Harvey Comics (also known as Harvey World Famous Comics, Harvey Publications, Harvey Comics Entertainment, Harvey Hits, Harvey Illustrated Humor, and Harvey Picture Magazines) was an American comic book publisher, founded in New York City by Alfred Harvey in 1941, after buying out the small publisher Brookwood Publications. His brothers, Robert B. and Leon Harvey, joined shortly after. The company soon got into licensed characters, which by the 1950s, became the bulk of their output. The artist Warren Kremer is closely associated with the publisher.
Harvey Comics 1959–1982 logo
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Harvey Comics was founded by the Harvey brothers; Alfred, Leon and Robert, in the 1940s after first acquiring an existing - faltering - title from Brookwood Publications; Speed Comics. The title's headliners were Shock Gibson and Captain Freedom, a patriotic hero like The Shield. Harvey added more anthologies, including Champion Comics and Pocket Comics. From the new titles only one would stay around for a while: The Black Cat, a Hollywood starlet-superhero, which was published into the 1950s.
Harvey began a shift to licensed characters when in 1942 took over as the radio hero Green Hornet's publisher from Holyoke after six issues. Harvey added additional titles such that most of their titles were licensed. Licensed characters included Joe Palooka, Blondie, Dick Tracy, and other newspaper strip characters.
The company ultimately became best known for characters it published in comics from 1950s onward, particularly those it licensed from the animation company Famous Studios, a unit of Paramount Pictures, starting in 1951. These include Little Audrey, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Baby Huey, and Herman and Katnip. Harvey also licensed popular characters from newspaper comic strips, such as Mutt and Jeff and Sad Sack. In addition, Harvey developed such original properties as Richie Rich, Little Dot and Little Lotta.
While the company tried to diversify the comics it published, with brief forays in the 1950s and 1960s into superhero, suspense, horror, western and other forms in such imprints as Harvey Thriller and Thrill Adventure, children's comics were the bulk of its output.
On July 27, 1958, Harvey purchased the October 1950–March 1962 Famous Studio cartoons (including character rights and rights to the cartoon shorts, but excluding Popeye). The Famous cartoons were repackaged and distributed to television as Harveytoons, and Harvey continued production on new comics and a handful of new cartoons produced for television. Casper the Friendly Ghost, who had been Famous' most popular original character, now became Harvey's top draw. Associated characters such as Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost, The Ghostly Trio, Casper's horse Nightmare, Hot Stuff the Little Devil, and Wendy the Good Little Witch were added to the Harvey line.
By the early 1980s, Marvel Comics was in negotiations with Harvey Comics to assume publication of some of their characters. Harvey editor Sid Jacobson, along with the other Harvey staff, were interviewed by Mike Hobson, Marvel's group vice-president of publishing (de facto publisher). As part of the process, Jacobson created several new characters which were well received by Hobson and effectively sealed the deal. Marvel Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter appointed editor Tom DeFalco as executive editor to coordinate with the Harvey staff, who were hired by Marvel. On the day Marvel was set to take over the Harvey publications, Harvey Comics pulled out of the deal due to an internal disagreement among the two remaining Harvey brothers, Alfred and Leon. Harvey would cease publishing their comics in 1982.
In summer 1984, Steve Geppi (owner of Diamond Comic Distributors and Geppi's Comic World) paid $50,000 for, among other properties, Harvey's entire archive of original art from the Harvey comic Sad Sack. Geppi made this agreement with Steve Harvey, who at the time was president of Harvey Publications, Inc., as well as president of Sad Sack, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvey Publications, Inc.
In 1985 the Marvel imprint Star Comics published a title called Royal Roy. Harvey sued Star for copyright infringement, claiming that Roy was a blatant copy of Richie Rich. (Veteran Harvey writer-artist Lennie Herman had created Royal Roy for Star Comics. Herman died in 1983 before the first issue of Royal Roy was published.) The Royal Roy comic ended after six issues and the lawsuit was dropped.
In 1987, Harvey sued Columbia Pictures, for $50 million, claiming that the Ghostbusters logo used in the 1984 film was too reminiscent of Fatso from the Casper series. The court ruled in Columbia's favor, due to Harvey's failure to renew the copyrights on early Casper stories and the "limited ways to draw a figure of a cartoon ghost".
