Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Flintstones Weekend Comics, July 1963

There’s something bothersome about characters suddenly taking on a new trait just for the sake of a gag before it disappears again. It’s no different than people taking cartoon characters they supposedly love and then “updating” them so they no longer behave like the same character.

This isn’t anything new, I suppose. A good example is in one of the Flintstones comics from 50 years ago this month. Fred is suddenly chronically indecisive. He was never like that in the cartoon series. He was like that in one comic for convenience’s sake.

Far more satisfying is the final cartoon that month where Fred behaves exactly as you expect Fred would behave. Some great poses add to the fun.

The July 7th comic is a variation on an old gag that was used on the Jack Benny radio show. Jack didn’t go to a doctor. He went to a veterinarian (played by Frank Nelson) because it was cheaper. Note that Fred writes with a pencil in this comic; chiseling probably would have cluttered the frame.

The first of two baseball-oriented comics appeared in newspapers on July 14th. I really like the baseball logo in the first frame. Interesting view of Wilma and Betty from the back in the bottom left-hand panel. Note the presence, again, of Pebbles who doesn’t have anything to with the plot. Triceratops toy alert! The set-up and gag are good, but Fred’s out of character.

Great poses fill the July 21st comic. A shame I can’t find a better version of this on-line, especially the last panel. People watching baseball from atop dinosaurs in the parking lot? Well, I know people used to sit in their cars and watch the Dukes play inside the old Sports Stadium in Albuquerque some years ago.

Some great drawings again in the July 28th comic. This is the best version I could find. Wavy-mouthed Fred and shocked Wilma (bottom row, far left panel). Clever switch gag.

Alas, Baby Puss seems to have been replaced by Baby. Lots of Pebbles but no sabre-tooth tiger again this month.

As usual, you can click on the cartoons to enlarge them.

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