Dear Cartoon Fans,
No, The Simpsons did not invent the “writing sentences over and over on the blackboard” gag. For those of you who need proof, we direct your attention to the Yogi Bear comics that appeared in Sunday newspapers 50 years ago this month. (Teachers never forced misbehaving kids to scrawl when I was in school when the comic in question was made. A lawsuit would probably result if a teacher tried it today).
Before we get to the comics, you see a nicely crafted ad to your right. I think I’ve posted it before but I found it in another paper the other day so I’ve put it up nonetheless. There was a similar well-laid-out Flintstones promotional drawing.
Boo Boo only makes it into one of the comics this month. Ranger Smith is in a pair and we have kids in a couple of them. And instead of Boy Scouts, we have the distaff variety (distaff being one of those ‘60s words I doubt anyone uses now).
The April 2nd comic has a wonderful perspective opening panel with angry tourists in the distance around the letters of Yogi’s name. The “ranger general” (with one star) is featured as well. Note the eye on the suspicious tourist in the final panel. The missing third panel is in black-and-white to your right.
Yes, he’s smarter than the average bear. I’m referring to whoever wrote the April 9th comic. This is quite an ingenious food-stealing idea that Yogi’s come up with. Kids love yucky things, after all.
It seems to me there weren’t a lot of weekend comics with only two characters in them, and the fly really isn’t much of a character.
The colour change from day to night may be nicest thing about the April 23rd comic. The missing panel is a close-up of Yogi and Boo Boo, with a ? in a word balloon pointing at each of them. See how Ranger Smith expresses his anger in the opening panel. Ranger Smith is named for Bill Hanna again. I don’t think Hanna-Barbera had any Abes in 1967 (where was Abe Levitow then?).
Space.com tells us that Mars is 33.9 million miles from Earth at its closest point. But it is 225 million at its farthest, so Yogi is technically correct in his response to the little girl in the April 30th comic. Evidently, her parents put great confidence over a woodland creature as opposed to Ranger Smith to give their daughter the correct answer. I presume the father must be a hitherto unknown ranger. Why else would they be living in a national park. Do I detect Lucille Bliss as the Girl Scout?
You can click on each comic to make it bigger.