Feb 6, 2013

Why Hot Stuff Wears a Diaper


One of the Harvey Comics stable of magical beings, Hot Stuff the Little Devil is a queer outsider.  He lives in the same Enchanted Forest as Casper, Wendy, and Spooky, but their paths never cross.  There is no devil society, like the ghosts have; Hot Stuff rarely encounters another devil.  In most stories he is alone, peering into the daylit world without understanding it, or defending himself from its threats.

To emphasize his outsider status, many stories have Hot Stuff trapped in bizarre sub-worlds with their own incomprehensible rules, struggling to break free.

One wonders why Hot Stuff isn't underground with the other devils.  Was he banished, cast out of Paradise for some fault only devils know of?

Hot Stuff also has a sexual potential that the other magical beings lack. First, his name is 1950s slang for "sexually appealing," and you would call someone a "little devil" for making a mischievous sexual advance.

Second, he carries a phallic trident, which fails here as an ice king freezes his flames.

Third, the ghosts wear no clothes, and their bodies are smooth and formless, but Hot Stuff's asbestos diaper suggests a need to cover sex organs.

And infancy -- Hot Stuff is very, very young, in spite of his self-sufficiency.  Like a baby, his main concerns are eating and sleeping.  But he will grow. He will become tall and strong, and potent, in a way that the ghosts never will.

When that day come, will he long for the male or the female?


Hot Stuff occasionally encounters the Fairy Princess Charma, but she is by no means a regular character, and they are not interpreted as romantic partners.  Instead, she makes attempts to civilize him, to draw him from his savage infant world through gender polarization.  Here, for instance, he grudgingly allows her to use his super-hot hand to iron clothes.

In a story from 1970, Hot Stuff and a friend wonder what games human children play.  They peer in a window at a group of boys and girls playing “spin the bottle," in which you must spin and then bestow a kiss upon whomever the bottle points to (in the presumably gay-free 1970s, opposite sex only).  The two devils rush back to the Enchanted Forest and play their own version of the game, bestowing zaps of fire rather than kisses.  They, and the human children, do not experience heterosexual desire at all, and can only imagine that heterosexual practice is a form of torture.

When Hot Stuff grows up, he will long for the male.