Why buy ads in newspapers for your movie when you can get them for free?
Hanna-Barbera used several editions of its Yogi Bear Sunday newspaper comic (Saturday in Canada) to plug the newly-released movie “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear.” Three of the four comics in June 50 years ago were devoted to the film.
I’m having real trouble finding complete versions of the comics that are viewable (some were photocopied too dark and you can’t make out much of anything). So this is the best I can offer. You can see far better versions in colour at Mark Kausler’s blog. Since I’m attempting to wind down this blog, I may leave it up to Mark to post them from his own collection. There’s not much sense in both of us doing it. And Mark can provide far better commentary than I can being a top animator and well-versed in the people who drew these H-B comics.
Hey, wait a minute. Why is Cindy Bear waving goodbye in the June 7th comic? She was in the movie, too. Maybe she and Boo Boo caught a later flight; Boo Boo is noticeable by his absence in the “movie” comics this month. The writer (Gene Hazelton?) gets in a dig at filmdom’s pretentiousness.
Ranger Smith’s expressions are the best part of the June 14th comic. I like the stars around the title in the opening panel which has lots going on but isn’t cluttered.
The full-page versions are always missing a small panel. Such is the case of the comic for June 21st. There’s a third panel which has Ranger Smith pointing his finger in the air and saying “That’s not the point, Yogi.”
You kids reading this may not realise there were a lot of people in the ‘60s who really hated rock music. Elvis was a focal point for a while. But the Beatles were real game-changers. They marked the end of the song-plugger era, where each record company would have one of its stars record a song that a writer had been trying to sell to everyone. And Beatles pushed forward the concept of a radio station that played nothing but rock music; the British Invasion certainly brought plenty of music to fill air-time. Rock, if played at all, was banished to the evenings when older people had stopped listening to radio and were tuned in to their favourite radio stars of the ‘40s on TV. The older people were the ones who would think rock music stank—like skunks.
The less said about the rhymes, the better. And, no, I don’t know how the teenagers can power a record player in the forest. But anything’s possible in a cartoon, as Tex Avery once reminded us.
The shadow on Yogi in the opening panel of the June 28th comic is a nice effect. The second panel is missing; it shows the director holding up his arms and shouting “Okay, cut!” Evidently all those pic-a-nic baskets have destroyed Yogi’s taste-buds as he can’t tell shaving cream from cocoanut cream.