What’s missing in the Yogi Bear comics that appeared in sundry newspapers 50 years ago this month? We’ll tell you later.
Some familiar themes are explored—Yogi playing with cutesy kids, Yogi inventing his own version of American history, Bill Hanna’s beloved Boy Scouts making an appearance, and so does Huckleberry Hound.
You can see the full-colour versions of these at Mark Kausler’s fine web site, from Mark’s personal collection.
We’ve updated this post with better, three-row versions. Newspapers tended to cut off the top row and comics were written with that in mind. Some chopped top rows of several comics so they could fit in advertising cartoons. Pillsbury was buying space in comic sections on July 25th for a Funny Face drink promotion (interestingly, the cherry flavour was just a generic “cherry;” “Chinese” had been dropped). On several Sundays, the Chicago Tribune dropped a two-row version of Yogi altogether in favour of ads.
No, there was no flag-waving in the fourth of July. The first panel, but it’s a small one for a change. Attractive laconic horse drawing. I’ll accept “Cape Jellystone” as being a play on words. I highly doubt there was a cape in the mountainous national park.
Yogi’s fairly inventive in the July 11th comic, though I wonder if kids should be cutting down parks in a national park. Two silhouette drawings; I like the effect with the characters in the distance in silhouette as in the second row, far right. I hear Dick Beals as the dark-haired kid. And it’s nice that Huckleberry Hound makes a guest appearance.
The ragged edges around the panels when Yogi is talking about history is a nice effect. Yogi also looks like he stepped out of a barber shop quartet in the July 18th comic. Don’t complain about a bear having a moustache; they’re going for an 1890s look here. Notice the little squirrel hiding on the left side of the top panel.
In the July 25th comic, we get a silhouette panel and Yogi being ingenious again. I like the happy porcupine design, too. I wonder what the Battle of Jellystone was?
What’s missing you ask? Ranger Smith is nowhere to be found this month. In fact, he doesn’t show up until the end of August 1965. Boo Boo only appears once in July and not at all in August. This brings about my usual lament that the TV cartoons settled into the Yogi-Ranger Smith-picnic basket-Boo Boo-as-conscience format after Warren Foster arrived to write them in 1959. Yogi was a far richer character, and proved that in these comics as well as the 1958 TV season when he wasn’t always placed in Jellystone and Ranger Smith hadn’t been invented. But Foster’s formula was incredibly successful, so there was no reason to deviate (had Yogi gone on for 2,354 seasons like The Simpsons, I suspect change would have come).
We make no promises about another Yogi comic post next month.