Hanna-Barbera Comics: Best & Worst

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Dell Comics Fan
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Hanna-Barbera Comics: Best & Worst

Postby Dell Comics Fan » Sun Sep 02, 2007 5:33 pm

The cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera studio are the only ones to have been
adapted by no less than seven different comic book companies. Here's how I
would rank them (from the best to the worst):

1. Dell
2. Gold Key
3. Archie
4. DC
5. Marvel
6. Charlton
7. Harvey

(Note: Dell and Gold Key Comics were both designed and produced by Western Publishing Co. The Harveys were merely reprints of the Charltons (which most people would agree were, for the most part, pretty inferior to begin with). My favorite artists: Harvey Eisenberg, Alex Toth, Dan Spiegle,
Phil DeLara, and Pete Alvarado (in that order). I also liked the JONNY QUEST comics published by Comico, mostly for the fine artwork by Doug Wildey (who designed the characters for television), Wendy (ELFQUEST) Pini, and Dave Stevens. It would really have been interesting if H & B had, instead of licensing their characters, tried their hand at publishing comics themselves. But they might not have had any more success than Disney did when they briefly attempted such an endeavor.)

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Postby Acme » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:10 pm

Dell Comics Fan wrote:The cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera studio are the only ones to have been
adapted by no less than seven different comic book companies. Here's how I
would rank them (from the best to the worst):

1. Dell
2. Gold Key
3. Archie
4. DC
5. Marvel
6. Charlton
7. Harvey

(Note: Dell and Gold Key Comics were both designed and produced by Western Publishing Co. The Harveys were merely reprints of the Charltons (which most people would agree were, for the most part, pretty inferior to begin with). My favorite artists: Harvey Eisenberg, Alex Toth, Dan Spiegle,
Phil DeLara, and Pete Alvarado (in that order). I also liked the JONNY QUEST comics published by Comico, mostly for the fine artwork by Doug Wildey (who designed the characters for television), Wendy (ELFQUEST) Pini, and Dave Stevens. It would really have been interesting if H & B had, instead of licensing their characters, tried their hand at publishing comics themselves. But they might not have had any more success than Disney did when they briefly attempted such an endeavor.)


Disney Comics lasted for a while in the 90s. I still have my Mickey, Uncle Scrooge, Donald, Goofy, and Roger Rabbit Comics. As for HB Comics, I remeber an old Fruity Pebbles comic from Harvey, it wasn't too bad with Fred and Barney. I think that Scott Shaws did the pencils.

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Postby Daws Butler Jr. » Mon Sep 03, 2007 11:32 pm

Dell Comics Fan wrote:The cartoons from the Hanna-Barbera studio are the only ones to have been
adapted by no less than seven different comic book companies. Here's how I
would rank them (from the best to the worst):

1. Dell
2. Gold Key
3. Archie
4. DC
5. Marvel
6. Charlton
7. Harvey

(Note: Dell and Gold Key Comics were both designed and produced by Western Publishing Co. The Harveys were merely reprints of the Charltons (which most people would agree were, for the most part, pretty inferior to begin with). My favorite artists: Harvey Eisenberg, Alex Toth, Dan Spiegle,
Phil DeLara, and Pete Alvarado (in that order). I also liked the JONNY QUEST comics published by Comico, mostly for the fine artwork by Doug Wildey (who designed the characters for television), Wendy (ELFQUEST) Pini, and Dave Stevens. It would really have been interesting if H & B had, instead of licensing their characters, tried their hand at publishing comics themselves. But they might not have had any more success than Disney did when they briefly attempted such an endeavor.)


Thanks for ranking the Archies right below Dell and Gold Key. I wrote a bunch of them and that is high praise indeed.

I hated the artwork in the Charlton comics, so much so that I never collected any of these. I wasn't crazy about what DC did with the characters, either, so I would rate the Marvels above those.
DB Jr. :chilly:

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Postby TheBlueHombre » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:46 am

I have a good H-B collection from all of the publishers, so here's my rankings:

1. Marvel
1. Archie
3. Comico (for both the Jonny Quest line and the one shot Space Ghost special)
4. Dell
5. Blackthorne (Flintstones in 3-D)
6. Gold Key
7. Harvey
8. Charlton
9. DC

I rank Harvey higher than Charlton because the covers were outstanding. Even though the material inside were reprints of the Charlton run, the covers on the Harvey line were excellent.

Also, Harvey did a great job on the 1994 Flintstones movie adaptation. The comic came with 3-D glasses. If you looked at it one way, you had the John Goodman version of the film. If you looked at it with a different color, you had the cartoon Fred and Barney. Reading the comic adaptation with the cartoon Fred and Barney made the story much, much better (Trust me).

