Friday, March 12, 2010
Like the Donald Duck strip we posted here, the 'Yogi Bear' strip was not done by the credited creators. William Hanna and Joseph Barbera were running their animation empire, not sitting down at the drawing board each week to create gags.
Given the ghost-written/drawn nature of the strip, it's unclear who contributed to the strip. Most credit Gene Hazelton as the main writer and artist, but according to this post by Hanna-Barbera expert Mark Evanier, Hazelton primarily supervised the creation of this strip and 'The Flintstones'. Others credit Harvey Eisenberg, who did some strips as well as many of the Yogi comic books as part of his legendary work for Western Publishing.
The strip debuted in 1961 along and were part of Yogi's biggest decade. He had his own syndicated cartoon show, a long-running comic book, worked as a pitchman for Kellogg's Corn Flakes and even had his own movie ('Hey There, It's Yogi Bear'). The strip above from May 29, 1966 kind of bugs me. It's a nice sight gag in the last panel, but the idea that Ranger Smith wouldn't go to a dentist for a tooth extraction is kind of odd. Another strange thing is the massive crowd in the stands for a Cub Scout track meet. Maybe one of them could have officiated...or the guy with the starter pistol. OK, maybe I'm overthinking it.
More examples of the strip can be found on Ger Appeldorn's website and from Comicrazys.com.