Monday, May 25, 2015

Richie Rich - The Poor Little Rich Boy (Harvey Comics)

Richie Rich - The Poor Little Rich Boy
Harvey Comics
1960 - 1991

Today we're featuring a guest writer - Jon from The Harvey Mercheum. For obvious reasons, Jon has a little more expertise when it comes to the subject of Richie Rich. As such, it seemed only natural - appropriate if you will - to let him take the helm.

Richie Rich made his first appearance in 1953, as a backup story in Little Dot # 1.  There is some controversy over who created the character.  Possibilities include the founder of Harvey Comics, Alfred Harvey, editor Sid Jacobson and artist Warren Kremer.  Richie continued to make appearances in the Little Dot and Little Lotta comics, but did not get his own title until 1960.  From there, his popularity continued to grow, and more titles were added.  In all, more than 50 Richie Rich titles were published, more than any other comic character before or since.  Publication was suspended from 1982 until 1986, and ceased altogether in 1994.  Ape Entertainment tried to update Richie Rich, and released new comic books from 2011 until 2012.

In addition to comic books and digests, Richie Rich appeared in two different animated cartoons.  The first was produced by Hanna-Barbera, and ran mixed with other cartoon characters from 1980 until 1984.  The second, 1996 Film Roman cartoon only lasted 13 episodes, but was truer to the original character designs.

Two live-action films were also produced.  The first, simply titled “Richie Rich”, was released in 1994.  It was followed by a direct-to-video film titled “Richie Rich’s Christmas Wish” in 1998.
The most recent incarnation of Richie Rich is a live-action television show produced by Netflix in 2015.  The character, backstory, and supporting cast have all been reworked for this show.

So what is the original character design?  Richie Rich is normally depicted as a blond white boy, between 8 and 10 years of age.  He normally wears white shoes, blue shorts, a collared white shirt, a red bow tie and a black jacket.  He is sometimes depicted in the comics wearing a heavier winter jacket over his shorts, or a swimsuit instead of this outfit if he is at a pool or the beach.  There are times when he wears a costume, such as a cowboy outfit, but his regular clothing was so common, it became somewhat of a joke in the comics.

Despite being the richest child in the world, Richie is very down-to-earth, and appreciates the simple things in life.  He likes to use his money to help others whenever possible.  He is not snobbish, and dislikes those he is forced to associate with that are.

Richie Rich stories started with a small group of family and friends.  Over the years, more friends, relatives, staff members and even enemies were added.  Richie also interacted with characters from other Harvey titles, including Casper the Friendly Ghost.  Richie believed his meeting with Casper were all a dream, despite each story ending with evidence to the contrary.

The stories were set in a variety of locations as well.  Many happened within the Rich Mansion, the Rich Estate, or the town in which the Estate was located (Richville).  When Richie leaves Richville, he seems to be somewhere within the United States.  The world is pretty much like our own, with some fictional place names thrown in.

Join us next time when we take a look at Amalgam!

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