ORIGINAL RICHIE RICH GRIT AD
|Richie Rich "GRIT" ad, 1980|
Inspired by his father's advice, Richie runs out and spends his time going door to door selling GRIT for 35 cents a copy (1980 money). He whispers that he gets to keep 12 cents for each copy sold as a commission, and tells the reader that they too can earn prizes like bicycles, radios, camping equipment, footballs, etc. His girlfriend Gloria, hair recently bleached blond from the hair dye that she bought with her GRIT earnings, tells the reader that "Girls sell GRIT, too".
Reading this was one of those laugh-out-loud, double-over-in-hysterics moments. Richie, the richest kid in the world with a $25,000 weekly allowance, peddling newspapers for loose change, like he REALLY NEEDED THE MONEY. I thought this was the funniest thing I'd read in comics, eclipsing the gentle humor of the stories themselves.
Former Harvey staffer Paul Maringelli has the following information about GRIT ads in Harvey Comics:
- Paul, and some of the staffers laughed about the ad in the office.
- Alfred Harvey allowed it because as a young boy he sold GRIT (explaining who exactly the "famous people who got their start selling GRIT" were).
- The ad was drawn by Joe Simon (yep, the creator of Captain America) He was a friend of the Harvey brothers.
|Alternate Richie Rich "GRIT" ad, 1981|
GRIT AD PARODYRichie's friends, Freckles and Pee-Wee, live in pretty desperate circumstances. Here's a comic panel of their house- some real "poverty porn". Take a look- Leaky radiator that's dripping water on the floor! No interior walls (therefore no separate rooms), so the beds are a few steps away from the bathroom sink! Cracked plaster galore with plenty of wooden lath visible! A sink that was obviously salvaged from an abandoned warehouse- big enough to bathe in! And (sniff) the boys padding around barefoot on dirty, bare floors. If anybody needed to sell GRIT, it's Freckles and Pee-Wee, not Richie Rich.
|Freckles and Pee-Wee's rundown shack|
The final modification was changing GRIT to "GRISTLE". I came up with the idea when I was eating dinner, and saving a piece of gristle for the cat.
|"GRISTLE" parody advertisement|
|"GRISTLE" parody advertisement, rough sketch|
OTHER HARVEY GRIT ADSThe other GRIT ad that alternated with the Richie Rich one features Casper the Friendly Ghost and Wendy. This one's not quite as ridiculous as the Richie one, because it does not show Casper, Wendy, or any Harvey characters actually going door to door, selling GRIT to the humans. Instead, Casper addresses the reader directly to urge them sell GRIT for various prizes.
|Casper and Wendy GRIT ad|