Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Sunday With Gene Hazelton

There are Hanna-Barbera treasures many of will never see. Unless, perhaps, we’re all named Scott Shaw!

Instead of wondering whether his son has an exclamation mark at the end of his surname, too, we instead had a Facebook conversation about a recent store of layouts he had been shown, some by Ed Benedict, some by Dick Bickenbach, and some by Gene Hazelton. I’m afraid they’re not available to post, but I do have a few things to present.

I’ve always been curious which specific early Hanna-Barbera cartoons Gene laid out or storyboarded because I don’t recall ever seeing his name on credits on the Quick Draw or Yogi Bear shows.

Gene, however, did have more than a passing acquaintance with Yogi. We’ll get to that in a second. I, first, want to plug an inactive blog dedicated to Gene that you may not have visited. Gene moved into a house once the home of Margaret Marker and her little on-line tribute can be found by clicking HERE.

As you can see, and as we mentioned on the blog before, Gene drew the Yogi and Flintstones newspaper cartoons for McNaught Syndicate, taking over from Harvey Eisenberg, another talented ex-MGMer from the Hanna-Barbera unit. So, on this Sunday, have a look at the Sunday comics that appeared on 38 years ago last Friday. Sorry they’re not in colour. (See the note from Mark Christiansen in the comments).



We also mentioned on the blog that Gene came up with the delightful character, the Gas Genie, used in ads by the natural gas industry in Canada and the U.S. The Genie was so popular, dolls were made of him in the early ‘60s that you could buy (since someone will ask, no, the dolls didn’t emit gas). Here’s a drawing of the Genie from an ad from January 12, 1961.


And you can see some of Gene’s cute variations on the Genie elsewhere in the ad.


We’ve got some more of Gene’s work coming up later in the month, but I’d like to hear from anyone that can tell me which of the early H-B cartoons he worked on. Even if you don’t have an exclamation mark at the end of your name.

5 comments:

  1. Gene was one of Don Lusk's assistants at Disney back in the early 1940s, working on Pinnochio and 'Pastoral Symphony'. I don't know what he did in the early Hanna Barbera days, though.

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  2. Hi Yowp,

    Actually, the Yogi strip above was drawn by Ed Nofziger, who drew the Sunday strips for a while. Gene Hazelton perhaps provided some rough thumbnails for Mr. Nofziger, as Gene was head of the Hanna-Barbera comic strip department, but it's difficult to know with any degree of certainty. This stuff is almost impossible to deconstruct.

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  3. They're nice looking strips, but I don't care for the design of Wilma and Betty.

    I don't believe these strips were in my local papers, but I remember The Flintstones from the Charleston (WV) Gazette.

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  4. I worked with Gene Hazelton's son in the 1990's although I didn't realize it until after I had left the job. I remember him telling me that growing up, his dad had all sorts of animation cels, drawings, toys and whatnot laying around the house! The entire time I knew him, I never connected my friend's last name (Hazelton) with Gene Hazelton's. Duh!

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  5. Thank you for adding my tribute page on Gene Hazelton.. and Toycoon, cool you worked with his sons.,. shame you didnt realize who he was at the time..:)

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