Thursday, September 26, 2019

BOOK REVIEW! THE FLINTSTONES (Whitman Publishing, 1962)

Y'know, most of the time comics of a specific print variety (newspaper, comic book, animation...) just don't transfer well into other forms of medium. Or when they do, the new medium they're in takes on a whole universe of its own. Take ARCHIE f'rinstance...first there was the comic book character and then, for a few years the radio show which had different tweaks here and there (such as a reg'lar girlfriend for Jughead). Then came the comic strip which I personally find the better of all the ARCHIE variants extant and eventually the various Saturday AM cartoon shows which I'm sure many of you reg'lar suburban slob types were brought up on began cluttering up the schedules. That's like four different variations on ARCHIE with some similarities yet some glaring differences since ya never saw a lotta the tee-vee or comic book characters such as say, Hot Dog, Big Ethel or "The Archies" in the comic strip yet none of Archie's comic strip bands or his dog Oscar (or the resident athletic doof Lunk) were in either the comic books or on the tee-vee shows!

I can go on like with just how little the Bugs Bunny tee-vee/theater cartoons had to do with the newspaper take (tho the guy who did the strip sure had an Al Capp-ish sense of just how bad a fix the everyday Silent Majority sorta guy was in with the various strips featuring Sylvester and a hobo friend traipsing into Bugs' diner and munching away on the free crackers and catsup!) or even the years of Marvel and DC TV series and motion pictures with characters who bore only a kinda/sorta resemblance to the flesh and pulp ones we've read for eons awlready. But hey, I gotta say that these early-sixties FLINTSTONES cartoons sure are loyal enough to the actual television programs without sacrificing too much in the process, and perhaps that's the only reason why I find this collection such a funtime summer's day reading experience that takes me back to the good ol' whatevers when I shoulda been cutting the yard and pulling weeds but eh, why let that get in the way of the IMPORTANT STUFF!

Oh yeah, a few nits for pickers to poke at like scabs show up. In one saga Fred and Barney are employed at the same rock quarry (and as we all know Barney was a job to job hopper) while in another its someone other'n Mr. Slate who's manning the biz! Stuff like that woulda gotten my twelve-year-old obsessive/compulsive disordered self jumping all over the place in abject world-crashing anger, but back then I just didn't have that notion of entertainment mediums as different forms of universe expression down pat as I'm sure many of you haven't. 

Nice selection of stories that I assume were ripped outta the comic book series. Pretty sitcom-y too, what with the same funny situations used for years being trotted out again and tweaked in order to look brand spanking new. Best stories include the one where Fred overhears his bowling rival on the phone saying that their match was "fixed" and "in the bag" (turns out to be something different of course) and the one where the girls enter a singing contest and almost clear out the neighborhood practicing! 

Sure wish I had one of these back when I was a mere ten. Woulda made the summer vacation seem a whole lot smoother...


Anonymous said...

In one Gold Key Flintstones comic book, there was an appearance by what Fred & Barney called an electrosaurus, who was short-circuiting(?) a machine, transferring Bamm-Bamm's strength to Fred; the electrosaurus shown seems like a prehistoric (electric) pokemon wannabe.

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