In 1989, Harvey was sold to Jeffrey Montgomery's HMH Communications, located in Santa Monica, California. It was renamed Harvey Comics Entertainment (HCE), publishing reprints in the early 1990s as Harvey Classics. In 1993 the company created two imprints, Nemesis Comics and Ultracomics, to publish Ultraman comics, as well as a couple of other titles. In 1994 Marvel took over publishing and distribution for HCE.
In addition, Montgomery himself began selling a package of older cartoons featuring the characters Harvey had purchased from Paramount. to local stations. With Claster Television serving as his distributor, Montgomery launched Casper & Friends in 1990. After the rerun package was pulled in 1994, Harvey, Carbunkle Cartoons and Film Roman conceived two new animated series for Baby Huey and Richie Rich (Carbunkle Cartoons only worked on the former), with Montgomery as executive producer; these programs premiered in 1994 and 1996 respectfully.
During this period, Montgomery sold 20% of the company to MCA Inc., parent company of Universal Studios. (Universal licensed the characters for use in its theme parks.) Montgomery also optioned Richie Rich and Casper for two feature films: Richie Rich premiered in 1994, and Casper in 1995.
Montgomery also struck a publishing and distribution deal with Marvel Comics, which led Marvel to publish Casper titles, including an adaptation of the 1995 live-action Casper movie. Two issues of an ongoing Casper title were published in May 1997, followed by the short-lived Casper and Friends Magazine (May–July 1997).
Montgomery was ousted from HCE in 1997, and in 2001, the company sold its Harvey properties and rights to the Harvey name to Classic Media. HCE was renamed Sunland Entertainment Co. Sunland produced additional films and distribute its library of 150 films and 60 television episodes.
The rights to Sad Sack, Black Cat, and certain other Harvey characters are still owned by Alan Harvey, and have been published under the names of Lorne-Harvey Publications and Re-Collections. In late 2000, Alan Harvey sued Steve Geppi over his 1984 acquisition of the Sad Sack original art, charging that Geppi had plundered Harvey's warehouses. Geppi countersued, claiming that he had legal title to the original art. The suit was settled in late 2002; at the time of the settlement, the New York Supreme Court had dismissed Harvey's claims against Geppi. The settlement agreement allowed Geppi to keep the art, with no money changing hands.
For years, the television distribution rights to the Harveytoons library were licensed to Worldvision Enterprises. Worldvision would hold distribution rights to many earlier Famous Studios cartoons (plus most of the cartoons by Fleischer Studios) for a short time, until being absorbed by the television division of Paramount Pictures, which originally distributed the cartoons.
Universal Studios, which owns the pre-1950 Paramount sound features through its television division, once held video rights to the Harvey-owned cartoons, until 2001 when Classic Media obtained the animated catalog. In 2016, the Harvey Comics properties returned to Universal when they acquired Classic Media's parent company, DreamWorks Animation.
Baby Huey is a gigantic and naïve duckling cartoon character. He was created by Martin Taras for Paramount Pictures' Famous Studios, and became a Paramount cartoon star during the 1950s. Huey first appeared in Quack-a-Doodle-Doo, a Noveltoon theatrical short produced and released in 1949.Black Cat (Harvey Comics)
The Black Cat is a comic book adventure heroine published by Harvey Comics from 1941 to 1951. Harvey also published reprints of the character in both the mid-1950s and the early 1960s. The character's creation is claimed by the Harvey family to have originated with publisher Alfred Harvey, but there is no corroborating evidence for this. The Black Cat debuted in Pocket Comics #1 (August 1941), an experimental digest-sized comic book published by Harvey and was illustrated by artist Al Gabriele.Boys' Ranch
Boys' Ranch was a six-issue American comic book series created by the veteran writer-artist team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Harvey Comics in 1950. A Western in the then-prevalent "kid gang" vein popularized by such film series as "Our Gang" and "The Dead End Kids", the series starred three adolescents—Dandy, Wabash, and Angel—who operate a ranch that was bequeathed to them, under the adult supervision of frontiersman Clay Duncan. Supporting characters included Palomino Sue, Wee Willie Weehawken, citizens of the town Four Massacres, and various Native Americans, including a fictional version of the real-life Geronimo.
