When I was in college, one of my roommates ridiculed me for reading comics by assuming I read Baby Huey, apparently the only comic book with which he was familiar. (Ironically, I hadn't even heard of the character at that time.) I posted about that situation a while ago and apparently it struck JD DeLuzio's fancy because he's mentioned it several times since, most recent;ly on June 12th of this year. Here's what he said:
JD DeLuzio said:
They’re not just generally bad. They’re disturbing. Baby Huey himself exists as some kind of kid-comic eldtritch abomination, the sort of thing Lovecraft might have imagined if he’d huffed bath salts and then watched a marathon of Donald Duck cartoons. He’s supposed to be a “baby,” and he wears a giant diaper—just contemplating that thing is nightmare fuel—and a bonnet, and he’s often given a bottle or baby food. At other times, he eats solid food and candy, while his vocabulary suggests he’s an older toddler. His parents nevertheless let him wander about on his own, though one suspects they may be hoping he doesn’t return. His combination of infantile idiocy and superhuman strength causes mayhem and spread destruction. Given how terrible most of the inhabitants of his world behave, however, I’m not certain they don't deserve it...
Collect them all and be driven into the realms of unnamable madness from which no traveler returneth.
That was enough to inspire me to read my first Baby Huey comic book ever. To my surprise, my LCS was well-stocked with three different "Baby Huey" series: the original, Baby Huey & Papa and Baby Huey - Duckland (including the much-coveted issue #1). Most of these were priced between $2 and $4. I chose #55 (December 1963) because I like the cover best. (My second choice would have been the dinosaur/egg cover JD posted, which they also had in stock.)
The issue begins (oddly enough) with a single-page gag of Baby Huey walking through a park (?) with a n unidentified baby elephant. The elephant wants to swing, but he is too big for the first one, in use by a rabbit. He is too small for the second one, in use by a hippopotamus. A monkey offers the tree he is using,with the caveat that the elephant must use its own tail. Eventually, Huey hangs from the limb by his legs and swing the elephant with his arms. The sight-gag ends with a verbal gag: "You're a very kind duck!" to which Huey responds, "What kind?"
BABY HUEY & THE TEDDY BEAR: Disappointed that his teddy bear cannot speak or play, Baby Huey brings it to the local witch who temporarily imbues it with life. He takes it home when it terrorizes Huey's Papa and proceeds to wreck the house (although Huey and Papa do their fair share). the spell wears off, and Mama comes home to find Papa spanking a lifeless teddy bear and has him carted off to the nearest sanitarium.
BABY HUEY & THE RICHDUCKS: A kind of thematic mash-up with Richie Rich. Mama takes Huey to visit the home of Mrs. Richduck, who she met at the Quack-Quack Club. Huey goes off to play with Quackberry Richduck. Huey doesn't know any of Quackberry's games (such as "Banker & Broker"), but is nevertheless able to keep him entertained. The story ends with Quackberry wanting t buy Huey, but Huey refuses.
BABY HUEY & THE FUN MONSTER: Huey's cousin Dimwit has built a robot, clothed in a brown suit with an outboard motor for a head. Huey supplies a monster masks and takes the mechanical monster for a walk downtown. Hijinks ensue, and witnesses determine that the "baby" is trying to stop the monster. The incident concludes when the monster walks into a lake and "drowns." Huey is hailed a hero and is awarded the key to the city.
Other featues include "Buzzy the Funny Crow," Herman & Catnip" (whose televised cartoons I do remember seeing), two text stories and four promotional house ads presented in comic strip format. Nothing my former roommate ever said inspired me to become a "Baby Huey" fanatic as JD once surmised, but JD himself just might have.
BABY HUEY CHALLENGE: What's your first (or favorite) "Baby Huey" comic?
This will be the exact time your ex-roommate stumbles across this site.
Your first Baby Huey? I didn't even know you were pregnant!
Well, in the race of Baby Huey comics, you are now one ahead of me.
