mangled feet...

and why is Richie wearing a jacket?

eeTeeD said...

i agree that the proportions on hogan are "off" in panel 5, but i can forgive ernie for that sour note. while he is not my favorite harvey artist he was (is) a very talented cartoonist, and he made many important contributions to harvey comics.

as for richie's jacket... note the collar, cuffs, and waste of the jacket. the colorist made the jacket one solid color, but i believe that it is supposed to be some type of school jacket. it should have been colored with the school's colors, like the school jackets that athletes are given.

eeTeeD said...

here’s a brief history of harvey comics. it’s off the top of my head, so don’t take this as 100% accurate. it’ll just give you a basic idea of what harvey comics was all about.

alfred harvey got his start in the early days comics doing editorial work for victor fox. victor fox was the publisher of fox comics. he knew very little about publishing and even less about cartooning. his comics contained some of the crudest stories and art of comic books’ golden age. at fox comics harvey met the legendary joe simon (co-creator of captain america), with whom he would have a long working relationship.

after a few years of working for fox, harvey somehow managed to start his own comic book company. his comics were not much better than those he worked on at fox, and he didn’t have any major hits.

then alfred harvey went off to serve in the military during world war two.

somehow after the war harvey got some money together and decided to try publishing a higher quality of comic books than he had before the war. there were several changes in his new line of comics.

one was the hiring of lee elias. lee was a professional comic strip artist, and he was given several different projects to work on, but is perhaps best known for his work on the black cat.

second was to publish comic book versions of popular comic strips. most of these comics were reprints, and production RE-work was done by harvey’s friend joe simon. characters included joe palooka, dick tracy, the phantom, blondie and dagwood and many others. it was during this time that harvey started publishing george baker’s sad sack character. sad sack became one of harvey’s most popular comic books, in part because harvey did a lot of sales through military “PX’s”.

third was an attempt to imitate rival publisher’s popular comic books. for this endeavor harvey relied heavily on a wunderkind named warren kremer. kremer had strong illustrative skills, and was known as a “copy artist”, meaning he was able to copy other artist’s styles. he copied lee elias’ style, he copied ham fisher’s style for work on little max, he copied ec’s style for work on harvey horror comics, he copied the styles of artists that worked on simon and kirby’s romance comics, he copied bob montana’s style for harvey’s teen humor comics, etc.

despite the high quality of the harvey product, none of the books sold incredibly well (sad sack sales didn’t take off until baker put his character back in the army. the early comics had him dealing with civilian life). harvey comics success came, in part, from comic books’ downfall.

in the 1950’s super hero comics had lost their popularity. this gave way to romance, horror, and science fiction comics. parents eventually boycotted these new comics for containing too much sex and violence. the comic book industry was hit hard by the boycott, and many of the smaller publishers were forced out of business.

the comic book publishers scrambled to find safe wholesome entertainment that parents wouldn’t object to. they found it in a newspaper comic strip called “dennis the menace”. dennis the menace became a huge success in comic book form. the art on the comic was first handled by mega-talent owen fitzgerald, and later by the equally talented al wiseman. dennis went through several publishers before he settled on fawcette as his home.

meanwhile, every other comic book publisher was trying to come up with a little kid comic that could cash in on the dennis the menace success.
dc- sugar and spike
archie- pat the brat, and little archie
marvel- Melvin the monster
charlton- super genius
dell comics already had little lulu whom they did quite well with

here’s how harvey worked their way into the kids comic field, and into the harvey comics we all know.

famous animation studios started in the 1940’s, and was originally known as fleischer animation studios. their most popular cartoons were animated versions of other companies’ properties. namely, popeye, superman, and little lulu. slowly, famous studios began to develop their own characters.

dell comics was the first comic book company to get the rights to publish comic book versions of characters created by famous studios. unfortunately for dell, when they got these rights famous studios had very few characters. dell did comics versions of a sheep named blackie, a henpecked rooster, herman the mouse, and a few other forgettable characters. these comics appeared in animal comics. they were drawn by tom golden and other famous studio animators who did comic book work on the side to earn extra money. none of the art was particularly memorable.

