Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, March 1963

Ranger Smith returns to Jellystone Park after a number of weeks off—in the comics, at least. He appears in two of the five colour comics pages published in papers on Sunday (Saturday in Canada) 50 years ago this month. He’s back with his blonde wife the following month, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

All five are set in Jellystone. All of them have detail in the background but never look cluttered. And a couple have incidental animals; you’ll find them in the Sunday Flintstones comics as well. Boo Boo appears in all but one.

A number of the animated Yogi cartoons featured a grey-haired park superintendent. The March 3rd comic has one. The long final panel has a nice sense of perspective with the rangers in silhouette in the distance and the stuff Yogi has pulled with him in an angle coming into the foreground. I like the top panel, too, with the comic-like diagrams of Yogi. Notice the difference in the ears of Ranger Smith and the grey-haired ranger. The latter has ear innards like Walt Clinton designed in the various H-B animated series.

Hammy Yogi decides to hog his way into a movie, just like in the animated series, except this one’s a mediaeval epic in the March 10th comic. I like how lights, cameras and actors are placed in the background to add to the filmmaking feeling, even in the opening panel. Yogi goes on another rhyme spasm. “Bear”? “Maidens fair”? What maidens? Oh, well.

I wish the version of final panel of the March 17th comic you see here was clearer; it’s a little hard to see the lamb looks somewhat embarrassed. The poses of Yogi throughout the comic are very nice; we even get a three-quarter rear view and an overhead shot in the next panel. You can see his foot sticking up from behind the fence in the bottom row, second panel. A nice little touch. Jellystone evidently isn’t your average national park. It has a Wild West Show. A few weeks earlier, it had a circus.

Oh, Jellystone has its own airport, too. At least it does on March 24th. It’s one thing to draw characters but to be able to draw a solid airplane as well is quite admirable. My favourite drawing, though, is the placid deer looking up to see why leaflets are falling. The slightly-angled trees and the snow-capped peaks were found in a number of Harvey Eisenberg forest settings. The story’s clever and so is the end gag.

Chipmunks watch the opening activities in the first panel of the March 31st comic. I like the sense of depth in the first panel in the second row by having some fir trees in silhouette. I don’t get the last line about trapdoor spiders. Yogi dug the hole, not a spider. Guess I’m being too literal. Notice that Yogi never talks about “pic-a-nic” baskets, just “goodies.” There’s no dot over the “I” in “Yogi” in the first panel, unless the others this month.

As usual, click on each comic for a better look. These are the best scans I could find.


  1. Harvey Eisenberg simply RULES! I wish I could collect these, along with his wonderful comic books!

  2. Gee! Not only does Jellystone have its own airport and rodeo grounds, it has its own hospital and medical center, its own concert hall, its own sporting goods store, its own novelty shop, greenhouse, zoo, art gallery, general store, and even its own orphanage! Jellystone Park seems to be quite a self-contained little world, considering that these examples all come from the comic strip alone and this list doesn't begin to incorporate the various Jellystone attractions from the cartoons and specials! And with so many people and events there, Yogi really doesn't have to go anywhere--he can just let the world come to him! I guess it's only natural that Jellystone Park would be so much more than your average National Park, because, of course...

    (any reader who can't finish that sentence isn't familiar with the cartoons that inspire this blog!)