Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Yogi Bear Weekend Comics, November 1967

Though his vocabulary at the office around deadline time may not have suggested it, Bill Hanna was a Boy Scout and had been a big supporter of the organisation through to the end of his life. Perhaps that’s the reason Scouts show up somewhat frequently in the Yogi Bear newspaper comics.

This month 50 years ago, two of the four weekend comics involved Scouts, another highlights groovy teenagers and their far-out music, and the other has construction workers attempting to eat lunch. “Attempting” is the operative word here.

Before anything else, let me thank Richard Holliss for the colour tabloid version of the comics from his collection.

Boo Boo is kind of a substitute kid when it comes to plots, so it figures Boo Boo is only in the comic this month that doesn’t include kids. I always like how the artist in these comics has animals on or around the “Yogi Bear” lettering in the opening panel. These artists not only had to draw funny animals, humans and forest settings, sometimes they were called upon to sketch fairly realistic machinery, cars, trucks and such. In the November 5th comic, it’s a construction crane. This comic marks Ranger Smith’s only appearance of the month.

Hey, Kevin, this is why the other kids won’t play with you. Don’t tie a boat motor in a Boy Scout knot. At least, I presume he’s responsible. The November 12th comic also features a nice, little goony-eyed expression from our favourite Jellystone bear.

Winter? Hibernation? Fah! Not for Yogi Bear. He just puts on a scarf and away he goes. In the November 19th comic, he’s entrusted to lead a bunch of hyperactive Scouts. The panel compositions are very attractive here, with a good use of foreground and background. The characters always seem to read well in a Yogi comic no matter where they are. I especially like the long panels in the second and last rows.

Transistor radios are in! Okay, they were 50 years ago when we’d sneak them into class and listen to the World Series. Now people get score updates sent their handhelds. It’s about as much fun as reading a teletype. Oh, I’m getting off track a bit.

The November 26th has the Now Generation tuning in to the latest boss tunes. Little Kevin reappears. He’s kind of a luckless kid, isn’t he? I wonder if whoever wrote this knew there was a Radio Shack, supplying inexpensive stuff that kept some of those boss rock stations on the air. Here is their 1967 catalogue.

The writer uses the names of some real bands with an odd exception. The guy listening to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band parody kind of looks like Jerry Eisenberg. If this comic had been written two years earlier, the bands might have included The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, Positively Thirteen O’Clock and The Guilloteens, all of whom, not uncoincidentally, were released on the Hanna-Barbera label. Read more about it right here from the Mighty Musical Mite of Mount Mackie, Kliph Nesteroff.


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

  2. A small detail: the 1st Yogi Bear Sunday page from November 1967, was drawn by Gene Hazelton.