Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Flintstones Weekend Comics, October 1963

Hanna-Barbera didn’t waste any time promoting its latest product for the Ideal Toy company in its Flintstones Sunday comics, did it? The first TV show featuring the Rubbles’ adopted Bamm-Bamm aired on October 3, 1963. And he’s in the comics on October 27th.

(As a side note, the opening scene in the Bamm-Bamm TV debut looks like Jerry Hathcock to me. The opening teaser is the work of Ken Muse. I’ll accept corrections).

Unlike the cartoon series, Bamm-Bamm here thinks to himself, and like an adult, while Pebbles acts like an infant. Well, in this comic anyway. She has adult thoughts in other comics. But who needs consistency?

Fred has rounder eyes in these comics from 50 years ago this month. And, unless I’m just noticing it now, his eyes are half-closed a lot of the time. I suspect Harvey Eisenberg, at this point, was only drawing the Yogi Sunday newspaper pages and not the Flintstones, but I’d like to hear from people who can talk with some expert ability on this sort of thing.

October 6th has a dotted line that divides a panel. I don’t know if I’ve seen that before. Notice the final panel’s at an angle.

Wait till Wilma gets those hooks in her ear. She won’t be so happy. Barney looks straight at us in the final panel of the October 13th comic. That’s an awfully large mailbox in the opening panel.

Awww. Domestic bliss. “The Flintstones” comic of October 20th sure isn’t what the TV series started out to be, is it? I like the grinning Fred, though, and the wavy boxes are a nice flashback touch.

And here’s the Bamm-Bamm comic debut on October 27th. Sorry, folks. While I’m not crazy about Pebbles, there were some decent cartoons made with her. Bamm-Bamm is just derivative and one-note. And the series got worse from there. When it comes to kids, I’d rather see Fred battle Arnold the paperboy (if they’d turned Arnold into a kind of Julius Abruzzio from the Phil Harris-Alice Faye radio show, that would have been pretty funny. They could have hired Walter Tetley to bring back his old voice. And didn’t Hanna-Barbera borrow stuff from radio and TV anyway?).

As usual, click on each shabbily-scanned comic to enlarge it. Stay tuned next month to see if the words “Gomf” and “Kwork” show up again.


  1. I see in the Oct. 13, 1963 strip that Fred's still saying "Abba Dabba Doo". When did it permanently gain that "Y" at the start? I still don't get how the TV series almost always used "Yabba Dabba Doo" (heck, Hoagy Carmichael's song in the Season 2 premier even spells it out) but the strip didn't.

    * I remember at least one instance where the Y was missing: a student at the malt shoppe omits it in "High School Fred" in season 3.

  2. Bamm-Bamm is a direct steal from H-B's RUFF AND REDDY series, a caveboy named "Ubble-Ubble" who appeared in the "Chickasaurus" story arc. And these Sunday strips were drawn by Bob Singer over Gene Hazelton's layouts.

    1. Scott, thanks for the information. Your expert eye is always welcome.

  3. Yep! No Harvey Eisenberg here. Still love it, though.

  4. I actually LIKE Bamm-Bamm's appearance and close-out gag at the end ("Well, that's one way of putting it") and only wish that they had done that (him and Pebbles) in the cartoon.:)Steve

  5. Bamm-Bamm is introduced into the comic strip much more casually than he was in the TV series or the concurrent comic book. Just one line of Wilma's introduces him. No basket on the doorstep, no adoption story.

    So far I've only seen Bamm-Bamm in a handful of comic strips. He was in a few of the dailies. I have several dozen of the Sunday strips from the 70's, and he does not appear at all.

    Maybe he didn't need an elaborate introduction in the comic strip as he was so rarely used after his initial appearances.

    I concur with Pokey. It's a nice introduction for the character, at any rate, even though it doesn't tell us how the Rubbles got him. The pose in the very last panel is reminiscent of the poses that were used when they were singing "Let the Sun Shine In." Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm are in nearly the same relation to each other, but without their little guitar and drums.

    I have to say it again, Yowp...I'm really lovin' these!!! Thanks!

  6. I'm quite sure the writers and artists working on the strip assumed that readers KNEW about Bamm-Bamm's introduction on the TV show a few weeks before, so why rehash his origin in the comic strip?

  7. The usual assumption is that the audience in one medium may not be the same as the audience in another medium, so usually a new character has a similar introduction in various media, just to make sure that everyone's on board. The comic strip showed a birth story for Pebbles that was a little different from that on TV, and they introduced her over two Sunday strips, plus (as Yowp generously provided as a bonus) a week's worth of dailies in between. I just find it interesting that after so much fanfare for Pebbles, Bamm-Bamm was added into the strip without much ado.

    A similar parallel happened when Superman and Lois Lane tied the knot--the event was celebrated in a TV episode of "Lois and Clark" and the very same week the comic book version hit the newsstands...but the comic book Superman and the TV Superman were part of different continuities. If there had been a Superman comic strip running at the time (I'm pretty sure there wasn't) it probably would have contained yet another version of the wedding story. My point is that each medium usually has its own separate version when a life-changing event happens for a given set of famous characters...even though the same thing happens to the same characters, it generally unfolds in different ways in different media...hence, three or four different versions of Pebbles' birth.

    I totally agree that readers who had been following The Flintstones on TV would not need to be told all over again who Bamm-Bamm was, and it may well have been for that or a similar reason that he was brought into the comic strip so "abruptly." But even the Gold Key comic book and the Viewmaster story booklet contained versions of Bamm-Bamm's introductory story, so it was by no means "off limits" for retelling. A comic strip reader who hadn't been following the show on TV (rare as that kind of person may have been in 1963) might wonder why the Rubbles suddenly had a child of their own, and how he happened to look a little older than Pebbles. (Of course, in 1963 there would have been plenty of opportunities to find out, as The Flintstones were still riding the crest of the wave of incredible popularity.)

    I actually remember that episode of the TV series when it was first broadcast. The comic strip was not available in our area, so it's a treat to get to read it.

  8. How can forget about theses comics and the cartoons nice to remember...,

  9. Scarecrow, I,too, actually remember "Little Bamm Bamm" when first broadcast in 1963 (when I was still in Glendale, an apartment by the hills.).

  10. Actually, can you get these Yogi and Flintstones comics published in collections for people? That would be sweet!

  11. Never mind, you already answered my question on another review. Too bad, I bet they would sell. Oh well. Anyway, keep 'em coming!