Remembering RC Harvey
Harvey, who went alternately by Bob or R.C., was a perennial presence at NCS and AAEC conventions, and served on the AAEC Board of Directors as its Secretary-Treasurer for a number of years. He was also one of two unofficial historians for the Association, with a deep institutional knowledge of the group.
As news spread, cartoonists posted their condolences and memories online.
“Good times,” wrote friend Elena Steier. “Bob was smart, witty and later in life, very hard of hearing, which added to his charm, in my humble opinion. The world of cartooning has sadly lost a foremost proponent of the art.”
On Davenport: One More from R.C. Harvey
[Over the years Robert “R.C” Harvey was an occasional contributor to the quarterly issues of the AAEC Notebook, sometimes sending along reprints of his “Rants & Raves” columns about editorial cartooning, sometimes writing you-are-there convention recaps for us. A couple weeks before his untimely death, Bob sent me a review of all the books on 19th century cartoonist Homer Davenport. I’m running the article here in its entirety. Thanks for everything, Bob! — JP]
REDISCOVERING HOMER DAVENPORT, AMERICA’S FORGOTTEN CARTOONIST
By R.C. Harvey
HOMER DAVENPORT (1867-1912), one of the great names in American editorial cartooning, is at least the equal of Thomas Nast, whose working life Davenport’s overlapped for nearly a decade, roughly 1895-1902. But almost no Davenport cartoons (except his famous portrait of William R. Hearst) have been reprinted. Until 2006. But I didn’t know about it until seven years later.
RCHarvey.com will remain
Dear Faithful Rabbit Habiteers,
We have lost one of the most unique and lively voices in comics and cartooning. R.C. Harvey passed away on July 7th, 2022 due to complications from a fall. This sad news has left us shaken and wondering what to do about the future of his website. After communicating with Bob’s family, we have decided, with their approval, to keep things running and open to the public.
The Official Website of R.C. Harvey and its 23 years of content will remain online and open access to serve as a living archive and a tribute to his life and work. We will also include unpublished work as we discover it and promote his books that are still to be published.
Because there will be no further updates by Harv himself, we will no longer be charging a subscription. But before you cancel your subscription, please consider turning it into a rolling donation to help pay us for the server and work to keep the website going.
[Y]ou can also donate a one-time gift to help us build the new searchable archive and keep it online here: https://www.paypal.com/donate/…
Please come visit us in the future and consider supporting us once we have fully transitioned to a searchable printer-friendly archive. We could always use your help.
Jeremy’s message confirms Bob’s birth date:
Robert Charles Harvey (a.k.a. R. C. Harvey)
June 22, 1937 – July 7, 2022
An aside: There are a number of websites with May 31, 1937 as the date of his birth and I’m afraid I may be responsible for that. While setting up The Daily Cartoonist obituary I found a site stating that as the date he was born and I went with it. Further research brought me to the Grand Comics Database where June 22, 1937 was listed. Scrambling to Bob’s Facebook page I found birthday greeting around June 22 and 23 dates and edited our obit within 48 hours. But the damage was done. Googling Robert C. Harvey + May 31, 1937 brings up a few sites with the incorrect birth date taken from our original TDC obituary.
The Comics Journal eulogy for its long-time contributor
For more than five decades, “Happy Harv” helped to determine, and sometimes define, the myriad discourse surrounding comics professionals, fans, teachers and scholars. His contributions include seminal works of history and criticism; a number of landmark interviews and biographies of leading creators including Milton Caniff, Charles Schulz, Bill Watterson and Aaron McGruder; and a wide variety of edited collections, archival compilations and curated exhibits. All told, Harvey leaves behind an unequalled oeuvre of thousands of separately published articles, blog posts, columns, prefaces, commentaries and small-press pamphlets spanning every facet of cartooning and comic books. Aside from his voluminous writings, those who were fortunate to know him personally are especially saddened by the loss of his uniquely witty repartee, enthusiastic opinions on art and culture, and his eternally perspicacious perspectives on the comics multiverse.
Harv on Harvey
On occasional in his Harv’s Hindsights, where he informed us of the history of comics,
Bob would look in the mirror and give us a little insider information on the man himself.
CRITIQUING THE ANTIQUE HAPPY HARV
No Surprise: The Critic Likes His Own Cartoons
HOW THE HAPPY HARV FREELANCED CARTOONS
More Critiquing Antiques While Extolling The Dubious Virtues of Girlie Cartoons
FIDDLEFOOT: A COMIC STRIP THAT NEVER WAS, ALMOST
A Shamelessly Self-indulgent Spasm Demonstrating
How the Happy Harv Invented a Comic Strip and Failed To Get It Syndicated
IT’S NOT MY FAULT
Apologia pro Vita Sue
Or—The Confessions of a Comics Junkie
AN AGED INTERVIEW WITH YOUR HOST
Namely, the Equally Antique R.C. Harvey
EASTER AND OTHER RABBITS
A Short History of Origins and of My College Cartooning Career
(The Latter, in Celebration of Completing the 18th Year of Rancid Raves)
AN INTERVIEW WITH THE HAPPY HARV
Harv was asked to respond to a series of questions. And here we go.