Tuesday 31 December 2013

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, January 1964

The biggest problem Yogi Bear had in the newspaper comic pages to ring in 1964 may not have been kids, though they seem to have dominated the Sunday pages. It may have been in the editorial room at newspaper offices.

I had four sources of half-page (three rows) of Yogi comics I could pick from for the start of 1963. For the start of 1964, I’m down to one. The other three papers dropped Yogi altogether. Maybe they think it’s winter so he’s hibernating. I don’t have figures about how many papers carried Yogi (or ‘The Flintstones’) at any given time. You’d figure with Yogi going into his own feature film, and his TV series still airing, that papers would have been signing up to run the comic.

(As an aside, it’s a shame the one Hanna-Barbera cartoon begging for a Sunday comic treatment never got one. Can you imagine Doug Wildey drawing a weekend Jonny Quest comic?)

Anyway, let’s get to Yogi and those little “ragged-muffins,” as Super Snooper used to call them. Say, it’s been quite some time since any guest appearances by H-B characters in the Yogi comics, hasn’t it?

Well, Boo Boo’s being awfully crotchety in the January 5th comic, isn’t he? Usually it’s Mr. Ranger who’s Mr. Negative. The top row features the only silhouette drawing this month. Can anyone explain why there’s an orphanage in a national park?

Hey, if a “frozen” gag works once, why not try it again? So that’s what’s happened in the January 12th comic. At least Boo Boo is in a better mood. No doubt Eagle Scout Bill Hanna would approve of the story-line. Feel free to click on the musical arrow below and read the final panel.

Hanna-Barbera was honoured with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1976 but, to the best of my knowledge, no H-B cartoon character was immortalised with foot prints outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Coincidentally, that’s the theatre where the recent Yogi Bear movie premiered (the real Yogi film, “Hey There, It’s Yogi Bear” didn’t debut until June 1964). I see Jellystone doesn’t have a “general” in the January 19th comic like it did in newspapers throughout 1963. “Chief” is generic enough to make sense.

Since I was snipping these comics together at 4 in the morning, perhaps that’s why it took me a little while to get the gag in the January 26th comic. Yogi moves the school zone sign to warn people that children are throwing snowballs. Ranger Smith is named “Bill” again.

As usual, click on each comic to enlarge it. I suspect colour versions of the bottom of two rows of each cartoon are, or will be, on Mark Kausler’s blog you see in the list to the right.

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