Friday, February 16, 2018

Separated at Mirth: Three Bears and a Chicken Go Log-Rolling!

Our recently-added feature "Adventures in Comic-Boxing" has gone over so well, that I decided to create another such feature that I call "Separated at Mirth"!

The focus of "Separated at Mirth" would be when two or more comic book covers execute the SAME GAG, only with different characters and separated by years or even decades!

This could also apply to interior gags as well, but will mostly focus on covers.  

Our first entry in this series is ANDY PANDA # 44 (Dell Comics, 1958) and YOGI BEAR # 41 (Gold Key Comics, 1970).  

Once upon a time, there were THREE BEARS...

A fat, dumpy-looking bear...  A cute little bow tie-wearing bear... And a panda bear who, for some inexplicable reason (at least in comic books), liked to hang-out with a very annoying, smart-alec chicken!  

This chicken was SO annoying and smart-alecy that one wonders how Andy found, within himself, the strength to refrain from, choking the chicken! 

As for our other two "woodland creatures" (as their cartoons often called them), this answers the age-old question: "Does a bear LOG-ROLL in the woods?"

Clearly, the answer must be "Yes!"... and, by that, one can surmise that "The Woods" must be a very boring place!  

There you have ANDY PANDA # 44 and YOGI BEAR # 41 - Separated at Mirth!  

We'll have more instances of  "Separated at Mirth" soon.  Dunno if that's a promise... or a threat! 


Achille Talon said...

Clearly, the only way to greet this new feature is a warm bear hug.

Anyway, these covers rang a bell even though I'd never read either of those issues before… a little INDUCKS-searching and bam. If those two bear covers are "separated at birth", that 1961Tony Strobl must be an older sibling with a still-strong family resemblance.

Joe Torcivia said...

Really close, Achille… but not quite! Nice try, though! Good enough for the “Silver”! …Silver Age of Comics, that is!

Though puns like that “Bear Hug” one, are always good for extra points ‘round here!

HERE is Achille’s link, at which you can see that, although Donald IS getting bested at log-rolling, it is not because Huey, Dewey, and Louie are ON ROLLER SKATES, but merely due to their triplicated state-of-being! …An option not available to Charlie Chicken or Boo-Boo!

However, we’ll give Achille some well-deserved props for his contribution – and declare that whenever we do “Separated at Mirth”, you are all invited to participate, just as Achille has done!

If there’s a third, fourth, fifth, etc. “Separation”, that I might have missed or was not aware of, send a link to it in a comment, and I, as this Blog’s “Supreme Leader and Unquestioned General” (Do the acronym, folks – and you’ll see this gag in an upcoming Donald and Scrooge story! You’ve been warned!), will embrace it or toss it on a technicality! …Fun for the whole family, eh?

Of course, general observations on log-rolling bears, roller skates, or why anyone would want to hang out with a wise-guy chicken, are always welcome too!

Debbie Anne said...

The log-rolling roller skates gag made it to a 1980 Filmation Droopy cartoon, with Droopy running while the wolf (named Slick by Filmation) was on skates. I cant say I'd recommend the series, but it is another use of the gag.

Comicbookrehab said...

I'm going to guess that both covers were drawn by Gil Turner, whose past credits include both Lantz and Hanna-Barbera. If you can find a Mr. Magoo comic cover in which Magoo is on roller skates with Waldo jogging in place on a log, then we know this was Turner's signature gag.

Jaime de Andrade said...

Count me among the folks giving "Separated at Mirth" "a warm bear hug." (Kudos to Joe and Achille for those two puns! You guys are masters). I love the concept. Ever since I first stumbled upon them on the Internet, I've always enjoyed checking out old comic book covers. And I've always loved bizarre curiosities, such as a postage stamp with the image printed upside down ( or a "Tom and Jerry" comic book cover in which Tom is missing an arm (!

Needless to say, then, I'm looking forward to seeing cases of the same gag repeated with different characters years apart.

I find the idea of different covers years apart with different characters but the same gag to be very interesting. How common was this? Why was it done? Were covers "separated at mirth" (usually) drawn by the same artist? Were these cases of artists running out of ideas? Or just coincidences? Did such similar covers save Western money in any way, i.e.. was this done for economic reasons?

Joe Torcivia said...


HERE is Deb’s link! Everybody, go there!

For a 1980 cartoon, a DOWN TIME in American TV animation to be sure, this is actually quite good.

I can’t believe they couldn’t get a better approximation of Droopy’s voice. I’m sure Don Messick, still very active at the time, could have done so.

But, (and sorry for the spoiler) I GOTTA LOVE any cartoon where a character makes repeated references to the SOUND EFFECTS therein! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!

Yep, this is a worthy entry to our “Separated at Mirth”! They’re on a log, and the Wolf uses roller skates. But, unlike Charlie and Boo-Boo, he suffers an appropriate fate for his cheating! …But, by 1980, perhaps the cartoon’s writer may have even seen one or both of these covers for inspiration!

Joe Torcivia said...


Sorry, but “negatory” on Gil Turner here!

