Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, September 1965

Ranger Smith laments that he can’t get away from Yogi for a single day. Well, actually, Mr. Ranger, you got away from him for three whole weeks 50 years ago this month. Smith appears only in the first of four weekend Yogi newspaper comics.

The September 5th comic is a lovely scan of the complete comic from somewhere on the internet. The others are from lousy newspaper scans from several different papers replacement copies from what was originally posted here. I would encourage you again to go to Mark Kausler’s site to see these comics in full colour he snipped from newspapers way-back-when.

Yogi is smarter-than-average in the September 5th edition. Very nice expressions.

Yogi decides to joy-ride two weeks in a row. He’s far more destructive in this September 12th comic than he was in, say, the cartoon Scooter Looter. His goofy expression as he ploughs through a defenceless tree and a cabin is more akin to Woody Woodpecker than Yogi. The composition is great and so is the perspective (note the silhouette Boo Boo in the final panel on the top row). The writer spares us a rhyme in this.

“Tyke” and “dike”? Yike! The rhymes are back on September 19th. Did the writer resist the temptation to put Peter Potamus in the balloon? I especially like the swirling panel in the top row. This comic hearkens back to another first-season Yogi Bear cartoon, The Buzzin’ Bear (1958). Of course, he ended up piloting a chopper in the ending credits of his own show in 1961.

Food over Cindy? That’s tellin’ her, Yogi! Again, nice composition in the opening panel of the September 26th with lots going on but no clutter. Note the cute squirrel in the first panel. Yogi has some more neat poses here, including a skip-walk in the top row and a stroll in the bottom one. I like the variety in the of his hands (paws) as well. Boo Boo gets this comic off, but we get other woodland creatures and the native stereotypes. Yogi inventively uses a beaver; he’ll do the same in a December comic. My favourite character is the dog with the feathers in the first panel, second row. He doesn’t look like he’s excited to go to a party.

The stereotypes stick around next month. Please stick around for more comics in four weeks.


  1. Whoever wrote that “bulldozer strip” really doesn’t “get” Yogi at all!

    Sure, he’s all about bending – if not outright breaking – the rules. And, he’s been known to take unauthorized joyrides from time to time, as seen in “Scooter Looter”, “The Buzzin’ Bear”, and “Loco Locomotive”. But he’s never portrayed as being willfully destructive, as depicted here. The havoc he wreaks is always of an accidentally comedic nature. Here, it’s clearly purposeful, and the final gag pay-off doesn’t justify the out-of-character behavior it took to get there.

    The strip usually does a great job of capturing the loveable wise-guy “Yogi Bear Show” version of the character, but this time – Not So Much!

    I suppose, as a writer concerned with keeping the proper characterizations of the Disney Duck and Mouse characters in their current American comic books, I’m sensitive to this. And, yeah, I’d love a shot at writing Yogi comics someday… doubt it’ll even happen, alas.

    1. I agree, Joe! The "willful destruction" seemed out of character to me, too. The last panel of the archery contest also doesn't ring true, because who would ever seriously award a $500 dollar prize to an arrow that's been rigged like that? The ranger's call for the rule book seems excessive, because obviously Yogi is "breaking" the rules of archery! "Get that bear outta here!" would be a more appropriate exclamation. There is no way Yogi is going to qualify as a winner, so why even bother with a rule book?

      Yogi's solution to the leaking balloon is much more in character and shows that his heart is in the right place, even if his attempt is pretty wacky.

      Joe, I hope you get your chance to do a Yogi comic book some day. Just thinking about it brings a smile.

    2. Joe's analysis is bang-on. The destruction in The Buzzin' Bear is purely accidental because his incompetence overcomes his overconfidence.

  2. All these materials were drawn by Iwao Takamoto and Jerry Eisenberg.

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