Leslie Cabarga and I spent the summer mining the Harvey Comics vaults and cherry-picked the best of the original Richie Rich comics of the 50s and 60s for a new trade paperback volume due out next month. This is the second of several high quality Harvey Comics reprint books we are compiling for Dark Horse.
I don't know, though. Those early stories were certainly better drawn than the ones I grew up with, but they still have the problem of pretending that Richie, a privileged little snot, is some kind of hero. I mean look at that sample Jerry posts. Richie's beating up some poor underprivileged schmuck. I know that guy is probably a "crook" (in Richie-speak), but maybe he wouldn't have to steal if Richie would give him some money and a decent meal instead of breaking his bones.
Update: Commenter Andrew asks: "Out of curiosity, Jaime, do you feel the same way whenever Uncle Scrooge thwarts the Beagle Boys et al?" First of all, I didn't mean the above with absolute seriousness, or indeed any seriousness at all. In other words, no, I don't think that the "crooks" in the Richieverse are in fact tragic victims of society.
But I should probably clarify that I don't actually have a Marxist attitude toward fictional millionaires. I do not begrudge Scrooge McDuck, nor Bruce Wayne their tremendous wealth. I'm not even all that bothered when Daddy Warbucks does The Full Benito and has his goons take criminals out back to be executed. But Bruce Wayne has other qualities to offer besides wealth, Daddy Warbucks isn't the star of the strip, and Scrooge is a funny miser. Richie's like Scrooge if we were supposed to admire him for no other reason than being an insane miser who likes to keep piles of cash in his house. So, no, he's not an evil capitalist exploiter of the martyred proletariat. But he is annoying.
If you want to know what makes Richie so annoying, I can't sum it up better than this one-page gag recalled at Man vs. Clown:
PANEL 1So, yeah. The joke is that Richie Rich kicked a homeless man off his property.
[Richie is walking on his estate with his asshole cousin, Reggie Van Dough. Richie's chauffeur Bascomb is working on one of the Rich family's luxury automobiles.]
Richie: Bascomb is the greatest mechanic in the world! He can make anything run!
Reggie [pointing at pile of rags]: Oh yeah?! Let's see him make that pile of rags run! Haw, haw!
Richie [whispering; pointing to pile of rags]: Uh, Bascomb...
Bascomb [wiping hands on rag (not from pile); steely look of determination]: I'll take care of it, Master Rich.
Bascomb [sternly; hands on hips]: Excuse me, sir, but I think it's time you moved along!
Vagrant [fleeing; very tattered and filthy]: Chee! Can't a guy find a place to sleep around here?!
Reggie [flabbergasted; sweat drops flying]: A TRAMP!!!
Richie [doubled over with merriment]: Yep! And Bascomb made him run! Ha! Ha!