Monday, 3 June 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, June 1963

Attention Continuity Freaks: Ranger Smith’s first name is Charlie. Well, it is for one Sunday comic 50 years ago this month. Actually, Charlie appears to be a popular name as it appeared for characters on two consecutive weekends in June 1963.

Charlie No. 1 is a ranger who appears in the June 2nd comic. There are fine poses of Yogi and Boo Boo in the final panel. A couple of silhouette drawings in the middle row for variety. I’ll avoid getting into what me thinkum about the native Indian stereotypes. Ranger Smith seems oblivious to the fact Yogi is cooking something with a frying pan. I’ll bet it’s not nuts and berries.

June 9th features “Charlie” Smith. Notice how all the trees are at a bit of an angle? Harvey Eisenberg liked drawing those; they’re more interesting visually than regular straight-up fir trees, though the TV cartoons went in for more stylised trees at times.

Uber-cute kid alert! The kids in the Yogi comics always seem to be wearing rouge on their cheeks. We get one on June 16th. Neither the kid nor blonde Mrs. Smith have names. Nice angles on Yogi in the final panel. Wonder why the toothpaste looks like candy canes? When this comic came out, one of the more heavily-advertised toothpastes on TV was Stripe, which came out of the tube with thick red lines of something in the middle of the white cream. I don’t know if it’s still made.

Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy make an appearance on June 23rd though Yogi (as he did in an earlier Sunday comic) insists on calling Daddy “Augie.” This is the first time I’ve seen Yogi’s cave built on a flat-topped bluff, but it’s required for the gag to work. Harvey Eisenberg’s angled trees appear again. Look at the thought that goes into the layouts. Yogi just isn’t standing next to Daddy in the final panel; he’s crowding into his space to accentuate his annoyance. Masterful work.

So you wondered where Jellystone Park is? Easy. It’s in Monona County. At least it is in the June 30th comic. I love the design of the dilapidated truck in the upper and middle left-hand panels. The layout is really nice in the whole comic; the foreground and background (and in between) are used really well. The panels never look cluttered, even with four or five characters and a vehicle in them. The second-last panel has chattering teeth and shaking. There are a couple of weak Yogi rhymes, but that’s almost to be expected. The mountain with the jagged snow-cap is something else Harvey Eisenberg liked tossing into his backgrounds.

As usual, click on each cartoon to enlarge it.


  1. Always a pleasure seeing these strips. Definitely a fondness for the Randolph Smith pieces (the kid's gotten a little older; has it been a few years since his last appearance or have they aged him Soap Opera style?). It does show an interesting layer to Smith's relationship with Yogi: the Ranger can't trust the bear with a lot of things, but he can entrust him with the safety of his only child.

    1. I guess the kid's age is whatever's convenient for the plot, same as Porky Pig when he first appeared in the Looney Tunes.
      Yogi's relationship with kids may have been established in the Charlie Shows-Joe Barbera cartoons. Yogi is like a protector, trying to keep them out of trouble, while entertaining them as best he can. He's never irresponsible, such as teaching them pic-a-nic basket thievery.

  2. Maybe Doggie Daddy's real name is Augie, Sr., and the Doggie we know as Augie is Augie, Jr.?

    1. Maybe Doggie Daddy and Augie are even more inspired by Sylvester and Sylvester Jr. than we thought!

      “After all… How many foddas can say they wuz BORN with the name ‘Doggie Daddy’!”

      Also, great to see Harvey Eisenberg back!