Gene Hazelton and his crew handling the Flintstones newspaper comics decided to go off in a different direction from the TV show. Such isn’t usual in Comic Land. The Bugs Bunny comic books, for instance, feature Petunia and Cicero Pig, and have Sylvester calling others “Guv’ner” all the time. Fans, I guess, accept the two different worlds, just as they accept the 493 versions of the Spider-Man story that are out there today.
So it is that Hazelton and whoever else handling stories for him felt it would be a great idea to have the infant Pebbles talk. Not out loud, but to herself. And they thought it’d be nifty to have her and Dino have kind of an ESP with each other. There are valid reasons for it if you’re a writer. It opens up more avenues for plots and punch-lines. As a reader, I’m not so sure if I’m crazy about Fred Flintstone being a straight-man to a baby. But I’m not crazy about the Pebbles character to begin with, so I suppose it personally doesn’t really make a difference.
Pebbles started chatting with herself in 1960s American English in the weekend newspaper comics 50 years ago this month. You can click on each comic to enlarge it. The quality, as usual, isn’t terrific, as these were scans of photocopied newspapers.
Did you know Fred invented water skiing? According to the August 4th comic, he did. Of course, he was too cheap to get a Johnston seahorse outboard motor for his boat. The last panel has a nicely composed layout. Fred still isn’t saying “Yabba Dabba Doo” in the comics yet.
August 11th features Pebbles “talking” to Dino (who doesn’t answer back).
Wilma’s acting more like the Wilma of the early Flintstones seasons in the August 18th. An unusual rear view in the first panel of the middle row. The small lettering in the final panel seems odd; I guess that’s how the letterer is showing Fred talking to himself.
Silhouette drawings highlight the August 25th comic. I especially like the two panels at the bottom where Fred rides off into the distance. There’s a TV antenna on a house in the first panel in the second row. Notice that Clarence actually has a tail light. That’s clever.
Alas, no Baby Puss again this month. The poor cat’s been forgotten, just like in the cartoons.
I can’t remember if I posted this one before, but I really like some of the drawings that ran when papers publicised that they were adding the Flintstones to their comic section. I didn’t make a note which paper ran this but it doesn’t really matter. It’s a fun drawing.