Growing up in Detroit wasn't always easy, but Harvey comics brought a little bit of wholesomeness to our block. I found it interesting that so many other kids of every color, culture, and toughness also found great pleasure in these books. These were a great escape for us have-nots. Richie Rich in particular. This kid had it all, including a butler and a robot maid. Things that were so far fetched from our lives made it so intriguing.
There was also Sad Sack, Casper, and Little Dot. True gems from the 50's through the 80's, although I stopped reading them before they ended as girls and bad habits seemed to trump wholesomeness. (You too!)
I was also a monster fan back then, and that still holds true to this day. I was not aware of Harvey's golden age horror books until much later.
Harvey also published a line of horror comic books in the 1950s and 1960s. These horror titles were part of the company's efforts to capitalize on the popularity of horror comics during the Golden Age of comics.
Some of the notable horror comic book titles include:
"Black Cat Mystery": This title debuted in 1951 and featured horror, suspense, and mystery stories. The series was known for its striking covers and eerie tales.
"Chamber of Chills": First published in 1951, this horror anthology series showcased a mix of supernatural and macabre stories.
"Witches Tales": This series focused on witchcraft and occult themes. It was launched in 1951 and featured eerie and spooky tales of witches and their dark arts.
"Haunted": Beginning in 1952, "Haunted" presented a mix of ghostly stories and other spooky narratives.
"Tomb of Terror": This horror comic book series started in 1952 and offered tales of terror, monsters, and the supernatural.
Like many other horror comics of that era, Harvey's horror titles faced criticism and scrutiny from concerned parents, educators, and others who believed that these comics were contributing to juvenile delinquency. The backlash against horror comics, along with the implementation of the Comics Code Authority in 1954, led to the decline of horror comics and their eventual disappearance from Harvey's publication lineup.
Despite their relatively short run, Harvey's horror comics have become collectible and nostalgic items sought after by fans of vintage horror comic books. The eerie and macabre stories found in these comics have left a lasting impact on the horror genre in comic books.
In addition to horror titles, the company tried to diversify the comics it published, with brief attempts in superhero, suspense, and western during the 50's and 60's. However, children's comics were the bulk of its output.
Richie Rich, Casper, Little Dot, Little Lotta, Sad Sack, and Hotstuff were all mainstream titles for Harvey through the early 80's, but the 80's also saw an end to a declining children's comics market, and Harvey ceased publishing in 1982 and founder Alfred Harvey retired.
These stories brought a reprieve to everyday life and I will always have a soft spot in my heart for them. Thank you Alfred Harvey!