Thursday, January 15, 2015


Just out of shot is a buncha riot cops smashing up the Occupy Cashelot tent village.

Harvey Comics had briefly ceased publication when Marvel Comics launched their kid-friendly line Star Comics, a branded imprint which focused primarily on licensed characters such as Strawberry Shortcake, Heathcliff and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood (that deal fell through).

Marvel had previously never been shy of licensed properties, what with ROM, Godzilla and Micronauts, in particular, happily sharing space in the primary Marvel universe. Star Comics set aside an otherwise uninterrupted continuity, though, where the main Marvel universe wouldn’t interrupt such far-flung properties as the Muppet Babies and Ewoks which, you know, doesn’t seem so important now.

Oh, they got one'a those murder valets.
Also originally in Star’s sights were the aforementioned Harvey characters – Hot Stuff, Wendy the Good Little Witch, and most importantly Richie Rich. The attempts to license fell through, but Star still found a way to almost-embrace the Poor Little Rich Boy – hire his creator to make a knock-off!

Warren Kremer came on board Marvel to create or manage a quartet of Harvey-ready concepts, not the least of which was Royal Roy, A Prince of a Boy. Cheerful, do-gooding and dripping with filthy lucre, Roy’s palatial home of Cashelot resembled the Rich Estate on which his stumpier predecessor had enjoyed the bulk of his adventures (its first-ever appearance on the cover of Royal Roy No.1 employs the golden dollar sign which was an architectural element of the Richie Rich books and also probably all over the Trump apartments).

Royal Roy abounded with Richie Rich-esque supporting characters. His parents were King and Queen Regalia, his aunt was the Duchess Muchess, and he was attended by a creepy super-efficient butler named Ascott. Roy was also the descendent of a bombastic, manly, Nick Offerman-esque king named William the Warhorse who, as a disembodied spirit only he could see, aided and encouraged young Roy on his journey to manhood, which is why I think of this book as Richie Rich meets Hamlet.

In place of Dollar the Dollarmation, Roy owned a toothless crocodile named Gummy, as one does. Roy even ended up with a pair of potential love interests, in the Gloria/Mayda Munny (or as I like to think of it, the Jennifer Aniston/Angelina Jolie) vein: good-hearted Crystal Clear, conniving Lorna Loot. And yet he spent most of his time with Henrietta Handjob, go figure.

Roy managed to eke out an impoverished six issues, which was nonetheless just enough to raise Harvey’s ire to lawsuit levels. The cancellation of the series appeared to put an end to the possible litigation, and Royal Roy disappeared for a good long while Harvey – and Richie Rich – eventually resumed publication.

Act III, Sc.IV "Do not forget. This visitation is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose."

1 comment:

BillyWitchDoctor said...

Roy owned a toothless crocodile named Gummy


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