Hot Stuff, the Little Devil
The interesting thing about Harvey Comics is that they take characters that would traditionally frighten little children and make them harmless. It is normal for a small child to be frightened of ghosts, witches and devils, but Harvey Comics has always made their monsters friendly at best, mischievous at worst. Hot Stuff, the Little Devil, is one of these.
The first appearance of Hot Stuff was in "Hot Stuff" #1, October 1957. Harvey must have had confidence with its new character, since he didn't first appear as a backup feature in another title or have a trial run in "Harvey Hits".
Hot Stuff's role in the Harvey World is unique, as he doesn't really cross over with other characters that often. I can only count one or two times he teamed up with Spooky and another time with Casper. Generally, he remains in his own world, which is filled with ogres, gnomes, fairies and other devils.
The supporting feature for virtually all of the Hot Stuff titles has always been Stumbo, the Giant. Strangely enough, though they have appeared in issues together as early as "Hot Stuff" #3, there has never been a Hot Stuff/Stumbo team-up story.
Howard Post and Warren Kremer were the principle artists behind the Hot Stuff series, but Hot Stuff's creation is attributed to Alfred Harvey. Post's wild and inventive humor was the mainstay of the title for many years. Kremer drew his share of Hot Stuff stories, but his main contribution was illustrating all of the Stumbo stories over the years. He also drew the majority of the "Hot Stuff" covers.
As usual for Harvey titles during the 50s and 60s, Hot Stuff had his share of spin-off titles. "Hot Stuff Sizzlers" was first issued in 1960, then "Devil Kids Starring Hot Stuff" began in 1962. Finally, "Hot Stuff Creepy Caves" made its debut in 1974. There was also a proposed "Hot Stuff Hottest Devil" title circa 1972, but it never came out.
Hot Stuff has retained a relatively low profile over the years, compared to other Harvey characters. This is primarily due to the fact that he has never appeared in an animated film, nor has he appeared on a great deal of merchandise. An animated series was attempted in the 60s and again in the 70s, but the character's supposedly satanic linkings have unfortunately kept him off the airwaves.
A sort of cult mystique surrounds the character, as he is appreciated in the drug, rave and biker cultures, perhaps due to his "satanic" connections.
There have been some excellent Hot Stuff stories. One such tale, entitled, "Fire When Ready," concerns everyone using and abusing Hot Stuff's heat and light powers for their own selfish purposes. This is at first tolerated, then rejected by Hot Stuff, resulting in his displaying of his usual short temper.
Hot Stuff appeared recently in "The Harvey Magazine".
Hot Stuff may like fire and brimstone, but he's the coolest devil around.
Bibliography of comics featuring Hot Stuff:
Supporting feature in Stumbo Tinytown.
Other appearances include:
First appearance: Hot Stuff, The Little Devil #1, 10/57
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