Cartoons have certain rules. Rule 514 states that skunks must always smell. You can find it in animated cartoons going back to the silent days and I’ll bet it surfaced in some ancient Katzenjammer Kids comic strip. As you know, Chuck Jones and Mike Maltese were able to base an entire series of cartoons around le premise de skunque pueue. And we find it in the Yogi Bear newspaper comics 50 years ago this month.
But first, we start with that staple of sitcoms—the bratty kids. The comic of February 5, 1967 doesn’t have them directing their anti-social behaviour at Yogi, say in the manner of Mickey and Icky abusing Huckleberry Hound in Hookey Daze. They’re rambunctious. And Yogi deals with them in a manner that likely wouldn’t meet with approval in this day and age. Perhaps the writer felt Ranger Smith could only have well-behaved youngsters as we get a different ranger in this one. The flowered curtains are very much in the Monty background style.
Ranger Smith is back on February 12th. And, yeah, he’s being unfair to Yogi. I like how the receptionist doesn’t really know how to address Yogi when he barges in. And I still don’t understand the militarisation of the park with a one-star “general.”
Don’t get in a funk. It’s only a skunk. N-hey! Hey! Hee! The February 19th comic includes silhouette panels (of Boo Boo going into and coming out of Yogi’s cave, with something in the foreground), bluebirds and the aforementioned skunk.
Bill Hanna was a life-long supporter of the Boy Scouts, which found their way into a number of Yogi comics and even a Flintstones TV show. So the February 26th comic gives equal time to the Camp Fire Girls. Those of you growing up in the ‘60s will recall the public service messages on TV with the tune “Sing around the campfire. Join the Camp Fire Girls.” They’re still around but they’re not just for girls in today’s litigious society. A panel is missing here, but you get an interesting perspective in the final panel and a silhouette panel, too. You know, a spot-gag animated cartoon of Yogi battling ants for a pic-a-nic basket might have been pretty funny. Too bad the Yogi spot-gaggers ended when Charlie Shows left Hanna-Barbera in 1959.
Richard Holliss supplied the colour versions again this month.