Thursday 24 July 2014

Flintstones Weekend Comics, July 1964

One of the similarities between Fred Flintstone and his inspiration, Ralph Kramden, is Fred’s unshakeable belief that he’s right and everyone else is wrong—and he’ll prove it. On both “The Flintstones” and “The Honeymooners,” that usually ended in disaster, followed by contrition.

The four Flintstones comics published on Sundays 50 years ago this month all centred around Fred assuring the world he knows what the score is—and it turns out he doesn’t. There’s more fine artwork as well. The Flintmobile is featured in three of the four cartoons; it’s drawn the same way each time, using the design finally settled on in the animated shorts. Much to my delight, Baby Puss has returned and makes a cameo in the opening panel of the July 19th comic (it has the best punch line of the month). However, Betty Rubble is gone again for a second month, perhaps (as reader Joe Torvicia suggests) undergoing a voice and personality transplant from Bea Benaderet to Gerry Johnson, a most unfortunate decision.

Favourite panel? The Flintsmobile stuck on the volcano with assorted volcanoes and dinosaurs in the background. The roaring dinosaur in the final cartoon’s pretty funny, too.

July 5, 1964

July 12, 1964

July 19, 1964

July 26, 1964


  1. My favorite panel? The second one in the July 26 strip showing Fred and Pebbles watching Yogi Bear and Boo Boo on TV. I love the cross-pollination that went into so many H-B productions--Yogi's frequent references to Huckleberry or Quick Draw, Yogi's cameo in "The Swedish Visitors'" episode of The Flintstones, Elroy's classmate watching "the billionth rerun of The Flintstones" on his wrist TV. They made it seem as though all of the characters somehow existed together in one big H-B universe. It's probably no coincidence that the crossover character in this particular strip was currently running in his own Sunday comic strip--and further that the concurrent Yogi storyline was presenting the bear's adventures in Hollywood (or as The Flintstones would call it, Hollyrock) as a major film (and also TV?) star.

    I also enjoy the next-to-last panel of the same strip, in which the dinosaur's roar is having its excruciating effect on Fred and Barney. The sound effect "ROROG!" is probably a good representation of what the creature's roar would sound like.

    Not only do we not see Betty this month, but Bamm-Bamm is also absent. Still, it's nice to see Baby Puss making a re-appearance. I also appreciate that the detailed artwork and visual gags are still an important part of the strip. The Stone Age gadgets, the prehistoric landscape, and the dinosaurs are used effectively to maintain the Flintstones in their Stone Age world. In later years the comic strip would grow increasingly generic, and Fred and Wilma would become more like Mr. and Mrs. Everyman.

    Thanks once again for posting these comic strips, Yowp! If this is truly the last comic strip posting, then thanks for all of the years you have devoted to this aspect of your blog. For the record, I truly appreciate ALL of the work you do, but as you have doubtless guessed by now the comic strips are a particular favorite of mine. It has been a delight to find these twice-monthly treats, and they have brought me great personal enjoyment, as I'm sure they have for many of your other regular readers. If this is truly the last comic strip posting, then at least The Flintstones went out with a bang...or rather, a "ROROG!"

    Thanks again, Yowp! Your friend, Scarecrow.

    1. Hi, S33. It shows you how pressed I am for time. I didn't even notice Yogi and Boo Boo.
      It's nice to learn that Mr. Hale was the writer on these.
      Bamm Bamm is such a limited character, it'd be really tough to build a comic around him without reusing the same strength routine.
      What's nice about the comics is how much depth there is. There's a foreground, a background and something in between and it sets the appropriate mood, as you say.

  2. Great!! Love these H-B Sundays. Please keep them coming.

  3. I wonder who wrote those...? Hmmmmm...

  4. All these materials were drawn by Dick "Bick" Bickenbach.

  5. The tag line in the July 5 strip, Fred's (obviously forlorn) "Hooray for me", was also used in the Season 3 episode "High School Fred" after he breaks the pole-vaulting record.