Woodland creatures abound in Jellystone Park—at least in the version in the Yogi Bear Sunday comics (Saturday in Canada). In the TV cartoon series, they’d all have to be animated, and we all know Hanna-Barbera wasn’t going to spend the money needed to move around some background characters, or clutter the screen and possibly distract from the action.
This post is a re-written version from what originally appeared on the blog. We had some lousy, two-row versions of the comics published 50 years ago this month. But we’ve unexpectedly discovered some decently-scanned three-row versions, so they’ve replaced the earlier ones that were posted.
Since you’ll want to see these in full colour, drop by Mark Kausler’s blog. Mark is trying to find excuses for me not to stop blogging by sending me scans of Hanna-Barbera storyboards from his personal collection for me to post here (including a Ruff and Reddy). But those are posts for another day.
One thing noticeable this month is the absence of Boo Boo and, with one exception, Ranger Smith. At the risk of harping on the point, I think Yogi was a stronger character in his first season cartoons (1958-59 TV season) when he was allowed to roam free without being saddled with Jellystone Park, Mr. Ranger and a bear-type buddy as necessities in each cartoon. A 6 ½-minute cartoon could have easily made surrounding a baseball game with kids like in the August 22nd newspaper comic. With the Capitol Hi-Q library, naturally.
There isn’t really much for me to say about these comics. Gene Hazelton—at least, I’ll presume he was responsible—shows a great sense of layout. I like his sense of perspective with many frames drawing your attention to something in the foreground as well as the background (and, sometimes, in between). The sprinkler truck panel on August 15th is a good example.
Can anyone see the sweater in the August 1st comic and not think of Charlie Brown? Judging by the dialogue in the second panel, Yogi must have seen a performance of “My Fair Lady.” Interesting zig-zags on the tree in the final panel.
Nice expressions on Yogi in the August 8th comics; we even get a heel click. Other than in profile, his eyes look different than the way Harvey Eisenberg drew them. They seem closer together. The angular fir trees are all over the place and we get a silhouette panel. The dual-head panel is a nice touch.
The first panel in the August 15th comic is really well thought out. The hunters are in the background and Yogi’s not quite in the foreground, so the reader’s eye is automatically directed to the rifle which is at the centre of the plot. Nice angle on the truck in the last panel. “Sir”/ “Fir”? “Tree”/ “Me?” Sigh.
The “alert” and “Bert” rhyme in the August 22nd comic couldn’t be much more contrived, could it? It would have been funny if Yogi had said “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.” The kids running all over the place in the opening panel is great, as is Yogi’s expression.
The squirrel talks! Yogi’s helping cutesy animals in the August 29th comic, which includes an appearance by that gym rat, Ranger Smith. The expressions on the squirrels in the final panel are pretty nice.
Click on any of the comics to make them bigger, but I again suggest you do the same on Mark’s blog as they’re in colour.