after a few years rights to publish comic book versions of famous studio characters went to a small publishing company named st. john. by this time famous had started developing more memorable characters. st. john had some small success publishing little audrey comics, and then started publishing casper the friendly ghost comics. st. john went out of business, and lost the famous studio publishing rights to harvey comics.

while at st. john little audrey comics featured the work of (i’m guessing here) famous studio animator larz borne, with a few reprints of little audrey newspaper comic strips. these newspaper strips were drawn by famous studio animator steve mufatti. steve mufatti was an extremely talented artist. though he was born in the 1890’s his style was incredibly slick and contemporary. alfred harvey, who was neither talented at business nor at art made the one right move in his career by realizing mufatti’s talent and exploiting it. at harvey mufatti became the main artist on the little audrey series (a position later given to howard post).

the casper comic book at st. john had been illustrated by several different famous studio artists. their identity is debated. the first few issues of casper used these same artists and writers, but as time went on this series was also given the mufatti treatment. harvey’s star copy artist warren kremer (remember him?) worked with mufatti, and did an amazing job of copying mufatti’s style. kremer’s solid competent mufatti-style art teamed with writing under the direction of e.i.c sid jacobson produced some of the best kid comics ever made.

meanwhile, harvey was still trying to create his own kid character. first he took an old character he had called “little dot” (dot was short for Dorothy) and had steve mufatti redesign her. the new little dot was given her own book and sales were good. soon after a kid character was created as a filler comic for the back pages of little dot comics, his name was richie rich. mufatti designed the character. kremer did the art, and harvey’s biggest star was born.

while all these kid comics were being made famous studio animator marty taras was doing terrific work on the famous studio character “baby huey”. baby huey became harvey’s answer to dell’s donald duck comics, though they never sold as well.

eventually, harvey acquired all rights to the famous studio characters, and made a fortune not only in comic books, but also on saturday morning television.

harvey tried many other projects over the years, including a failed animation studio and a failed line of marvel-inspired action/superheo comics. but his company’s success was based firmly on the artistic talents of steve mufatti. without him, harvey would have had nothing.

many artists worked at harvey comics. the most important of them being:

steve mufatti- famous studio animator. responsible for the “harvey style”

warren kremer- mega-talented artists. harvey’s defacto art director. as warren put it. “steve mufatti created the harvey style, and i perfected it”. kremer copied mufatti, and the other harvey artists copied kremer

lee donahue- famous studio artist who inked in the early days of harvey’s “mufatti stlye” comics. his incredible inking abilities gave the harvey comics life and “propped up” the work of some of the lesser harvey artists.

marty taras- famous studio animator who worked at harvey from the early kid comics days to well into the 1970’s. he did virtually all of the baby huey comics. he handled many of the wendy comics. he also did casper, Herman and katnip, rags rabbit and many other Harvey/famous characters. taras was an incredible draftsman, and created slick solid comic books and animated cartoons.

howard post- howard started his cartoon career working at dc comics. he worked for many different comic book publishers and also did freelance storyboard work for famous studios. this led to his career at harvey comics where he became the principle artist on little audrey, spooky and hot stuff. he worked on other harvey characters including casper and richie rich. he eventually had his own long running comic strip, and was also the head of famous studios in the 1960’s. post’s work was very simple and very cartoony, and was often “off model” compared to the other harvey artists.

sid couchy- sid couchy worked mostly on little dot, richie rich, and little lotta. he copied warren kremer’s work, but did not have kremer’s strong illustrative abilities. couchy’s work has a more simplistic, more angular style compared to kremer’s work

ernie colon- ernie colon is a very talented artist who did an excellent job of imitating kremer’s work. he liked to draw things a bit less “cartoony” than kremer would. he worked mostly on richie rich, casper, and little audrey.