MIKE GOLD: Who’s The Biggest Neurotic in Comics?
After 45 years of Spider-Man and, I dunno, maybe 25 years since Batman became a certifiable nut-job, it is understandable that the question “who is the biggest neurotic in comics?” surfaces from time to time.
First, a caveat. I’m only referring to fictional characters. If we add in the real folks, well, there’s a limit to bandwidth – even here at ComicMix.com.
To me, there’s one clear winner. But this character is in good company, as some of the closest runners up were published by the same outfit. I’ll start there, in the hallowed halls of Harvey Comics.
These guys specialized in loons. Kiddie loons at that. Man, the whole bunch of them must have had really bizarre childhoods.
Third runner up: Richie Rich. If not for our winner, he would be poster boy for OCD. Okay, the kid’s wealthier than Joe Kennedy after a mob shipment, so he’s going to have some strange habits. But he, like his father, has dollar signs on everything. Everything. His house, his cars, his clothes – even his dog. The dog named “Dollar.” Good grief.
Second runner up: Hot Stuff. Okay, he’s a little devil. Get it? Fine. But, damn, he’s also a little prick. I mean it: the kid lives for the thrills of obnoxiousness. He even pissed off the sun. You know, that big yellow thing in the sky that gives Superman his powers? Here’s the proof, in one of my all-time favorite comic book covers:
First runner up and Mr. Congeniality: Baby Huey’s father. Now, clearly, Baby Huey has the worst case of microcephaly ever and as such deserves our sympathy. So does his mother, who laid the egg and hatched a baby that quickly became perhaps 20 times her size and about a thousand times her weight. And we can cut Huey’s dad some slack as his son was, like, nine feet tall (rather large for a duck), incredibly stupid, and wore diapers. That’s got to be a bit embarrassing at the Kiwanis Club. But this man was not cut out to raise any children. Always flustered, always angry and often threatening physical abuse, he simply could not cope. It is likely Huey should have been handled off to a Misericordia Home, but daddy should have been arrested.
But all of these characters pale in comparison to our winner.
Little Dot has some problems all right. She’s got a polka dot fetish that would make Richie Rich’s dollar sign thing look like a cloud on a nice spring morning. She collects dots. She paints dots on everything. She wears dots. She eats dots. She fantasizes about dots. Lord knows you don’t want to arm her with a hole puncher at a paper factory; she will lose control.
Kindly, sympathetic man that I am, I understand the origin of her problem. Her parents raised her in an improper environment. They were constantly bringing home “aunts” and “uncles” – thousands of them, over her 14-year pre-adolescence. That’s just not right. Hire a baby sitter and get a hotel room. Or, maybe, Yankee Stadium.
This could have been avoided. All her parents had to do was take the time to tell her that “Dot” is short for “Dorothy.”
The published legends do not tell us how any of these Harvey characters turned out. I suspect they didn’t age well. Richie is likely to be the octopus behind the Republican party, Hot Stuff could solve the energy crisis with his farts but certainly will not, Baby Huey is giving rides at the Wisconsin Dells, and Dot … well, sadly, track marks look like dots, don’t they?
Mike Gold is editor-in-chief of ComicMix.com.
Cover art copyright Classic Media. All Rights Reserved.