Sunday, 8 July 2012

Yogi Bear, Weekend Comics, July 1962

Yogi Bear’s rhyming dialogue can get a little tiresome, especially when it seems obligatory rather than clever, and it looks like the writers in Gene Hazelton’s comics staff at Hanna-Barbera agreed. One of them made fun of the idea in one of the weekend strips.

The month of July 1962 featured Boo Boo, Ranger Smith and some incidental characters. Everyone else in the H-B world was on a summer holiday somewhere else than Jellystone. We’ll get to see a bunch of them next month (sorry, no Mr. Jinks or meeces, though).

In the July 1 comic, the writer parodies Yogi’s rhyme in the opening panel of the top row which many papers never published. We learn Ranger Smith’s name is Frank. Everyone seems to think his name is “John.” Is that one of those post-facto things, like Chuck Jones naming the orange running-shoed monster “Gossamer” years after the first cartoon with it was released? I don’t recall Ranger Smith referring to himself other than “Ranger Smith” in the original series. And Smith’s wife is a nameless blonde in this one.

A shame Mr. Ranger doesn’t have one of those rods with a pair of scissors to untangle the fishing line like in Tex Avery’s “Field and Scream.”

I like the angular layout of the silhouetted jeep in the second panel.

The July 8 comic has Yogi getting his revenge on a guy who ridicules his incompetence. See? He really is smarter than the average bear.

A great drawing of a leaping Yogi in the second panel of the July 15. The cartoonist was also as adept at drawing a jetliner as he was with the characters. And at a rear angle, too. He uses a different angle when drawing Yogi and Boo Boo swimming in the final panel. Nice hula dancer and a great expression of Yogi; much like the way George Nicholas drew him for the TV cartoons.

Would Yogi really say “Great Scott”? (And who was “Scott” anyway?) Well, he did in the July 22 comic. More cute kids.

On TV, Jellystone Park had a white-haired superintendent, at least in a few of the cartoons. In the comics, it has a head ranger who apparently has only one open-mouth position. He appears in the July 29 comic. What’s with these rangers anyway? They tell Yogi to eat bear-type food, and when he does, he’s in trouble. No wonder he rebels.

Boo Boo isn’t needed in this cartoon, so he’s absent. Apparently he has his own cave or is sleeping in a separate bed from Yogi this time.

Yogi dealt with bees in several cartoons, notably “Bears and Bees,” where he sells twig-filled bottles of honey, and “Queen Bee for a Day,” where Boo Boo gets stuck in a queen bee costume. No bees in filing cabinets in either, though.

The quality of the comics isn’t great this month. Photocopying dark colours doesn’t provide pleasing results. Well, at least that technology is somewhere in the past, thanks to scanners. As you might guess, the top rows of each comic came from one paper (the only one I could find with them) and the bottom two rows from another. You can click on them to make them bigger.

1 comment:

  1. This looks to be a clean sweep for the month by the great artist Harvey Eisenberg.