Hanna-Barbera had a great stable of funny animals, so why not take advantage of it in comics? That seems to have become the attitude around the studio by September 1961, as “friends” of Yogi we all know and love from other cartoons started appearing in his Sunday newspaper comics.
(The less said about the fact this concept morphed into inexcusable TV shows like Yo Yogi!, the better).
Courtesy of black-and-white scans of the archives of the Ogden Standard-Examiner (Salt Lake City’s channel 2 broadcast Yogi on Wednesday evenings), here are the Yogi Sunday panels for 50 years ago this month. Mark Kausler has taken the time to scan each of the comics in colour and has them HERE.
There were golf games on a couple of episodes of The Flintstones, but I don’t recall one with Yogi Bear. This one is from September 3rd. Still, jokes around the idea “play it where it lies” were not uncommon; they were easy on network radio when you only needed sound effects. Maybe this inspired the mini-golf at those Jellystone tourist spots. Boo Boo underwater is a great drawing. Why couldn’t he have been this active in the cartoon shows?
There’s a touch of Flintstones in the September 10th where Fred is turned into temporary rock star Hi Fye, mobbed by teenagers. In this Yogi comic, he does it purely by accident. Gotta love the Boo Boo dance. I hope the kid in the last panel means Avalon. Sinatra would be about 15 years out of date.
Yogi had a birthday party in a one-story, half-hour edition of his show on the week of October 2, 1961. Naturally, the promotional people promoted the crap out of it, with Yogi Bear parties (some in studio at the local station that ran Yogi). You can see in San Antonio, they had a TV give-away tie-in. An obvious place for a bit of a free newspaper space was in the Yogi comic, so Yogi’s birthday was the centrepiece of the September 17th cartoon, though the coming TV show isn’t mentioned and it was up to kids to make the oblique connection.
I love the last drawing, and not just because of the warped concept of a birthday cake-shaped stomach. It’s got just about everyone’s favourite H-B “Kelloggs” characters in one well-crafted place. What’s interesting is who it doesn’t include. Pixie, Dixie, Baba Looey, Snooper and Blabber are missing, but Harvey Eisenberg found room for them in a large panel in the missing top row. But we don’t get Yakky Doodle, even though he was featured in his own cartoons on Yogi’s show. My guess is he was being held between two pieces of bread by Fibber Fox, who was about to get pounded by Chopper, with the words “I’ve grown accustomed to your fist.” There are some subtle head tilts in different directions in the last panel.
Augie and his dad are back on September 24th. The yelling drawing is terrific. And a kid with a gun? How can you tell this is 1961? What’s odd, even for ‘61, is Augie keeps calling his father “Doggie Daddy,” not “Dear old dad” or “overdue library book-reading dad” or something like that. I don’t think he ever called him “Doggie Daddy” on the TV cartoons.
Harvey loved putting at least one silhouette drawing in each comic it seems.
As usually, the top row is missing (I wonder how many newspapers actually ran it). And you can click on the comics to enlarge them.