It’s a shame we don’t know exactly who wrote the stories for the Hanna-Barbera cartoons that appeared in newspapers. They deserve some credit. Well, so does Gene Hazelton for all of his layouts and/or other artwork, but that didn’t happen until years after the comics were published.
There’s an interesting mix of stories in the Yogi Bear comics that appeared in the Sunday papers (Saturdays in Canada) 50 years ago this month. We have a prank, a ditzy female, a case of mistaken identity combined with a prank and some ingenuity. As you might expect from Hazelton, the layouts are varied and uncluttered. Yogi’s given good expressions.
Richard Holliss supplied these from his collection. Because they’re in tabloid format, they’re each missing one small panel from the top row so they can fit on the page.
It’s one thing to draw funny animals but it’s another to draw realistic-looking machinery from more than one angle. That’s what you see with the motorcycle in the September 4th comic. Not all papers ran the first row of panels which, in this case, was too bad. It sets up the gag a lot better than starting with the second row because the bow and arrows aren’t as prominent. I don’t think many comics were set at nighttime. This is Boo Boo’s only appearance of the month. The missing panel is the second one of a head shot of Yogi looking behind him and saying to the ranger “I didn’t realize it was so late!”
The gag in the September 11th comic seems to be “dumb girl.” But Yogi isn’t very bright, either. Can’t he see the hooks in the fish in her basket? He’s never caught on to this? The mistakenly-read sign/smoking gag goes back to Yogi’s first TV cartoon, “Pie Pirates.” The missing panel has Yogi looking at a NO FISHING sign. Note the woodland creatures adorning the first panel.
Another uber-cute Hazelton kid makes an appearance in Jellystone Park. Note how the boy is in a little circle in the bottom row of the September 18th comic. Yogi’s writer tries to rhyme “best” and “impress”? Yikes. I like how the home is down the hill in the middle panel of the second row. It’s more attractive than a view like watching a stage (ie. what you see in the TV cartoons, with action moving left-to-right or right-to-left). The missing third panel has Yogi saluting and saying “Right, sir!”
A little birdie perched atop Yogi’s name stares at the crying papoose in the September 25th comic. I like the curved stylised trees in the bottom panel. The endless rhyming I can do without.
Click on the comics for a little better look.