Thursday, 7 February 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, February 1963

Gene Hazelton must have had kids on the brain 50 years ago this month. He was busy working on Pebbles Flintstone, who was about to born (both as a designer on TV and a story editor in the newspaper comics). And he has kids in a couple of his Yogi Bear comics, too. Oh, and he tosses in another appearance of those American Indians who seem to live on, or near, Jellystone Park.

Yogi this month is somewhat reminiscent of the Yogi you’d find in some of the cartoons before shackled to the Ranger Smith format. He became a fatherly type who tried to help little boys stay out of trouble. He’s a kiddie helpmate here. As for Ranger Smith, he gets the month off from the weekend comics in February but returns (with the park superintendent and pic-a-nic baskets) in March.

Great shock expression on Yogi in the bottom middle row of the February 3rd cartoon. Harvey Eisenberg at work here? Cute kid, cute teacher. I wonder if Monte is named for Fernando Montealegre, who was still doing background work at the studio at the time. The top row wasn’t printed by many papers and it’s a shame because the first panel is sometimes the nicest. Note how Boo Boo and Yogi are walking but have their feet in different positions; they’re not walking the same. And there’s a line curved around Yogi’s rear, emphasizing his walk is different than Boo Boo’s.

The last row of the February 10th comic is the best of the month. Look at the detail in that last panel. Just terrific. Papers that skipped the first row would leave their readers wondering where Boo Boo got all the feathers. I guess that’s a bed behind Yogi in the opening panel.

Huckleberry Hound makes a cameo appearance on February 17th. There’s no snow on the mountains for a change. Yogi has a low mouth in some of the panels. And, again, the opening panel has Yogi and Boo Boo engaged in some kind of action as opposed to a static pose.

It would seem storyman Hazelton named the bad guy character in the February 24th comic for himself. Who “Kevin” was named after is your guess. I don’t know the names of Gene’s children, and the only Kevin at Hanna-Barbera was Dan Gordon’s son, who died in an accident in 1964. Unlike three weeks ago, the kids have eye-whites in this one. I like the composition of the lower left panel. Kids in the background, with Yogi in the foreground pointing to them but still making eye contact with the smug Eugene. I can hear Dick Beals voice the bully.

As usual, I can’t find good versions of these on-line, despite going through about ten newspapers. You can click on each to blow them up.


  1. Hey! I own the original art to that top one....

  2. Hey, Yowp!

    Thanks for posting these...always a day brightener! I always love Yogi's interactions with little kids...because he's such a big kid himself!