I'm pretty sure I read Baby Huey comics as a kid, but I don't remember much of anything about them. I definitely read my share of Harvey Comics. Stuff like Sad Sack, Richie Rich, likely some Casper stuff and probably a handful of Baby Huey stones.
I bought a couple of collections that Harvey put out about a decade ago just so Harvey would have some sort of representation in the Comics Cave. Never bought a single one when they were actually on the spinner rack.
To paraphrase the first half of the rant quoted by JoE-J, I really never read Harvey as a kid-- just enough to know they had a bunch of kids with creepy Halloween identities (Casper, Hot Stuff) and a bunch of other kids with creepy obsessions (wealth, polka dots). However, from the in-house ads in those I knew Baby Huey existed. That's all I knew. Then JoE-J posted his sad college tale, and I responded by posting relevant covers in the Cover a Day thread of, obviously, his favorite character.
I suspect Jeff's story struck me because I'm fascinated by what we might call "Catherine the Great Syndrome," where someone remembers / knows one thing about a person and half the time, it's either misleading or inaccurate. People who can't tell you when Catherine the Great lived or what country she ruled will repeat an entirely fabricated story about how she died. Or that kid or teacher at your school about whom all you knew was one rumor of dubious veracity. Or how we may revise our memories and arrange our perceptions around that one thing, without ever questioning it. I would not be at all surprised if JoE-J's ex-roommate now recalls some guy he knew in college who read Baby Huey. Conversely, my entire picture of the ex-roommate is based on this one anecdote which may have little to do with who he is or, at least, who he is now.
Long preambles to a tale aside, those posts led me to read a few BH comics that had been posted online.
I think the first of the few I read (they run together, as nightmares often do) involves an opening one-page gag (a standard feature), a couple of BH stories, and a back-up feature. The first BH story involves the diapered monstrosity crying until his Papa brings him to the carnival. Huey ends up wrecking everything, and people take it out on Papa. At the end, however, Huey ends up entering the ring against some fighter and knocking him out. Baby and Papa reconcile, not out of love or familial affection, but because BH wins the prize money by walloping the carnival champion. Papa looks lovingly at the money and promises he'll take BH to the carnival every year (assuming they ever return to BH's town).
The other story was an actual origin story, with BH hatching from a gigantic egg that Ma somehow produced, already in his standard outfit and with his established infantile dialogue. The fact that he is born with a diaper and bonnet and the ability to speak clearly supports my contention that he is some kind of eldritch abomination. His mother is out shopping (establishing the pattern of parental negligence prominent in the series) and he has his first encounter with the Fox, a recurring adversary. At first, BH thinks the Fox is his "mudder."
I shall likely continue posting covers where appropriate, but I doubt I'll read any further into the BH oeuvre. They're idiotic even by kid comic standards and, as I've said, kind of disturbing.
I am pretty sure I have never actually read a Baby Huey story.
I know I haven't.
I am pretty sure I have never actually read a Baby Huey story.
I had a number of Harvey Comics as a child which I didn't count among "My First Fifteen." Baby Huey must have been shown in house ads, but if so, I took no particular note of it.
I'll tell you something else about that particular college roommate. In addition to the one comic book he was familiar with, he also was fond of quoting the only bit of "comic book dialogue" he knew. Every time the subject of comic books came up, he was certain to say, "AIIEEE!"
Jeff of Earth-J said:
he also was fond of quoting the only bit of "comic book dialogue" he knew. Every time the subject of comic books came up, he was certain to say, "AIIEEE!"
The only other pertinent memory I can dredge up is being at a party when I was a high school senior and overhearing a drunk guy tell someone, "you look like Baby Huey." I have no idea why he said that or what he meant, and I suspect everyone else was equally confused.
He became a minister.
"The only other pertinent memory I can dredge up is being at a party when I was a high school senior and overhearing a drunk guy tell someone, 'you look like Baby Huey.'"
A few years ago in a Half Price Books a stranger told me, "You look like a real corn-fed boy."