Saturday, November 7, 2009

Casper in "The Absent-Minded Robot"

“Don’t tell us to be sweet and nice!” shouts Stinky of the Ghostly Trio, kicking Casper out of their house. “Well somebody has to!” says Casper, sailing through the air. Thus Casper speaks for the house of Harvey Comics.

It’s about time for some Warren Kremer! Kremer did nearly all the Harvey covers as well as defining the Harvey house style for an entire generation of comic readers. His work on Casper and Richie Rich has become iconic. There is a smooth, fresh beauty to Kremer’s work – particularly on buildings and landscapes. Note the earth full of stones and tree roots in the splash panel, and the dirt path to the door of the ramshackle spook house. Can't you imagine walking around in this world?

This story of Casper’s untiring efforts to help a misfit robot is very typical of Harvey’s gentle storytelling. No hidden meanings lurking with innuendo here for clever adults. Harvey was always focused on the kids. This is from The Friendly Ghost, Casper No. 22, June, 1960. Just click on the image for the big picture.

Page 2

Page 3

Page 4

Page 5

Page 6

Page 7

Page 8

Page 9

Page 10

Page 11

Page 12

Page 13

Page 14

Page 15

This ad from the same issue. Young John from Milwaukee took his paper route very, very seriously. When braving the rugged winter sidewalks of Wisconsin, you had better not skimp on tires for that Huffy. This ad never fails to make me regret growing old.


  1. casper my friendly
    passingby here see you around

  2. It is truly a shame that comic books like Casper no longer show up on the stands because the comic book industry really needs an "On ramp" for children. Thanks for your website and your interesting posts.
    Come visit.

  3. Maus: thanks, see you soon!

    Bob: I couldn't agree more. Thanks for coming around and I'll pop over soon. -- Mykal

  4. You're right about Kremer, Mykal!
    His art is really fine. I've been watching a long time the pages and... I don't know what panel I like the best!! Lovely color also! Is it attributed to anyone? Maybe to "Unkown"? He's the most popular cartoonist of the first half on the XX century :)

  5. Mykal, you will never post enough Kremer work to satisfy my cravings.

    Harvey Comics are simply awesome. Now, don't wait to long to post some Stumbo the Giant stuff.

  6. Gabriel: I can't say for sure who colored it, but you are right! The coloring is magnificent as well. When Kremer went to work for Marvel late in his career, Marie Severin called him the finest artist that ever worked for that company. He is one of my favorites, for sure, and an artist I grew up loving. -- Mykal

  7. Chuck: a fellow Kremer fan! I should have known! when I was a boy, gobbling up Richie Rich and Hot Stuff, his style seeped into my very being! I love his stuff. Since you asked so nicely, Stumbo coming up next post! -- Mykal

  8. Your Blog is really an original concept. I am a fan of comics too. my favs are Astrix and Tintin.
    Good work keep it up.

  9. Auquarian: Thanks for coming around, and I sure will! -- Mykal

  10. no hidden meanings? what about the "loose screw"?... :)

  11. I just knew someone was going to comment on that! ;)

  12. I love the bear getting walked on (unbeknownst to Robbie, who is absentmindedly oblivious) in pt. 2, and even the smile on the face of the rising sun in pt. 3. I had forgotten how Caspar is drawn with a dotted line when he's invisible.
    Thanks Mykal.

  13. "Whooomp!" I loved that moment, too, R/E. So typically Harvey, where the universe looks out for fools, misfits, and absent minded robots. Of course, the bear wasn't really hurt, either. You know, in doing some research on Casper for this post, I came across an interview of Ernie Colon in The Harveyville Fun Times by Mark Arnold where Colon says that Casper was extremely simple round shapes and very difficult to draw well. Colon said that no one could draw Casper like Kremer. -- Mykal

  14. Interesting tid-bit there Mykal. In some side views of Casper's head, he almost resembles Crockett Johnson's Barnaby.

  15. I love Kremer too! His non-kiddie comic art for Harvey's horror comics is some of my favorite stuff! He could do it all! Great post as usual...

  16. Apocolyte: If I had to pick a favorite (which is impossible, really, but let's imagine it was a life or death situation), Kremer's name would be one of the two or three that I would choose from.

    That is to say, Kremer is very, very fine! I haven't seen enough of his non-kid stuff. I am dying to see more! -- Mykal

  17. Mykal, you're pushing the limits of my nostalgiometer. I LOVED Casper when I was a kid. My favorite comics when I was little were a toss-up Between Casper and Gold Key Chip 'N' Dale comics. You are providing access to tons of great stuff a whole generation of kids is missing out on. Thanks!

  18. Aaron: Chip and Dale, you say? Escellent suggestion, my friend! Keep a look out! -- Mykal

  19. I just read this to my 4-year-old. He loved it but was a little concerned as to whether Casper would come back to visit Robbie. I assured him he would. I have to confess, I never realized that Casper was such a talented cybernetics engineer. ;)

  20. Aaron: Say hi to your 4-year-old for me! That a child enjoyed something on my blog makes my day! I try to keep a blog that parents and their kids can enjoy; and where kids can get a taste of the classics they might otherwise miss out on.

    Assure your son that, absolutely, Casper will visit Robbie in the future. When Casper makes a friend, he's a friend for life.

    I was impressed myself with Casper's engineering skills. But that's Casper - when he sets his mind to help a friend, anything is possible!

    Thanks for commenting, Aaron. -- Mykal

  21. This is really cool! I liked how Casper helped Robbie. Robbie reminds me a little of a certain other robot who's also had trouble fitting in(Jenny from My Life as a Teenage Robot).

  22. Iheartkatamari: Thanks so much for all your comments and taking the time to visit my blog!

  23. The story is for tiny tots. It's not logical or consistent. I try to be consistent in my own fan-fics. The artwork is the best part.

    I also state in my fan-fic that Casper worked st Harvey -approving scripts - but got dismissed when he wanted more creative control. Later he pondered sueing Spielberg, and purchsed a laptop with the royalties he earned working at Harvey. He struck up a web palship and that's when the story opens...


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...