Thursday, 28 March 2013

Flintstones Weekend Comics, March 1963

Little Pebbly-Poo didn’t dominate the Flintstones Sunday comics in the weeks after she was born. For the month of March, she entered into plot of only one comic and made a cameo appearance in the optional top row of another. But we get all four main characters and both pets over the course of the month.

Want to complain about anachronisms? How about March 3, 1963, when teenagers are listening to KTLA? KTLA (a TV station) wasn’t invented until 1947, 1939 if you want to use the original call sign. There’s an incidental dino-dog in the opening panel. It’d be nice if the teenagers were named after Hanna-Barbera staffers (next month, it seems Gene Hazelton shows up). Barney’s got a lot of dots on his fur.

So is the woman in the fox stole in the second row trying to pick up Fred? (Notice in the same drawing the brontosaurus peering out from behind a building). The last drawing’s great. A smoking volcano in the background fills the panel nicely. The sleeping Baby Puss in the opening panel is a plus. The comic is from March 10, 1963.

The boss in the March 17, 1963 comic isn’t quite Mr. Slate. Same tie and glasses, but this boss has a bit of hair and he isn’t the same shape as Slate. Barney works with Fred. The panel in the second row where Fred’s dino drops the boulder is a bit cluttered but I imagine the colour helps things stand out from each other a bit. Very nice poses on the worker and Fred. Pebbles and a cute toy tyrannosaurus appear in the opening panel. Note the stone-ish dots in the title, same as in the comic two weeks earlier.


The opening and closing panels are the highlights of the March 24, 1963 comic. This time, the mountains aren’t volcanos. Dino’s sleeping this time in the first panel instead of Baby Puss. That Barney’s “one of the good ones,” as Warren Foster would say.

Pebbles is sleeping in the opening panel in the March 31, 1963 comic. (This time, there’s a toy mastodon. Did Ideal make those?) Hazelton, or whoever did the story, came up with a variation of the old alum gag from the Warners cartoons. The middle row has the garbage dinosaur in silhouette in the background. Evidently, the garbage man is a fan of Popeye. Nice weight shift on Fred as he carries the garbage can.

As usual, you can click on each comic to enlarge it. We get dinosaurs aplenty next month.


  1. I did a bunch of those...for years...Dale Hale

    1. Dale,

      You wrote a lot of the strips, right? Also,could you please explain to us how the H-B comic strip system worked? My understanding is that Gene Hazelton would do rough thumbnails of the strip and then hand those off to Harvey Eisenberg, Iwao Takamoto, Ed Nofziger, etc. to do the finished pencil art. Is that correct? I know that Gene drew the Flintstones dailies himself and later on also did the Sunday pages. Thank you for any insight you can give us.

      Mark Christiansen

    2. Was this at the same time you were working on the "Peanuts" comic books, Mr. Hale?

  2. No Harvey Eisenberg this month. Did he leave the strip at this point? His comic book work would appear for another two years.

    I’m guessing this might be Gene Hazelton’s art, but I’m not certain until his more “later sixties” style develops. Anyone know?

    Mr. Dale Hale, I too would be grateful for any insights you could provide. There’s nothing like the perspective of one who “was there”!

    1. This is Dick Bickenbach's work, not Gene Hazelton. Eisenberg had his hands full with the Yogi Bear strip, so on occasion he would pencil a Flintstone comic when he was needed.

    2. Thank you, Mark! I’ll still assume that was Hazleton who was penciling the strip, in a pleasing and unique style (…when we had “Pops” and “thinking Pebbles”), in the late ‘60s when I remember it best. …Yes?

  3. That's right, Joe. Hazelton drew both the Flintstones and Yogi Bear Sunday strips beginning around 1970. He had already been drawing the Flintstones dailies since the strip's inception.