Monday, 3 November 2014

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, November 1964

Some nice Ranger Smith expressions and a boo-boo by Boo Boo highlight the Yogi comics in Sunday papers (Saturday in Canada) 50 years ago this month. The low-light may be the native American stereotyping at the end of the month.

For some reason, a kid who has been hanging out with lice-ridden dogs doesn’t become infested but Yogi does. What kind of mother would have her kid cavorting with loused-up animals anyway? Oh, well. Let’s ignore that. The dogs are attractively designed and the joke is the Yogi-imitates-dogs in the final panel. Boo Boo gets the day off in the November 1st comic.

This month, Ranger Smith is named Charlie. Next month, he’s named Bill. Go figure. The golf-cum-apple feed concept in the opening panel on November 8th is unique. Yogi’s personality switches back and forth from ingenious to ignorant in these comics. He’s ingenious for the next two weeks. Ranger Smith, meanwhile, is either authoritative or a putz. He’s the latter in this one. Boo Boo is gone again.

Gene Simmons’ tongue has nothing on Ranger Smith’s in this November 15th comic (lower left hand panel). And Yogi has a real makeshift bed in this one, not like in the last few seasons of his TV cartoons. No silhouette panel in this comic. Note the angles on the kids in the opening panel. The wife has a four-inch waist.

Sunday comics were, by 1964, made up of three rows and newspapers had the option of dropping the top row for space (“Li’l Abner” was a notable exception). So the comics had to be drawn with that in mind. The November 22nd comic is a good example. The bee character doesn’t appear in the bottom two rows and his little three-panel adventure could be easily dropped. Note the mid-air run pose on Yogi in the first panel of the second row.

“Heap big”? “Injun-uity”? Pardon the eye-rolling. The extra legs on Yogi in the middle row are nice and Boo Boo shows good form in the skating panel of the top row in the November 29th comic.

As always, you can click on these to make them bigger. At the time this post was written, Mark Kausler hadn’t posted the bottom two rows of each of these comics on his blog but I’ll bet they’re there now.


  1. He has. While his strips are in color, it's a shame not to get the beginning panels such as Boo Boo's skating.

  2. A few random thoughts:

    The kid in the first strip bears a striking resemblance to a certain Dennis must be the striped shirt and blond hair. Interesting play on the word "licenses".

    Mrs. Ranger makes a couple of appearances this month. She is developing as an important secondary character in the comic strip. In the TV cartoons, Ranger Smith appears to be a bachelor-type ranger.

    I love the way Yogi rhymes "laundry" with "quandary." (Daws would probably pronounce it "laund-a-ry."). Yogi gets the same cooperation from his animal friends that Snow White does...probably helps that he is an animal himself. I like the way the ranger is happy with Yogi's solution--they can't always be antagonists.

    Smith's name is Charlie in these strips. Charlie is also supposed to be Officer Dibble's first name. In "Hey There It's Yogi Bear" the ranger's first name is John.

    I also like the tourist kids clamoring to see Yogi. I'm sure many of the kids who visited the Yogi Bear Campgrounds felt the same way. As a kid, I sure enjoyed seeing Yogi Bear "in person" at the park.

    Lastly, the little Indian boy looks similar to Disney's Little Hiawatha.


    1. Alias, Harvey Eisenberg (who drew these Yogi Bear materials above) drew several stories of the Disney's Little Hiawatha for Dell/Gold Key Comics.

  3. Maybe Mr. Ranger’s name is John Charles Smith and his wife uses his middle name, "Charlie." Ha!

  4. 11/5/14 Wrote:
    Figuring out what Ranger Smith's real name was always a mystery. In the animated cartoons and the movie "Hey there It's Yogi Bear", it always seems to be "John Smith". In the comics it was either John, Charlie, Frank, Bill, or Nathan. Confusing. When John Kricfalusi later adopted him in the late 90's for his manic episodes of "Yogi", he used no first name at all, and gave him no significant other (IE: a wife.) Maybe he was divorced or a widower by this point? He was just billed as "Ranger Smith." Yogi never called him by any of his first names; it was always, Mr.Ranger, sir."

  5. "WHAT'S THIS? You put JUMPING BEANS on your pancake mix? GAA-AAK!"
    Seeing the Mr. Ranger's disgust expression (with the frog mouth and everything more) in the Yogi Bear Sunday page from Nov. 15, 1964, it seems that I'm seeing Mr. Ranger being animated by George Nicholas.

  6. In the beginning of the Yogi Bear Sunday page from Nov. 8, 1964, we see Mr. Ranger training golf with apples. And he quotes a name of a golf star from that period: Tony Lema (which's from the same generation of golfers as Arnold Palmer, Gene Sarazen, Billy Casper, and two golfers who was beginning to shine in the international golf circuit: Jack Nicklaus and the South African golfer Gary Player).
    We cannot forget that golf is the favorite hobby of various cartoonists and animators. For example: Mort Walker (from the Beetle Bailey fame) is a passionate for golf.