Tuesday, October 11, 2016

55 Years Ago: First FLINTSTONES Comic Strip

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:

The new comic was published at the bottom of the local news section its first day. But then it settled in at the top of the right-hand column on the comics page.

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.


Mykal Banta said...

I've always been a big fan of Hazelton's art - just beautiful and such great layouts. IO wish today's Sunday funnies had more of this quality.

DBenson said...

We had "The Flintstones" in the daily San Jose Mercury; on Sundays we had both "Flintstones" and "Yogi Bear" (although Yogi might have been in a different paper).

I remember that both Sunday strips did Hollywood stories to tie into "The Man Called Flintstone" and "Hey There, It's Yogi Bear". I also remember being puzzled that Fred had a boss who didn't look like Mr. Slate.

Even then, I think strips had shrunk a bit compared to your examples. The first daily strip with all its introductions would be executed as a Sunday strip today.