Election Day. A day of triumph. A day of disappointment. For Huckleberry Hound, it was a bit of both in Election Year, 1960.
Huck’s presidential campaign took off that year, thanks to an off-handed comment by Hanna-Barbera’s licensing guy in New York, Ed Justin. You can read how it all happened in this blog post. Huck (in costume) made personal appearances. Campaign buttons were made; they were even referred to in the October 18, 1960 panel of The Family Circus (my thanks to Mike Kazaleh for sending me the comic). Huck’s journey on the hustings was documented in the pages of Dell Comic 1141, published in 1960. We posted Part One here. Let’s go on to Part Two.
None of the mini-stories in the second half of the comic originated on the animated cartoon show; they were apparently original to the comic. It was drawn by Harvey Eisenberg, who was the layout artist for a time in the Hanna-Barbera unit at MGM and did some freelancing with Barbera in comics in the late ‘40s. He did some uncredited work at the Hanna-Barbera studio where his son Jerry worked.
You can see there’s an unrelated Yogi Bear page at the end. We’ve left it in.
We speculate Huck wasn’t too disappointed in dropping out of his bid for the White House. It seems the anchor knocked some sense into him. The golf and piano references may be confusing to modern-day readers. President Ike Eisenhower spent chunks of time on the golf course, while President Harry Truman’s piano playing in the White House was the subject of jokes on radio and TV shows and animated cartoons. FDR was an avid fishermen and once landed a 100-pound sailfin without hooking it.
The Yogi campaign at the end of the comic book was remarkably prescient. Yogi decided to go for the presidency the following election, but had a cartoon character challenger—Magilla Gorilla. As your humble correspondent appeared in three Yogi cartoons and wasn’t permitted to set foot in one of Magilla’s, you can guess who I voted for.
The cartoon character campaign gimmick was a nice way to entertain comic-reading kids every four years. But it serves a purpose for adults today. Let them read the pages of the comic book and laugh at the ridiculous situation. “Ridiculous” is better than “ridicule,” and there’s far too much of that going on amongst supposed friends just because they don’t share the same political beliefs.