Noted for its use of single and double-page illustrations, the series has been lauded as one of Simon and Kirby's most significant creations. It was briefly revived through reprints in 1955, and all six issues were reprinted in a hardcover edition by Marvel Comics in 1991 with an introduction by Jim Simon.Captain 3-D
Captain 3-D is a fictional character, a superhero in comic books published by Harvey Comics. Created by the team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, the character marked an early attempt to produce a 3-D comic book.Captain Freedom
Captain Freedom is a fictional comic book superhero from the period known as "Golden Age of Comic Books". His creator was identified as "Franklin Flagg" in the credits, but the identity of the individual behind the pseudonym remains unknown. He first appeared in Speed Comics #13 (May 1941), a Harvey Comics title. He continued to appear in Speed Comics until its cancellation. He was revived by AC Comics as a member of the Liberty Corp. Cloned from the DNA of a famous scientist, with incredible will-power and physical and mental training, as many as a hundred of the clones, were dispatched to various countries all over the world, (each identified as Captain Freedom), serving as a symbol and to fight for freedom.
One of the Captains shown in the AC universe went by the name Kent Clarkson. He later joined the Captain Paragon's original Sentinels of Liberty during "The Armageddon Factor" storyline.Casper's Scare School
Casper's Scare School (also known as Casper's Scare School: The Movie) is a 2006 American/French/Indian computer animated television film based on the Harvey Comics cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost. It was produced by Moonscoop and released by Classic Media and premiered on October 20, 2006. It has a TV series of the same name in 2009. It also has a video game of the same name.Casper (film)
Casper is a 1995 American fantasy comedy-drama film directed by Brad Silberling, based on the Harvey Comics cartoon character Casper the Friendly Ghost created by Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo. The film stars Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, and Amy Brenneman, and also features the voices of Malachi Pearson in the title role as well as Joe Nipote, Joe Alaskey, and Brad Garrett.
The film makes extensive use of computer-generated imagery to create the ghosts, and it is the first feature film to have a fully CGI character in the lead role. It goes for a much darker interpretation of the Friendly Ghost in comparison to the comics, cartoons, and films of the previous years, especially with its theme of death, most notably providing the character a tragic backstory that addresses his death.
Casper was released in cinemas on May 26, 1995 by Universal Pictures. It received mixed reviews from critics and earned $287.9 million on a $55 million budget. It went on to spawn direct-to-video follow-up films and an animated television spin-off, The Spooktacular New Adventures of Casper.Casper the Friendly Ghost
Casper the Friendly Ghost is the protagonist of the Famous Studios theatrical animated cartoon series of the same name. He is a pleasant and personable ghost.Fighting American
Fighting American is the title character of a patriotically themed comic book character created in 1954 by the writer-artist team of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. Published by the Crestwood Publications imprint Prize Comics, it was, contrary to standard industry practices of the time, creator-owned. Harvey Comics published one additional issue in 1966. One final inventoried tale was published in 1989, in a Marvel Comics hardcover collection of all the Fighting American stories. Subsequent publishers have had short runs of Fighting American stories with the permission of the owners' estates. The character gained some notoriety due to a lawsuit in the late 1990s when Awesome Entertainment founder Rob Liefeld announced intentions to publish a mini-series that was allegedly similar to that artist's run on Marvel's Captain America title. After settling the dispute, Awesome released three Fighting American series.Harvey Films
Harvey Films (also known as Harvey Entertainment, The Harvey Entertainment Company or simply Harvey) is an animation production arm of comic book publisher Harvey Comics. It was founded in 1950.In the early 1960s, they created Harvey Funnies, the original entertainment company to produce The New Casper Cartoon Show.Currently, Harvey Films is owned by DreamWorks Classics, formerly Classic Media, which is owned by DreamWorks Animation, which is also owned by NBCUniversal in 2016. Harvey Films produced Casper's Scare School, a 2006 direct-to-video film released through Classic Media.Harvey Street Kids
Harvey Street Kids is an American animated comedy television series that is being produced by Brendan Hay and Aliki Theofilopoulos Grafft for DreamWorks Animation Television, and is based on comic book characters from Harvey Comics. It premiered June 29, 2018 on Netflix.
