Sunday 16 September 2012

Flintstones Weekend Comics, September 1962

Ah, the grouchy Fred and the stupid Barney. And some nice layouts. That’s what the Flintstone weekend comics 50 years ago gave their audience.

The quality of these photocopies isn’t great. I’ve cobbled together the best I can from several papers. You can click to enlarge them. You can see the two-row versions in colour at Mark Kausler’s blog. Mark Christiansen reports they were all by Dick Bickenbach, who drew layouts on all the early H-B shows.

Proof that you can find symbolism anywhere is in the September 2nd comic. The Flintstones were originally named “The Flagstones” until the possibility of a lawsuit by the people behind the comic strip “Hi and Lois” because the neighbours were named the Flagstons. Hanna-Barbera’s idea of using the name “Flagstones” collapsed. And, in this comic, the flagstone collapses, too. Dino makes a cameo in the optional top row.

Loudmouth Fred appears in September 9th. Can’t you hear Alan Reed reading those lines? Dino and huge butterflies in the opening panel. The health studio guy looks like one of those Don Messick-voiced incidental characters in the cartoon show.

I think September 16th was the first appearance of the Water Buffaloes in the comics, though the word “water” is omitted. The Water Buffaloes made their appearance in the TV show’s first season (1961).

Two great perspective layouts in September 23rd—an interior from Fred’s point of view and another from Barney’s. Another Dino cameo. The figurine on the table of the man about to bash a dinosaur is an interesting addition.

The neck-less Barney from the early TV episode “The Swimming Pool” appears in the September 30th comic. The head takes up a third of Barney’s body. Got to love the dinosaur with the “?” balloon in the background of one panel. Fred still doesn’t say “Yabba Dabba Do” in the comics for some reason.

Kinda makes you think of Jimmy Darrock (ho boy, there’s an original name) doing the Fantastic Baggy’s “Surfin’ Craze” from the TV show in March 1965. Well, here it is. As Joe Barbera said in one September 1964 plug-the-coming-season news release: “James Darren sings two new surfing songs in this one,” Barbera said. “It’s right up to date with all the latest surfing jargon.” Joe neglected to mention Lennie Weinrib is voicing Darrock in dialogue, with Howie Morris as the emcee. Dance by Dick Lundy perhaps? And, amazing as it seems, Redondo Beach was around in the Stone Age.

How disappointing it is that Baby Puss is once again ignored in the weekend comics. So, as a bonus, here’s everyone’s favourite Saber-Toothed Alley-Cattus (to borrow from Mike Maltese) in the daily strip from September 1, 1962.


  1. It's probably coincidental, but the health club guy looks a bit like health club owner Brick Boulder from the episode where Pebbles is born. In that case Howie Morris did that voice because he was actually a skinny little weakling in an inflatable body suit, and who does better he-man-to-wimp voice work than Howie?

  2. Yowp--Thanks for continuing to post these. I appreciate your efforts in trying to find the best elements available. It's great to get to see a comic strip that many of us missed out on, since it wasn't very widely run. These strips highlight aspects of the Flintstones and Bedrock that may not necessarily have been dealt with in the TV show or the comic book stories. Their comparative rarity makes these comic strips all the more special.

  3. We're waylaid by outdated technology, SC. Today, an old newspaper would be put under a high resolution scanner. Not when these were done. They're scans of photocopies of newspapers from microfilm. The contrast is horrible on some of them. And I suspect it's not worth the trouble to go into stax in a newspaper's archives and rescan them.