Hallowe’en Countdown III, Day 16

« Mirrors toins things in revoise! Everything in Mirrorland is opposite! So naturally I’m a tough ghost and you’re a sissy spook! » — Poil in Through the Looking Glass (Spooky no. 121, 1970… read it here)

The Harvey Comics line, in its peak years (from the late Fifties to the mid-seventies, say) was essentially a collection of monomaniacal characters. As Daniel Clowes deemed in his classic lampoon of the Harvey cast, theirs is a Playful Obsession (read it here.)

Richie Rich had his moolah, Little Lotta wolfed down everything in sight, Little Dot found stimulation in… dots, and so on. Casper the Friendly Ghost’s uncouth counterpart, the 30s kid gang-inspired Spooky (complete with Brooklyn accent and « doiby » hat), loved to, well, scare people (and things!) with a hearty « Boo! », Hot Stuff raised the temperature wherever he went. On the other hand, Casper and Little Audrey’s adventures didn’t rely on such gimmicks, possibly from predating the rest of the Harvey gang, originating in animation in Casper’s case, and… folklore in Audrey’s:

« One day, Li’l Audrey was playing with matches. Her mother told her she’d better stop before someone got hurt. But Li’l Audrey was awfully hard-headed and kept playing with matches, and eventually she burned their house down.

“Oh, Li’l Audrey, you are sure gonna catch it when your father comes home!” said her mother.

But Li’l Audrey just laughed and laughed, because she knew her father had come home early to take a nap. »

The Harvey line’s covers were by far its most precious asset: endless riffs on a character’s particular motif, granted, but spun out in well-designed, nimbly-executed and brightly-coloured scenes… virtually the work of a single creative whirlwind, art director-illustrator Warren Kremer (1921-2003).

LittleLotta57A
This is Little Lotta no. 57 (Jan. 1965). Lotta may have been a glutton, but she was also super-strong.
LittleAudrey71A
This is Playful Little Audrey no. 71 (Aug. 1967).
LittleAudrey73A
This is Playful Little Audrey no. 73 (Dec. 1967).
HotStuff-Sizzlers43A
This is Hot Stuff Sizzlers no. 43 (Nov. 1970).
Casper149A
This is Casper the Friendly Ghost no. 149 (Jan. 1971).
SpookyHaunted9A
This is Spooky Haunted House no. 9 (Feb. 1974). Note that Spooky’s girlfriend’s actual name is ‘Pearl’… he just pronounces it ‘Poil’. Upon occasion, the ‘tuff little ghost’ essays the rôle of the spookee rather than his usual spooker (or is that “spookist”?)
LittleDot156A
This is Little Dot no. 156 (Dec. 1974). I’m not sure what the kid’s so terrified of… maybe he’s never had the measles?

WendyWitch87A
This is Wendy, the Good Little Witch no. 87 (Apr. 1975). [ds: these just might be edible mushrooms.]
In all cases, artwork by the legendarily prolific Warren Kremer. As we demonstrated last year, the Harvey house style hardly was the only range he could draw in.

– RG

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