I think I’ve asked this before, but does anyone know the origin of the nuts-equals-Napoleon gag? Was it based on something that happened in real life? Winsor McCay used it in one of his intricate Sunday Rarebit newspaper cartoons before World War One. Here it is in the May 3, 1964 Yogi comic. Nice balance on the bear in the opening panel. Remarkable, isn’t it, that the tourists would know Yogi by name? Well, then again, he’d been on TV since 1958.
Whaaa? Vandalising Ranger Smith’s home? Yogi’s kind of getting destructive, isn’t he? The May 10th comic is a far cry from purloining a sandwich from a basket like on TV. You can’t see them all that well but Yogi’s got a nice ranger of expressions. My suggestion would be to check out Mark Kausler’s site for full-colour versions of the bottom two rows of this month’s comics.
Look! It’s Li’l Tom Tom! No, we don’t mean the rapper (and there must be a rapper somewhere named Li’l Tom Tom). We mean the little native American boy who appeared in the early Yogi cartoon “The Brave Little Brave” (1958). Hanna-Barbera had high hopes for him; Li’l Tom Tom dolls were even manufactured. But the mute little boy didn’t really have any personality and was soon eclipsed by other H-B characters. His swan song was in a Hokey Wolf cartoon. But here he is brought out of cartoon retirement. I don’t know who wrote the story of the May 17th comic, but I like the idea the natives aren’t speaking in “Hollywood Indian.” “Bernard” and “Hildagarde” is a real stretch for a rhyme. If this had been a 1930s cartoon, Bernie would have been a Jewish Indian. Some nice Harvey Eisenberg silhouettes here. Note the wind-up record player.
The best part of the May 24th comic may be Boo Boo’s dry sense of humour in the opening panel. It surfaced maybe a couple of times on the TV cartoons. Yet another chubby-cheeked Boy Scout. The final panel is well laid out.
Unfortunately this tabloid copy is the best version I can find. The tabloids always took out one of the small panels, and one is missing in this comic. It shows Boo Boo standing in front of a rock, looking up and saying “...There’s just one thing...” before the next panel asking about the Fan Club.
What’s that? You can hear Daws Butler’s Phil Silvers voice out of the big agent? Silvers’ Sergeant Bilko would appreciate the audacity of Hanna-Barbera giving free advertising to its feature-length movie in its own comic. This May 31st comic came just after the official preview of the movie. The folks at Weekly Variety wrote, in part, on May 27, 1964:
Columbia Pictures will explore a new location Saturday ( 30) for a press junket for one of its upcoming releases—one chosen to make the film's leading man feel at home. Taking off from here Decoration Day, a planeload of press, radio and tv reps will head for Yellowstone National Park...
The mayor of Salt Lake City will accompany the fourth estaters to the habitat of the fictional bear who is central figure of the animated feature. Agenda calls for flight to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in a chartered Martin 202, transferring to buses for Yellowstone with a lunch at Old Faithful preceding screening of the - Hanna-Barbera animated feature, plus stage show with performers enacting characters from the film. World premiere of "Hey There" is scheduled for here on June 3.
The same issue of Weekly Variety reviewed the feature, calling it a “Marketable hot weather cartoon feature for the moppet mart. Will have to buck its own freevee competition.” (On another page, the paper announced “The Jetsons” would be on CBS’ Saturday morning schedule).
Back to the comic: it’s hard to make out, but the word “Zoom!” is on the bottom of the last panel as Yogi brings out his bags and goes Hollywood.
Okay, now a little bonus. In honour of the appearance of Li’l Tom Tom, here is one of the two music cues used in “The Brave Little Brave.” I haven’t been able to locate the first one, which is maddening, but this is the one played when the panicky rabbit is talking to Yogi, and during the daring rescue of the little boy before he goes over the falls. It’s from Capitol Hi-Q reel M-13. It’s a little chewed up but listenable.
L-744 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
What? You want more music? Okay, here’s the rest of the reel. All are by Spencer Moore. None of these cues were used in cartoons.
L-741 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
L-734 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
L-739 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
L-735 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
L-525 MELODIC WESTERN UNDERSCORE
As usual, you can click on any of the comics to make it larger.