Brendan Hay confirmed on Twitter that a second season is coming in May 10, 2019. Brendan Hay also confirmed on Twitter that the second season of the series will be titled Harvey Girls Forever!, which would be the show's new name.Hot Stuff the Little Devil
Hot Stuff the Little Devil is a comic book character created by Warren Kremer who first appeared in Hot Stuff #1 (October 1957), published by Harvey Comics. Imbued with a mischievous personality and able to produce fire, Hot Stuff appears as a red child devil who wears a diaper (said to be made of asbestos) and carries a magical sentient pitchfork (referred to as his "trusty trident"), which is a character in its own right. Much to the consternation of his demonic brethren, Hot Stuff sometimes performs good deeds to irritate them.Mutt and Jeff
Mutt and Jeff is a long-running and widely popular American newspaper comic strip created by cartoonist Bud Fisher in 1907 about "two mismatched tinhorns". Historians regard Mutt and Jeff, originally titled A. Mutt, as the first American newspaper cartoon published as a strip of panels, as opposed to a single panel, making it the first "comic strip" to successfully pioneer that since-common format.
Mutt and Jeff remained in syndication until 1983, employing the talents of several cartoonists, chiefly Al Smith who drew the strip for nearly fifty years. The series eventually became a comic book, initially published by All-American Publications and later published by DC Comics, Dell Comics and Harvey Comics. Later it was also published as cartoons, films, pop culture merchandise and reprints.Richie Rich (comics)
Richard "Richie" $ Rich, Jr. (often stylized as Ri¢hie Ri¢h) is a fictional character in the Harvey Comics universe. He debuted in Little Dot #1, cover-dated September 1953, and was created by Alfred Harvey and Warren Kremer. Dubbed "the poor little rich boy", Richie is the only child of fantastically wealthy parents and is the world's richest kid. He is so rich, his middle name is a dollar sign, $.During Harvey Comics' heyday (1950–1982), Richie was the publisher's most popular character, eventually starring in over fifty separate titles, including such long-running comics as Richie Rich, Richie Rich Millions, Richie Rich Dollars and Cents, and Richie Rich Success Stories.
In 2011 Ape Entertainment began publishing a new licensed Richie Rich comic book series, taking the character in a very different, action-oriented, direction.Shock Gibson
Shock Gibson is a fictional comic book superhero who first appeared in Speed Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), from Brookwood Publications (a company later absorbed by Harvey Comics). He was created by artist Maurice Scott, who drew it through issue #11, and an unknown writer. His 1939 introduction makes him one of comic books' earliest superheroes.
In the debut story, "The Human Dynamo", scientist Robert Charles Gibson perfects a formula that allows people to directly store, generate, and control electricity, and tests this formula on himself. The formula increases his strength, gives him the power to fire bolts of lightning, and grants him the power of flight.
He is one of the several superhero characters to join the U.S. Army in the wake of World War II, fighting the Japanese military forces both in and out of costume. Shock Gibson teams up with other Harvey Comics characters such as the Black Cat, Captain Freedom, Tedd Parish, and the Girl Commandos (mostly in two-page text stories). The character remained in print in various Harvey publications through 1948.
Other artists associated with the character includes Al Avison, Arthur Cazeneuve, and the possibly pseudonymous Peter Jay, who introduced a new costume in Speed Comics #12 (March 1941).
Shock Gibson is among the public domain characters Image Comics revived in anthology title The Next Issue Project in 2007.Spirit of '76 (Harvey Comics)
The Spirit of '76 is a fictional comic book character from Harvey Comics.
The first comics character by this name is a patriotic superhero Gary Blakely, created by writer Gary Blakey and artist Bob Powell in Harvey's Pocket Comics #1 (August 1941). Early stories are attributed to "Major Ralston," the name of Blakely's ancestors. The personification of American folklore's Spirit of '76, the character would become a long-running feature in Harvey's Green Hornet Comics.Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost
Spooky the Tuff Little Ghost is a fictional character that appeared in titles published by Harvey Comics. Spooky first appeared in Casper the Friendly Ghost #10 (June 1953). He is Casper's cousin, although their exact relation is never specified. He generally resembles Casper except he has freckles, a derby hat, and a large, black nose.The Sad Sack
The Sad Sack is a 1957 Paramount Pictures comedy film based on the Harvey Comics character of the same name, created by George Baker. The film stars Jerry Lewis and Peter Lorre.Wendy the Good Little Witch
Wendy the Good Little Witch is a fictional comic book character from Harvey Comics. Like Casper the Friendly Ghost and Hot Stuff the Little Devil, Wendy is an opposite-type character, a girl witch who does good deeds.
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