If I had to pick a favourite moment of Yogi Bear’s Sunday newspaper adventures 50 years ago this month, it’d have to be Harvey Eisenberg’s final panel of the year.
Trying to find decent copies of these from newspapers on line has been nigh on impossible. They’ve been photocopied way too dark. So they’re from a variety of sources, thus the quality varies.
The story of the December 2nd comic has Yogi turned into a bass violin. Why the Minneapolis Philharmonic, you ask? Good question. I have no idea.
An incidental squirrel pays a visit to Yogi’s home in the December 9th comic. It’s the day of the sled races at West Jellystone (“West”?) and a trophy is at stake. I’d rather not know why Boo Boo is riding Yogi.
Ranger Smith is absent in all but one of the five comics this month, but some hitherto unknown members of the Smith clan appear on December 16th. And they all reside in Jellystone Park. Maybe Smith is getting them cheap U.S. government accommodation. So we see blond-headed nephew Christopher and the kid’s mother who, I will venture to guess, is from Mrs. Smith’s side of the family. I can almost hear Dick Beals as the kid, except for the fact Christopher is silent in this comic. The fox from the previous weekend’s comic must have only at Yogi’s for a short visit as he’s not in this one. Today’s public service message: kids, remember Yogi’s lesson about keeping your promise. Hey, hey, hey!
Santa appears on December 23rd. We can hearby confirm Ranger Smith is not Santa. Mr. Ranger appears in only two panels the whole month and they’re both with St. Nick in this comic.
People reading papers that only published the bottom two rows of the December 30th comic must have wondered why there was a gumball machine in the forest. The upper row explains why.
I love the idea of gumball machine-shaped aliens. The gag comes right out of nowhere in the final panel and has a great set-up. The unflappable Boo Boo is annoyed and even violent in this comic (though he’s not quite “Running Wild”). I like the composition of the second-last panel. Yogi in silhouette in the background; he’s out of the action but you can still see him. Boo Boo’s slightly ahead of the machine in the foreground as he dominates the action. And some Douglas firs to fill the distance.
I’m sorry the photocopies here are so poor; they’re the best I can find. As I indicated a month ago, expect a discontinuation of these comic strip look-backs for a variety of reasons. We’ll see about next month when Yogi’s in Funville, meets up with native stereotypes (twice) and indulges in a pun stock music composer Hecky Krasnow might be happy to hear.