Quick Draw McGraw rides into Yogi Bear’s life in the weekend comics of 50 years ago this month. Yes, he’s a horse that rides a horse. Don’t ask. Actually, Quick Draw rides in only one of the five comics. He’s a patriotic American in the other.
Our usual source for comics has double-exposed photos of pages, rendering them useless. We’ve hunted through six sources and this is the best we can come up with, so you’re stuck dealing with crappy quality. Late note: the colour comics come from the collection of Richard Holliss.
Yogi is spending the Fourth of July engaged in non-stop rhymes or quasi-rhymes (the comic actually came out on July 3rd in the U.S.). The natives that populate Jellystone Park (or a reserve attached nearby) make another appearance. Note the patriotic rabbit in the top panel. No, I don’t know why the natives are coloured blue but Huck isn’t.
It’s a shame this tabloid version of the July 10th is in black and white because I would have liked to have seen the purple and gold that Quick Draw talks about. The cacti “Yogi Bear” in the opening panel is an appropriate touch. The opener also features a couple of rabbits watching the saddlesore action. The four-column comics are always missing a small top row panel; this one is missing Yogi and the grinning horse in silhouette, with a cactus in the background, and Yogi remarking “I shouldn’t oughtter rode this trotter.”
Another rabbit in the top panel on July 17th, as well as frogs and butterflies. As usual, the composition is really well thought out with action at various depths. Flowers evidently excite Yogi judging by the way he’s rubbing his rump in the air in the third panel. Hey, Ranger Smith, why didn’t you just write “flower”?
An anonymous guy who knows Yogi takes the place of Ranger Smith as the irate patsy in the July 24th comic. This version is missing a small silhouette panel of Yogi walking stage left and a tall fir tree in the left of the panel.
Yogi doesn’t have a lot of luck with greenhouses. The previous October in the Sunday comics, he destroyed one by tripping and accidentally firing apples through its windows. You can see what happens in the July 31st comic. Blame the general store owner and his faulty bag, Yogi! Hey, the rabbit and birdies are back. Boo Boo plays with a yo-yo just to make a couple of panels more interesting.
As usual, you can click on any of these to try to get a better look.