On comic buying days, you buy whatever favorites came in that week. But, what happens when you run out of new comics, and the week isn't over yet? These were the days before there was a new Batman title every week (or everyDAY). So, you sweat, you re-read the old comics, or, like me, you go back to the store and buy the also-rans, the runners up, the comics you buy when you've read the comics you really like.
For me, these were Archie comics, Charlton and Gold Key Ghost comics, and the comics that most super hero fans don't admit to reading, Harvey. Oh, maybe they'll say that they looked at their 'sisters' comics, but buy them themselves? HA! They'd sooner admit to playing with Barbies then reading Little Dot, or Casper (read them all, including all ten million Richie Rich titles).
So, yeah, I bought Richie Rich, and Casper, Little Dot, Little Lotta and all their friends. Read 'em, liked 'em too. Uh, you know, they were okay. The thing about Harvey though, the thing that still amuses me, is the somewhat sick obsession each character had. Almost every character was based around one thematic obsession, food, money, dots, being dead, really dead. Or a devil. With Harvey, there was variety.
Little Dot was one of Harvey's first popular funny characters, and one of the most obsessed. Her thing was Dots. Lots of Dots. She found dots everywhere, taxing her parents to the extreme, and her writers even further. Every round object was a dot, even objects that weren't dots were usually damaged during the story, and became dots. Dots, dots, dots, everywhere. Kinda creepy. I could imagine her in her old age, raving on about how her pills looked like little dots. By the seventies, she had lost most of her books, but she was still around in back-up stories, looking a little worn, and just a mite desperate.
Dot's best buddy was another obsession-based character, this one fixated on food. Little Lotta, a chubby, (stout, large sized, big for her age, riddled with baby fat, choose you're own euphemism here), girl who had super strength to match her appetite. Her stories centered around her search for food, her getting back at bullies, or her parent induced attempts at losing weight. Doomed, of course. I imagined her old age would spent fussing over a large brood of cats. Very FAT cats.
Little Dot and Lotta were both done in by a young boy in a Little Lord Fauntleroy outfit, the worlds richest boy, Richie Rich. He started off in the back-up position in Little Dots' book, and ended up taking over most of the Harvey line. Rumors are he bought off most of it, but, I don't deal in rumors....unless they're fun. Guess what Richie was obsessed with? No, not Justin Bieber, get that boy out of here! Money. Richie was like a combination of Scrooge McDuck and Gladstone Gander, everywhere he turned, he found money. He found oil with his pogo stick, he found gold with his slingshot, and that was just on the covers! This was the guy you invite to dig in your sandbox.
Most of Richie’s' stories centered somehow around his money, but later stories had him (and his very large supporting cast) as a superhero, a mystery solver, and a Jonny Quest style adventurer. With the broadening of his stories (I mean the writers had to do SOMEthing else) Richie was able to overcome the money basis of his stories, somewhat, to become a more likable character. He was my favorite among the Harvey's, and the first of the also-rans I'd buy.
Richie and his friends are gone, (And so is Harvey) but the obsession factor still bothers me. If only they could cured, could be free of the obsessions that held them back from becoming the full human beings I knew they were capable of being. So I called them together, and through group therapy, tried to bring them to a wholeness, and give them the peace they deserved.
A Transcript of Group Therapy in the Land of Harvey Characters
By Dr. Thomas Stewart, BMOC
This is an un-edited transcript of an anonymous group therapy session, conducted this last week by Dr. Thomas Stewart, BMOC. Although Dr. Stewart is not a real Dr., he has watched every episode of M*A*S*H, and the folding chairs and doughnuts were his. The big baby.
Ahem. Anyway, here is the transcript, unedited, except for language. The names have been disguised. So there.
Dr. Tom: Well, welcome everyone, I would like to thank you for coming.
LL: Yeah, yeah, where's the food. I was promised doughnuts.
Dr. T.: Now LL., you know the rules, talk first, then food.
LL: Talk, talk, talk, that's all you docs are good for! When I had my own book...
LD: Are there doughnuts? Are they... Round?
Dr. T: Now LD, you know that is awful close to the "D" word...
LD: But I didn't say the "D" word!
Dr. T: You said round doughnuts...
LD: I like...round doughnuts.
LL: Will you stop saying doughnuts? You're making me hungry!
Dr T: Now LL.,.
RR: Doctor, can I say something?
Dr. T: Please do, Mr. R.
RR: Time is money.
Dr. T: Now Mr. R, you know what I said about your little problem...
LD: Can I say something?
Dr. T: Well, I really think we should get…
LD: I like all round things!
LL: Time is space in which to eat things!
Dr. T: All right, now everyone settle down.
RR: If she's going to talk about 'round things', can I talk about my allowance?
Dr. T: NO! I mean, not now Mr. R. Now, ahem, how are all of you doing on the tasks that I gave you last week? LD, why don't you go first?
LD: Okay! Then can I go last too?
Dr. T: Do you really have that much to report?
LD: Not really, but that way we'd go full... circle.
Dr. T: Thanks, but not this time.
LD: Well, I thought about squares all day. I even made paper squares like you said.
Dr. T: Good.
LD: But I found if you cut off the corners, they're sooo much prettier!
Dr. T: Now LD...
LD: But, they are.
Dr. T: Yes, thank you.
LL: Can I talk now?
Dr. T: Please.
LL: Well, you asked me not to think of food for at least one day. And yesterday, I went all day without thinking about food.
Dr. T: That's great! I'm proud of you! How did you do it?
LL: Well, I didn't think I could, so to prepare myself, I ate for three days non-stop! I ate so much, I went into a coma! So I didn't think of food the whole time I was in the coma!
RR: My turn?
Dr. T: Why not.
RR: Well, my task was not to think of money for a whole day.
Dr. T: Yes. How did you do?
Dr. T: Really?
RR: Really. Or so I'm told.
Dr. T: You weren't in a coma, were you?
RR: No, of course not, I'm obsessed, (your terminology) not pathetic.
LL: Watch it, money boy...
Dr. T: Now people. How did you do the task, Mr. R.?
RR: I paid someone.
Dr. T: You paid someone not to think about money.
RR: Of course. I'm much too busy running my empire, my vast, incredible Ga-zillion dollar empire not to think about money! Be reasonable man.
Dr. T: Mr. R...
LL: That's another thing, what's this 'Mr.' stuff? 'Cause he's got money, right?
Dr. T: LL, I don't think that's...
RR: What of it, fatso?
LL: Oh yeah? You'd have to have money to dress like that.
RR: What? What do you mean...
LL: To keep all the bullies from kicking the snot out of you, sissy boy!
RR: I'll have you know my mother dresses me like this!
Dr. T: Now, I think that's far...
LL: Sissy boy, sissy boy!
RR: Fatso, fatso!
LD: You're rich? Have any coins?
Dr. T: LD....
LD: I like coins.
RR: (expletive deleted)
LL: (expletive deleted)
Dr. T: I think here is where we will end...
RR: (expletive deleted)
LL: (expletive deleted)
Dr. T: ...this session. Thank you for coming.
LD: But I still like... round things.
Dr. T: Save it, LD
The rest of the tape is full of scuffling sounds and inaudible talk. My money is on LL.
Copyright 2015 Tom Stewart. (Expletive deleted).