THE FLINTSTONES had been on the air for a year before a strip was commissioned. Gene Hazelton drew it, and he was assisted at one time or another by Roger Armstrong, Dale Hale, Harvey Eisenberg and Jesse Marsh. The first daily appeared over 55 years ago, on October 2, 1961.
Gary Brown writes The Monday After: Meet the Flintsones for CantonRep.com:
It’s initial offering was indeed an introduction.
“I’m Fred Flintstone and this is my wife, Wilma,” said Fred. “And this is Dino, our pet dinosaur!” Wilma adds in the first panel.
The rest of the strip allowed Barney and Betty to identify themselves. Then, Fred excitedly told readers that the cartoon character who had been taking down the information was not a census taker.
“He’s the cartoonist who’s drawing up our new comic strip!” Fred said. “The Flintstones!”
And thus a daily ritual for newspaper comic readers started.