The Andy Panda cover was by the great Harvey Eisenberg, though one could easily be forgiven for not associating him with Walter Lantz comics, as opposed to his usual MGM and Hanna-Barbera assignments.

Turner died in 1967, making this particular Yogi Bear cover very unlikely. Eisenberg, having died in 1965, is also eliminated from consideration.

My guess on the Yogi cover is probably John Carey, or perhaps Tony Strobl. Maybe Pete Alvarado, though I doubt it. For some reason no individual style leaps out at me, though it’s quite good.

If Magoo found himself in such a situation, I’d imagine he’d think he was in a roller-rink!

Joe Torcivia said...


I’d give Achille ever greater pun-props, as English is not his first language!

Here are Jaime’s links: Inverted Jenny and Tom’s Missing Arm.

I’ve found that instances of “Separated at Mirth” are very common. More so then even I thought.

No, they were most often not drawn by the same artist (as witness these two covers), but when we get into “Separations at Mirth” for MUTT AND JEFF, you’ll find that it definitely was so – and quite common, over the life of that series.

I don’t believe it was done for “lack of ideas” or even economic reasons – most likely just COINCIDENCE.

Though I could certainly see someone like Vic Lockman submitting the same cover-gag-idea more than once, for different characters, over a long period of time! Perhaps he even did it here, with Andy and Yogi! The gag does smack of his “using an object for an unintended purpose” trope! …Heck, I’d do that myself, if I could get away with it! …Just kidding, IDW!

I’m glad you like both “Separated at Mirth” and “Adventures in Comic-Boxing” because, as I slowly proceed in my long-delayed task of better organizing my collection – and spending more time rooting through my long boxes – I am finding more and more marvelous examples of both! I have almost two full pages of notes to use as future such posts! …So, beware!

Debbie Anne said...

Droopy's voice in the cartoon (and the rest of them, probably) was done by producer Lou Scheimer, mostly because of a voice actors strike, which kept Frank Welker from doing the credited voices on most episodes of The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show. Scheimer's wife did most of the women's voices in the shows.

Joe Torcivia said...


The Wolf sure sounded like Frank Welker to me! Though it DOES sound like a move the crafty Lou Scheimer would make!

And, would that mean that Jane Webb, who was credited as a voice in all those Filmation series, was Lou Scheimer’s wife? If so, I didn't know that.

Debbie Anne said...

No, Jane Webb wasn't in The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show, nor was she Scheimer's wife. Jay Scheimer did the female voices on Filmation's Tom and Jerry (although both she and Louie were uncredited. Frank Welker is the sole voice credit in the Tom and Jerry Comedy Show.

Debbie Anne said...

For sake of argument, here is one of the Tom and Jerry cartoons (with no log rolling, though). Then I'll stop spoiling your blog with Filmation cartoons. :

Elaine said...

This is a great new series! I'm glad you've got a list of future entrants.

The "repeats" I notice are on Disney-classic-characters comics, and Inducks will sometimes indicate that one is a remake. There are remakes with the same characters as the original, and remakes with different characters. See this and this ! I presume that in most of these cases, the artist of the remake did see the original in some Disney archive (or now, on Inducks!).

For Easter, there is this (Kruse/Nadorp), and then this (Tello-Team--scroll down to see the nice uncluttered Icelandic version), remade by Nadorp with the same characters (I like the expressive hens on that one!). On the first of those...I'm not sure myself that Gus could muster that much planning and industry, even for a joke....

Joe Torcivia said...


For Filmation, that last one was actually pretty good too! For Flimation, that is! Though, not sure why it needed to be set in a library! The study of a house would have served the same purpose. HERE is Deb’s link! Everybody, go there – once again!

Anyone else see “The Spirit of Gene Deitch” in there?

Joe Torcivia said...


Maybe the notion that Gus could muster that much planning and industry WAS the joke – or, at least, “the joke BEHIND the joke”!

Yepperoo! Those are indeed “Separations at Mirth”! Once you begin adding foreign-produced gags to the mix, the possibilities truly become infinite!

HERE and HERE is Elaine’s first series of “Separations”.

HERE, HERE, and HERE is her second series!

I have another one already set for next week, and many more such ideas in waiting – and that’s just from American comics that I own! Glad you enjoy it! This is gonna be fun!

Debbie Anne said...

I think that the thought of sending a parade and the fire department through a library is why they thought to set the Tom and Jerry short there. It's easily a switch on "Quiet Please", just replacing Spike with the librarian. There's a little bit of animation in that cartoon that was almost lifted from "Quiet Please" where Jerry strikes a cutesy pose, waves to Tom and then jumps out of the frame.

Achille Talon said...

Hey, I just realized that you, Joe, gave us an early preview of "Separated at Mirth" no less than seven years ago — in this post:

Joe Torcivia said...


Why… YES, I DID! Didn’t I?

Well, you won’t have to wait seven years for the NEXT installment! I’ve got three more of ‘em already written, just waiting to strike at an unsuspecting public! Based on the schedule I’ve worked-out, you’ll be seeing the next one in early March, after an IDW Review and another installment of “Adventures in Comic-Boxing”!

HERE’S the link to where I did it!

Great work!