Hanna-Barbera found a unique way to promote the Yogi Bear Show—with a comic strip.
Today marks the 56th anniversary of Yogi appearing in the weekend papers, six days after his TV show began airing across North America. The New York Herald Tribune reported on January 9, 1961:
Yogi Bear, the popular TV cartoon character, goes into the Sunday newspapers on Feb. 5. The McNaught Syndicate has lined up eighty newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune, for the start of the Yogi Bear comic strip. The strip, in color, will be laid out for a half or third page. For the past two-and-a-half years, Yogi has been a featured played in the Emmy-winning “Huckleberry Hound” animated series. At the end of this month, Yogi will begin heading up his own show. It will be sponsored by Kellogg’s through Leo Burnett.
What did that first comic look like? You can see it below. The plot is borrowed from the TV episode “Do or Diet” (1960).
The signatures of Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera and Gene Hazelton, who was in charge of the studios newspaper comic output, were signed years after this was published.
When did the comic finish its run? I really don’t know, though I have some editions from 1971. If someone has the answer, leave a note.