Home > Christmas, Harvey Comics, Somebody's First Comic Book > Somebody’s First Comic Book: Casper the Friendly Ghost #184

Somebody’s First Comic Book: Casper the Friendly Ghost #184

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TITLE: The Magic Snowman

CREDITS: None
Publisher:
Harvey Comics

PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Well, it’s Casper. The friendly ghost. The friendliest ghost I know.

IMPRESSIONS: This issue starts, oddly enough, with a one-page story about Richie Rich springing for Hostess Fruit Pies for a public picnic and another one-page story where Casper encourages us to contribute to Unicef. I think those may have been ads, but I’m not sure. Anyway, on page four we finally get to a real story, “The Magic Snowman.” In this one, Casper is feeling down because he has no one to play with, and Jack Frost is too busy to do so. But he helps Casper out by bringing his snowman duplicate, “Jasper,” to life. Casper and Jasper are having a rollicking good time until Casper’s evil uncles, the Ghostly Trio, convince him that Casper evidently intends to let him die a horrible, miserable death by melting once spring arrives.

Wait, what?

Ahem. Anyway, Jasper starts  playing nasty tricks on Casper, most of which involve pelting him with snowballs of various sizes, which seems odd considering that Casper can walk through walls. The Trio escalate matters until Jasper plots his most dastardly scheme, pelting Santa Claus with a giant snowball, and—

Wait, hold the Egg Nog… Santa Claus? This story takes place at Christmas? Why didn’t anybody mention that before the second-to-last page? And why is there a friggin’ shark on the cover? And why in the hell would throwing SNOW INTO A FIREPLACE prevent Santa from getting in? It’s a FIREPLACE. And SNOW MELTS. Which, until this point, has been a MAJOR CHARACTER MOTIVATION.

AND WHY IS SANTA CLAUS DELIVERING TOYS IN BROAD DAYLIGHT?

This story is a complete mess, to be blunt. Jasper is an idiot and Santa is either way early or running extremely behind in his deliveries. The issue has a few one-page stories that don’t really help much either. We see “The Tuff Little Ghost” Spooky (who looks exactly like Jasper wearing a fedora) losing his hat and getting it back thanks to a moose… I know that doesn’t make sense, but seeing as how it’s another story that evidently depends on ghosts forgetting to turn intangible, I maintain that my summary is just as comprehensible as the comic. Casper also meets “Cootie the Fun Bug,” perhaps the most obnoxious cartoon sidekick since Scrappy-Doo, and the Ghostly Trio scare a skunk into their house, which admittedly must suck even if you’re a ghost. Finally, there’s a five-page story where Wendy the Good Little Witch meets a mouse and teaches him the value of hard work.

Y’know, there actually are a lot of comics here for the 25-cent cover price. Which is cool. But those comics are just this side of clinically insane.

GRADE: D+

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