Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, September 1963

Kids, kids and more kids. Ordinary kids, puffy-cheeked kids, First kids. Readers got them all if they opened the weekend comic section of the paper and read Yogi Bear in September 50 years ago. Click on each comic to enlarge.

What detail we get in the September 1st comic! The bubbles in the final panel are great but the left panel in the middle row is really well thought-out. Note that the basement wall isn’t completely stone-faced. It’s partially blackened, because it’s a dark basement, but there’s enough light to see Yogi at work. Good balance on the ranger in the lower left hand panel.

Yogi met up with J.F.K. and Caroline Kennedy in a comic a year earlier. Now he chats with J.F.K., Jr. on September 8th. Less than three months later, the real J.F.K., Jr. would lose his father. Nice contrasting angles on the White House and the fence in the last drawing. The TV cartoons, unfortunately, would settle for something that looks like a flat stage setting; it would be easier to move characters horizontally that way. Boo Boo appears to have been forced to stay back at Jellystone.

On September 8th, we got “Lad, sad.” On September 15th, we get “Sad, lad.” Nice of Yogi to get mashed just help the forgetful kid. Ranger Smith’s kinda of a jerk in the last two comics. Maybe he’s still annoyed about the bubble joke in the first comic. Note the silhouette panel.

The September 22nd comic features Mr. Magoo McRidge. Nice reveal gag at the end. It seems there was still one railroad left in North America that used 1930s steam engines.

Again, some very nice angular layouts on the September 29th comic featuring an inventive Dutch trailer. The silhouette framing in the bottom left panel is attractive, too. Ranger Smith disappears after the top row. All just as well. He’s being pretty sour this month. Well, he’s sour next month, too. And we get an explanation for those native Indian stereotypes in Jellystone park.

If you want to see these in colour—the bottom two rows, anyway—Mark Kausler will be posting them on his blog, as usual. See his blog in the list to the right.


  1. Nice work. Any idea who drew these strips?

  2. I'm not an expert, Steve, but I'd guess Harvey Eisenberg did the last three, judging by the trees and mountains.
    The one with JFK, Jr. might be Gene Hazelton; at least the Kennedy boy seems to remind me of Gene's work.

  3. Hmmm…

    I’d say Harvey Eisenberg did all of them except the “Dutch Trailer” strip. That is clearly the work of someone else. Gene Hazelton? Dick Bickenbach?

    The JFK, Jr. strip is more of an oddity. It looks as if Yogi, Ranger Smith and other incidentals are by Harvey Eisenberg – but JFK, Jr. appears to be rendered by another hand. Perhaps, Gene Hazelton? Looks like a kid character type he might have drawn in a later Flintstones strip.

    Employing another artist for faces or specific characters is not unprecedented – and maybe that was what happened here. …Just another thing we’ll never know.

  4. This Yogi Bear Sunday page from 1963 (which involves a Dutch family) was drawn by Gene Hazelton (who were a master in drawing children).
    I saw this Sunday page at the John Kricfalusi's blog (http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com).