Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, January 1963

Perhaps it was a foregone conclusion that the Flintstones would have a child designed by Gene Hazelton in early 1963. The Hanna-Barbera newspaper comics started getting littered with children about the same time. Gene was the head writer for the comics so he would have been the one putting kids in the stories, though it appears the comics themselves (at least some of them) for January 1963 were drawn by Harvey Eisenberg.

We get a boy in one of the Sunday colour comics this month and, rather unexplainably, native Indians in two of them. There are more kids and natives in February, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Ranger Smith doesn’t make an appearance in any of these comics. Perhaps Hazelton is signalling he wants to go off in a different direction than the TV series and create his own little world around Jellystone Park.

As I’ve mentioned, the photographic quality of these is not very good. I’ve married the top row from one paper with the bottom two from another to give you the best possible version I can find on-line. With luck, Mark Kausler will post his excellent colour copies on his blog later in the month. I hope you appreciate them because you get a better idea of the artwork than you do from these.

Why does Yogi Bear get his own day at Funville Park? And where is Funville Park anyway? Well, I suppose if a TV station can give Yogi a sponsored special like the plot of one of his animated half-hours (which happened later in 1963), an amusement park can give something to honour Yogi, too. That’s what happened in the January 6th comic. It seems the horses on the merry-go-round are alive. Interesting drawing with the merry-go-round in the background in silhouette.

I really like the clever patterned logo in the opening panel of the January 13th comic. Good composition, too. Lots of people but not cluttered, with silhouettes again giving a little depth. Nice puzzled look on Yogi when he’s in the canoe in the middle row. Boo Boo gets the comic off.

Did Hazelton have a son named Christopher? There was a blond-haired kid named Christopher in one of the December comics, and on January 20th, we’ve got a blond-haired kid named Kit. It’s hard to say if it’s the same kid. They all kind of look the same. The hair-style’s different, the mother’s different and this one’s wearing a one-stripe vest and collared shirt instead of a t-shirt. Anyway, Yogi comes up with a trite rhyme in the opening panel, but I like the gag set-up, though it’s a little cringing in this age to see the word “squaw” amongst the perfect English. Oh, well. At least they don’t talk like the Go-Go Gophers.

If we can have talking merry-go-round horses, why not taking worms? That’s the capper to the January 27th as we learn that ocarina is really made by worms burrowing holes in sweet potatoes underground. Boo Boo returns after a two-week absence. I suppose he was away earning money to buy a musical instrument. I wonder what instrument Sam makes from corn in the final panel.

Next month, besides kids (one is suspiciously named “Eugene”) and Indians, there’s a cameo by an oh-so-merry, chuckleberry dog.

P.S.: Being New Year’s Day, here’s a non-Yogi comic bonus. This is from January 1, 1965. Wilma’s hung over. Imagine that! Next, she’ll be smoking cigarettes or something.


  1. I really appreciate these trips down memory lane. I can't speak for all of your readers, but I have no problem seeing these photocopies. The entertainment value of them trumps any drop in picture quality. Thanks for posting them.

  2. Too much of that cactus juice will klll you. Happy New Year!

  3. Yowp, I agree with DW Washburn( The Monkees-late 1967 ). This is really great stuff. If you receive clearer copies later-great. If not. This will do. Happy New year!!Had a little cactus juice, but not too much.

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