Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, January 1967

Holy Ursine Secret Identity! Could the smarter-than-the-average Yogi Bear be a clever disguise for a super hero? Well, not quite. But Yogi does reveal his persona as Bat Bear in the weekend newspaper comics 50 years ago this month. Batman had already been on ABC for a year at that point. We also get food gags and a native Indian stereotype punchline.

“Thump-a Boob A-Bump Chuck”? What kind of rock song had lines like that? And “Go Go-A-Diddle Doodle?” Did Ned Flanders write those lyrics? Rock music was treated like mere noise in a lot of pop culture in the pre-hippie ‘60s, likely by writers who were the bee’s knees over ‘20s jazz that was denounced by their parents as leading society in a gin-filled bathtub straight to Satan. Anyway, the January 1, 1967 comic featured Ranger Smith’s niece with a ten-inch waist groovin’ on the jump whap-a bla-bla and not paying attention to anything around her. Mr. Ranger’s named after Bill Hanna in this comic.

A way to bear’s heart is ... well, it didn’t work again this time, Cindy. Apparently, Yogi drove a car over to Cindy’s place in the January 8th comic.

You know how it is. Someone hands you their phone and asks you to take a picture with him but you don’t know how it’s supposed to work. Yogi has that problem in the January 15th comic. We presume that’s Mrs. Smith in the opening panel. A lot of solid colour backgrounds in this one.

“Injun-unity”?? Let’s see some comic try to get away with that punch line today. Well, let’s see a comic today give a weapon, no matter how fake, to a child. (Funny how all this stuff was acceptable 50 years ago but rock music wasn’t). At least the kid is talking in full sentences and not like-um braves do on TV set, ugg. This comic is from January 22nd.

In 1961, there was a Yogi Bear episode called Batty Bear, where Yogi sent away for a Bat Guy costume that he used to pilfer pic-a-nic baskets. This comic from January 29th is different. Yogi’s being helpful, rescuing a defenceless kitten from a bulldog. Why’s Ranger Smith rolling his eyes? Yogi’s just indulging in a little fun. That ranger’s such a wet blanket. This is Boo Boo’s only appearance of the month.

Click on any of the comics to make them bigger. Richard Holliss graciously supplied the colour comics from his own collection.


  1. The January 22nd comic somewhat reminds me of "Brave Little Brave", an early Yogi cartoon.

  2. These materials were drawn by Iwao Takamoto and Jerry Eisenberg.
    Seeing the Yogi Bear Sunday page from January 1st, 1967, it gives me a sensation of being to hear the song Doo Wah Diddy Diddy (which Manfred Mann recorded in 1964).

  3. I remember seeing that first comic on a popular characters's comics blog, Yowp and some of us regulars were there and Yowp made the very good comment about mentally hearing Janet Waldo as the ranger's niece.

    Too bad that January 1,1967, rock and roll themed Sunday comic was not published a week later (January 8) on Elvis Presley's birthday (1935) when it would be a good Elvis spoof day, though already it was five years too late to do an Elvis spoof.(By 1967, Elvis was not relevant as a rock/pop icon anymore,though, and nobody publishes comic strip "episodes" that spoof a celebrity on their birthday as a tribute..

    These are actually pretty good..You know, much as I hate to admit it...with Scooby Doo and others being so badly written I've often made the artists a whipping boy like so many others in the industry and out..but Iwao Takamoto and Jerry Eisenberg..DID A DANG FINE Job!

    The first comic is much more hilarious and inventively written and designed than ANY thing, including teen music format of the next decades..Yogi works nicely here. And a GIANT confession, and New Year's Resulotion of giving a much maligned animation artist some big, much needed respect, and of actually bearing, Yogi/Boo Boo pun there, to write his name:Iwao Takamoto.'

    I've for years teeters, but not actually totally bought into, on the huge "Iwao Takamoto" hate bandwagon (like the "Paul Smith Sucks", "Mid-Sixties Roadrunners can go in the trash burner",etc.) both pro- and anti-Hanna-Barbera camps have popularized, but i gotta admit in Iwao's defense, and to actually type the guy's name:he really did some good work in the 1960s when this was published and with the teen fashion in the 1/1/67 comic, and the 1/29/67 one.It's amazing what he and Jerry Eisenberrg did hereThe first one reminds me of sort of a Yogi counter to Judy Jetson. Great spoof of rock, excellent "animated lines" excellent design....just like the Batman show was spoofed in the final comic. Sort of odd, isn't that spoofing a spoof?

    Iwao, up in heaven,even if it's left field from me,Better than average job. I gotta say sorry for myself, as I've been a Ed Benedict and Gene Hazelton and Jerry Eisenberg fan, but Tak, I gotta say, you did a smarter than average design on these.

    And finally the Indian boy (October 22) is a talking Native American twist on the concept of Yogi-meets little Indian kid form 1958 ("Brave Little Brave", in "Huckleberry Hound", 1958-59 season)

    Having, as I write this, now reading the January 15th one, with the ranger's supposed wife,
    On the last comic,
    And Bat-Yogi..Blam! Pic-a-nick Basket! Thud! Touche Away! I've mentioned that this, like the first one, really are a real fun souvenir of that exciting time.(I, as a 1966-68 kid watching Batman in its original prime time run, thought the Touche sound effects word referred to H-B's Turtle!)
    (October 29)

    Well what can I say. Thanks, and I'm getting on the Kellogg's helicopter (I have Kellogg's, best day to you, Krave!) and finallyswining on the ladder to picnic baskets, up in air, and the and then a la 1958's "Buzzin' Bear"--dropping down, getting the parachute , and getting for it to open, it then opens but I fall on the ground and THUD!

    Steve C.
    Half way through the new year..

  4. (Funny how all this stuff was acceptable 50 years ago but rock music wasn’t)

    It was such a double standard!

  5. Two things: 1.Ranger Smith's niece is HOT! HB should have given HER a spinoff! 2. Ranger Smith's name is BILL!? How come I wasn't aware of this!? Color me em-BEAR-rassed!

    1. He's been called "Bill" in other comics, but his name seems to vary depending on the writer.

    2. Oh it did, I recall it being "John" in the "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear" movie for instance.

  6. It's such a small thing, I'm not even certain it was a screw-up, but it seems to me that the dialogue in the first panel would make more sense if they flipped it around. "Gee, Uncle Bill, it sure is nice of you to let me visit for a week!" "Nothing's too good for my favorite niece!"