Sunday, 27 February 2011

Yogi Bear Sunday, March 1961

Yogi Bear’s earliest adventures in the Sunday comics (Saturday, in Canada) have echoes of Warren Foster’s stories used in the television cartoons. Certainly Gene Hazelton and Harvey Eisenberg, et al, didn’t use them verbatim. But you can spot similarities in plots, or portions of them.

Let’s look at photocopies from the colour comics section of the papers for March 1961. These come from the Ogden Standard-Examiner. That paper was like many others and only printed the last two rows of panels to save space. Too bad.

Bears and Bees featured Yogi’s brainstorm of filling jars with honey from inside a log and bartering them with Jellystone tourists for pic-a-nic baskets and other goodies. The March 5th comic borrows the honey-in-a-log concept and moves in a different direction. The comic and the cartoon came out about the same time.

A couple of different cartoons may have inspired the comic of March 12th. Yogi and Ranger Smith spent half of Nowhere Bear trying to rescue Boo Boo from a ledge. And in Bewitched Bear, he’s forced by Ranger Smith to rebuild his cabin after a missile chasing Yogi gets lodged in the door and explodes.

The March 19th comic grabs part of Missile Bound Yogi, in which Yogi gets caught in the middle of war games (in a national park?!?). The cartoon didn’t air until the 1961-62 season, so it’s possible it borrowed the comic strip story idea. It’d be interesting to learn when the cartoons actually went into production. I really like the explosion drawing.

A witch’s broom-stealing Yogi being chased by military rockets from Bewitched Bear makes an appearance again on March 26th. Even the “lower the broom” line that ended the cartoon gets used here. Harvey Eisenberg—at least, I’m presuming it’s Harvey—gives us a nice silhouette and a pretty cool smoke trail.

Since you’ve had to put up with black-and-white scans of comics, allow us to try to fit in our colour quota. Jim Engel has sent a wallpaper he’s made based on one of the pieces of publicity art for The Huckleberry Hound Show drawn in 1958 by (I’m guessing) Dick Bickenbach. I hope you enjoy it.


  1. So lovely to see more of these Sunday comics - and my congrats to Jim for producing a fine-looking coloured piece, too =)

  2. Mr. Yowp: It's spelled "Engel" and he's great.


    I grew up watching and enjoying these cartoons...