Sunday, 5 February 2017

Yogi Bear, the Newspaper Star

Hanna-Barbera found a unique way to promote the Yogi Bear Show—with a comic strip.

Today marks the 56th anniversary of Yogi appearing in the weekend papers, six days after his TV show began airing across North America. The New York Herald Tribune reported on January 9, 1961:

Yogi Bear, the popular TV cartoon character, goes into the Sunday newspapers on Feb. 5. The McNaught Syndicate has lined up eighty newspapers, including the New York Herald Tribune, for the start of the Yogi Bear comic strip. The strip, in color, will be laid out for a half or third page. For the past two-and-a-half years, Yogi has been a featured played in the Emmy-winning “Huckleberry Hound” animated series. At the end of this month, Yogi will begin heading up his own show. It will be sponsored by Kellogg’s through Leo Burnett.

What did that first comic look like? You can see it below. The plot is borrowed from the TV episode “Do or Diet” (1960).

The signatures of Bill Hanna, Joe Barbera and Gene Hazelton, who was in charge of the studios newspaper comic output, were signed years after this was published.

When did the comic finish its run? I really don’t know, though I have some editions from 1971. If someone has the answer, leave a note.


  1. This entry from the excellent 'The Fabuelous Fifties' website features a lot of samples from the Yogi Bear little-seen daily panel:
    Watch for one of the comments, signed by Alberto (Italian comic and cartoon specialist Alberto Beccattini, without doubt): it indicates how long did the Yogi daily panel (Dec. 10, 1962-1969?) and Sunday page (Feb. 5, 1961-Mar. 3, 1981) lasted, with a list of the artists who worked on both during their respective runs.

  2. I did a bunch of those...

  3. The Daily Colonist carried Yogi in its Sunday comics well into 1972. Stories from that year included Yogi complaining to a military commander about a cussing sergeant, and a Native American returning his color TV because of derogatory broadcasts.

  4. The first Yogi Bear Sunday page (from February 5, 1961), which appears on this topic, was drawn by Tony Rivera (with the layouts done by Gene Hazelton) and inked by Joe Messerli.
    Alias, Tony Rivera, at this same occasion, was involved with the layouts of the Yogi Bear episodes from the classical Yogi Bear Show (Hanna-Barbera/Columbia Pictures, 1960-63).

  5. There was also a Yogi Bear daily strip. Unlike its Flintstones counterpart, the Yogi daily was a single panel gag with a caption underneath, a la "Dennis the Menace" or "Family Circus." Does anybody know if the Yogi Bear daily strip lasted as long as, or remained concurrent with, the Sunday strip?

    Thanks again, Yowp, for continuing to keep these vintage Hanna-Barbera comic strips as a feature on this blog. It's an invaluable resource.

  6. scarecrow33, if you read my comment above, you will find a link to a website which will enable you to read a lot of Yogi's daily panels, with info on the artists and writers who worked on both the panel and the Sunday page. As I also stated on my comment, the panel lasted much less than the Sunday: from Dec. 1962 to circa 1969, while the Sunday page survived until 1981.

    1. Thanks so much. Don't know how I missed your comment. Maybe I was just thinking about composing my own comment and not really focusing. Those starting and ending dates are invaluable. And thank you for referencing the website where these can be found. This is such great stuff!

    2. I think this first Yogi Sunday comic resembles much more closely the TV version of Yogi before the strip evolved into it's own "print version" of the characters. Great stuff.