During Harvey Comics' heyday (1950–1982), Richie was the publisher's most popular character, eventually starring in over fifty separate titles, including such long-running comics as Richie Rich, Richie Rich Millions, Richie Rich Dollars and Cents, and Richie Rich Success Stories.
In 2011 Ape Entertainment began publishing a new licensed Richie Rich comic book series, taking the character in a very different, action-oriented, direction.
Cover of Richie Rich No. 254 (Jan. 1991), the final issue of the flagship series.
Although created in 1953, Richie didn't have his own title until 1960. Once he did, however, he quickly became Harvey's most popular character, eventually starring in over fifty separate titles. The flagship, Richie Rich, ran 254 issues from 1960 to 1991 (with a hiatus from 1982–1986), followed by a second volume which ran an additional 28 issues from 1991–1994. Other long-running titles were Richie Rich Millions (113 issues from 1961–1982), Richie Rich Dollars and Cents (109 issues from 1963–1982), and Richie Rich Success Stories (105 issues from 1964–1982). (Harvey ceased publishing in 1982, but started up again in 1986 under new ownership; this hiatus resulted in the cancellation of many titles.) Richie (along with many of the Harvey characters) have been published only sporadically since 1994.
Writers for the Richie Rich comic books and syndicated comic strip included Sid Jacobson, Lennie Herman, Stan Kay, and Ralph Newman. Richie Rich's most famous illustrator is Warren Kremer. Other illustrators included Ernie Colón, Sid Couchey, Dom Sileo, Ben Brown, Steve Muffatti, and Joe Dennett.
Despite any negative stereotypes associated with his incredible wealth, Richie Rich is portrayed as kind and charitable. (In fact, his moniker is "the poor little rich boy.") He lives in an expensive mansion and owns at least two of everything money can buy. Richie appears to be around seven to ten years old and wears a waistcoat, a white shirt with an Eton collar (which is obscured by a giant red bow tie), and blue shorts. He occasionally attends school in his hometown of Richville.
For the Ape Entertainment comic book series debuting in 2011, the character was updated by emphasizing his altruistic side: "A mix of James Bond and Indiana Jones with the bank account of Donald Trump, Richie Rich is an altruistic adventurer who travels the world helping the less fortunate!" The new Richie was joined by updated versions of his robot maid Irona and his butler Cadbury.
Mr. Richard Rich Sr. - Richie's father; an industrialist (first appearance Little Dot #3)
Mrs. Regina Rich - Richie's mother (first appearance Little Dot #1)
Aunt Noovo Rich (a pun on the French term nouveau riche) - Richie's wealthy but very eccentric aunt who is crazy about posting signs; has a tendency to show off her wealth. She is Mr. Rich's sister.
Aunt Mintley - Oft-bewildered aristocrat.
Aunt Cleo — animal lover
Uncle Worry - Richie's uncle, former coach of a professional football team known for its long losing streak
Uncle Stormy - Another of Richie's uncles, whom Richie initially mistakes for an impostor named Blackie Bludsoe in one issue
Dollar - Rich family dog, a "Dollarmatian" (like a Dalmatian, but with dollar signs instead of spots).
Van Dough family
Reginald "Reggie" Van Dough Jr. - Richie's mean cousin, known for playing constant pranks on everyone, most notably Richie and his family, which causes his father to punish him. Treats his servants shabbily (often by calling them "peasant," which causes them to call him "monster", but they swiftly correct themselves and call him Master). (first appearance Little Dot #2)
Reginald Van Dough Sr. - Reggie's father, often angered with Reggie's non-stop pranks, and often punishes him for them.
Vanessa Van Dough - Reggie's mother; not as quick to punish Reggie for his pranks, but she doesn't tolerate Reggie's unabashed cruelty either. It is never clearly determined if Vanessa is related to Richie's mother or his father.
Penny Van Dough - Reggie's baby sister, she talks only in "baby talk." The curl on her head is shaped like a dollar sign.
Gloria Glad - Richie's redhead girlfriend, notorious for her regular refusal of the many luxurious gifts Richie offers, and for her disdain for the open display of money, diamonds and other forms of wealth in Richie's household, despite his efforts to conceal it from her.
Mayda Munny - Richie's snobby wannabe-girlfriend, who never wins his attentions. Immensely jealous of Gloria, and often angry when her plans to snare Richie's attention backfire on her. Like Reggie, Mayda is snobbish and addresses those beneath her as "peasant".
Freckles and Pee-Wee Friendly - Richie's poor but most-prized friends (first appearance Little Dot #2)
Billy Bellhops - A redheaded boy who worked as a bellhop at his father's hotel. Premiered in "Richie Rich and Billy Bellhops" in 1977 but was short-lived.
Timmy Time - An extraterrestrial boy who time-travels to present-day Earth with his robot friend Traveler (landing on the Riches' private beach) from the year 2019 in search of tholarine, a substance he needs for spaceship fuel back in 2019. Premiered in "Richie Rich and Timmy Time" in 1977 but was short-lived.
Herbert Arthur Runcible Cadbury - The Riches' butler who attends to the Rich estate. British born, Cadbury gives the image of propriety and servility. When need demands, however, he becomes a tough, gun-toting man of action. He is also a master hypnotist, ventriloquist and wood-carver.
Professor Mindblow - A worker at the research and development department.
Chadwick - The Riches' assistant butler
Minnie Mintz - One of the Riches' cooks
Captain Fuzzby - A member of the Riches' estate police
The Onion - A recurring villain with horrible onion-powered breath capable of knocking victims unconscious with a trademark "hashoo!"
Dr. Blemish - A recurring villain, an evil genius scientist and nemesis of Prof. Keenbean.
Dr. N-R-Gee - A recurring villain with the distinguishing feature of a huge red light bulb for a head, caused when scientist Phil Lament (a pun referring to a light bulb's "filament") suffered an electrical accident in his lab.
The Condor - A billionaire mastermind with his own terrorist army, and the Rich Family's worst enemy, whose only desire is to take over Mr. Rich's empire.
In 1996, the second and most recent Richie Rich animated television series aired in non-network syndication, starring Katie Leigh as the voice Richie Rich and Irona. The series ran for 13 episodes and portrayed Richie in his "classic" tuxedo outfit. The show also features the voice talents of Jeannie Elias as Freckles, Gloria Glad, Reggie Van Dough, and Pee-Wee, René Auberjonois as Richard Rich, Chef Pierre, and Professor Keanbean, Pat Fraley as Dollar, Martin Jarvis as Cadbury and Bascomb, and Susan Silo as Regina Rich.
Live action TV series
Netflix has ordered a half-hour Richie Rich comedy series with Jake Brennan starring as Richie Rich along with Joshua Carlon, Jenna Ortega, Lauren Taylor, Kiff Vanden Heuvel and Brooke Wexler. The show is executive produced by Jeff Hodsden and Tim Pollack, from The Suite Life with Zack and Cody and A.N.T. Farm.