Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, May 1963

Ranger Smith has a split personality, does he not? One minute, he’s Yogi’s friend. Next minute, he’s Mr. Rule Enforcer. That’s the impression one gets reading the Yogi comics for this month 50 years ago.

On May 5th, we kind of get the friendly Ranger Smith. Did you know his name was Bill? I don’t think there was any real continuity for that sort of thing. The teenagers remind me of Gene Hazelton’s drawings; at least thinking about the Gas Genie that Hazelton came up with in the late ‘50s. And Yogi’s expression in the second-to-last panel is a lot different than the comics that people tell me were drawn by Harvey Eisenberg. The Ranger’s lament toward the end is pretty good.

The best part of the May 12th comic is the look of horror on Louie’s face as he peers through the door of his café. You can’t see it too well, but he’s watching through the curtain in the last panel. This comic features the “Yogi is a pain” Ranger Smith. Things evidently have changed since “Yogi Bear’s Big Break” (1958) when the unnamed ranger tried to keep Yogi in Jellystone; Smith is actually happy Yogi has left the park.

Official Smith shows up May 19th, along with Bill Hanna’s beloved Boy Scouts. We get a silhouette panel, too.

Friendly Smith is back on May 26th, enjoying a game of softball with his bear buddies. A nice compact story; the first panel ties in with the final panel. A shame the copy of the last panel isn’t great but you can still get an idea of the composition with Yogi in the foreground and Smith and Boo Boo in the background.

You can click on each cartoon to get a larger image.


  1. Love the sound effects in the last one--the baseball-themed strip. I can hear in my "mind's ear" the auditory counterparts to those sounds that are depicted in the strip by words like "Whap!" and "Zing!" I can really hear the crack of Ranger Smith's bat.

    Ranger Smith's first name has varied throughout the years. The most frequently used first name is John--in several of the later cartoons and movies he is referred to as "Ranger John Smith."
    However, this does not appear to be a hard and fast rule, as evidenced by the comic strip, where he is often referred to as "Bill." If memory serves, there is an early Yogi Bear cartoon before a regular ranger had been established, in which there are two rangers who call each other "Bill" and "Joe." I may be wrong, but I seem to recollect at least one cartoon where there were two rangers who were so named. Of course, you would know best, Yowp. So maybe "Ranger Bill Smith" is named for Bill Hanna? I don't recall if Ranger Smith was ever given the first name "Joe", but if one watches enough Yogi Bear cartoons, who knows what one may discover? Maybe "Ranger John Smith" is a variation on "Ranger Joe Smith" to balance out with "Ranger Bill Smith."

    It's like the inconsistency over Mr. Slate's first name in "The Flintstones." I know he was referred to as "Oscar" in one episode, as "Sylvester" in another, and in "The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones" he was "Nate Slate." He also once appeared as "J. J. Granite." So I guess the moral is that consistency is not something to be looked for too hard in H-B productions--it's almost the exception, not the rule. Hey--at least the last names are consistent, most of the time (with exceptions like the one noted above).

    Once again, Yowp, many thanks for continuing to post these classic Yogi and Flintstones comic strips.

  2. 5/8/13
    RobGems Wrote:
    Maybe Ranger Smith's full name is John William Joseph Smith. To make confusion even more complete for Mr. Slate's first name, he has also been called George Slate. I suggest his full name is George Sylvester Oscar Slate.

  3. How about George Sylvester Nathaniel Oscar Slate?

  4. 5/9/13
    RobGems.ca Wrote:
    Perfect! Thanks for the inclusion,Scarecrow33. I forgot about Nathaniel.