Odd and imaginative. That’s what we get out of Gene Hazelton’s gang writing and drawing the Flintstone Sunday comics (Saturday in Canada) for August 50 years ago. Dino doesn’t make an appearance and Baby Puss seems forgotten. But the whole gang is in the first two comics. By “gang,” I mean Fred, Wilma, Barney and Betty. The kids hadn’t come along yet. Click on any comic to enlarge it.
I can understand large dinosaurs, but large carrots and potatoes? Ah, they’re plot devices in the August 5th comic as they help set up the great end gag. The artist doesn’t clutter it with a pile fo houses; Fred’s home is the only one for miles around. This comic has the only silhouette panel of the month.
Someone evidently went through the designs for the first Flintstones cartoon put into production, “The Swimming Pool” (1960) and picked out Barney’s snorkeling outfit because he’s wearing it in the comic for August 12th. I love the long underwater panel of Barney and the sea creatures. And we get a two-headed dinosaur. If this were the cartoon show, the scene would end with a shot of the dinosaur with some two-heads-are-better-than-one quip out of both mouths.
Wilma stands up to Fred, just like in the earliest TV cartoons, on August 19th. We get to see some of the inventions used on the TV show as well, like the mastodon vacuum cleaner, the boar garbage disposal and the bird-beak-as-record-player-needle.
I really like the concept of a Rolling Stone Club. You probably couldn’t build a half-show show around it, or use it as a throwaway gag; a newspaper comic is the right length for it. The incidental characters for August 26th all on-model and could have easily have fit in on the TV cartoon.
Coming next month: water buffaloes and car surfing.