Blackthorne did a quarterly publication of the Flintstones in 3-D with black and white art. It was gorgeous to look at it and very well done.

I rank both the Marvel and Archie runs in a tie for number one. When you have quality writers and artists who know the characters, it makes for a really enjoyable comic book. I own the original splash page art from Marvel Spotlight #1 that featured Huckleberry Hound. I bought it from Scott Shaw directly and it is still one of my prize possessions in my Huckleberry collection.

Interestingly, Harvey was going to start publishing original stories of the H-B characters but went out of business before the comics were printed. I still have a poster that was made announcing the Harvey H-B comics. It states, "Hanna-Barberians!" They mispelled Huck's name in the copyright material by spelling his first name "Huckelberry." The first of these original stories were later published when Archie Comics published the H-B comics.

DC gets last place honors because what they did with the H-B characters was horrible. The best one that they did was the one issue of "Yogi's Treasure Hunt." Huck appears in the eighth issue of "Cartoon Network Presents" as the backup story to "Magilla's Guerillas." The original title of Huck's story was supposed to be "Gulf War Huck." However, just before it went to publication, President Clinton conducted an airstrike on Iraq and the USA was at war with Saddam Hussein again. The comic was delayed for three weeks and was published with a new title, "War Is Huck." The story is about Huck bombing Iraq with a new type of germ.

I learned how to draw the H-B characters by imitating Ray Dirgo's style from the Charlton series. The stories weren't that good, but it was all I had for an example to work with in trying to learn how to draw the characters.

My favorite comic book story of all time, though, is from the Dell/Gold Key era and it is, "Huckleberry Hound For President." I still love that one so much.

Lastly, thanks for the great topic idea, Dell Comics Fan. It is great to be hearing from you again on this forum.

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re Jonny Quest: Why doesn't somebody reprint these?

Postby Geezil » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:16 pm

I'd give Dell the edge here (with one exception that I'll get to shortly), if only because its late '50s/early '60s H-B books were the ones I bought/read/traded most consistently. And weren't they the ones most consistently created by actual H-B staffers?

But then there's that exception: the late '80s Jonny Quest series by Comico.

In particular, I feel issue #2 stands out as Best of the Run, with its highly memorable (not to mention very plausible) take on the fate of Jonny's mother. As the link above will serve to remind us, while the H-B studio green-lighted this tale with little or no hesitation, it's not the one later incorporated into the Quest TV "canon." And that's a blasted shame!
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Postby Daws Butler Jr. » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:26 pm

TheBlueHombre wrote:My favorite comic book story of all time, though, is from the Dell/Gold Key era and it is, "Huckleberry Hound For President." I still love that one so much.


I like that one alot, but I think I have a tie for my favorite books... "Yogi Bear Visits the U.N." and "The Flintstones Go To the World's Fair". I read both of those a million times when I was a kid.
DB Jr. :chilly:

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Postby TheBlueHombre » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:34 pm

Daws Butler Jr. wrote:I like that one alot, but I think I have a tie for my favorite books... "Yogi Bear Visits the U.N." and "The Flintstones Go To the World's Fair". I read both of those a million times when I was a kid.

Those are both good comic books as well. I liked all of the Yogi Bear comics that had an interesting twist: Yogi Bear Goes To College, Yogi Bear Joins The Marines.

I would like to also mention that Marvel ran "The Flintstone Kids" under their Star Comics imprint as well. They did a good job with the junior Bedrock crew.

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Postby Daws Butler Jr. » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:40 pm

Although there were only 3 issues, I also really liked the Hanna-Barbera Parade comics that Gold Key did because there was a mix of characters in them, including Loopy De Loop, which I think is the only time he appeared in comic books.

Now that I think of it, he may have appeared as a back-up story in some of those books that featured secondary characters, like the Snooper and Blabber books or Snagglepuss or some of the one-shots like Lippy the Lion or Augie Doggie, but without dragging them out, I don't remember on my own.
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Postby TheBlueHombre » Wed Sep 05, 2007 12:31 am

Also, Dell Comics is the only time that Ruff and Reddy made it into comic books.

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Postby Alf » Wed Sep 05, 2007 8:47 am

My list:

1. Dell
2. Gold Key
3. Marvel
4. Archie
5. DC
6. Harvey
7. Charlton

A Special mention to Comico, whose Jonny Quest series (plus miniseries JQ Classics and Jade Inc.) and Space Ghost one-shot are simply outstanding.

The Mark Evanier-edited Marvel line of HB comics was really a labor of love. Evanier was able to blend together harmoniously young talent like Scott Shaw! and veterans such as Pete Alvarado, Dan Spiegle, etc., creating comics truly faithful to the original cartoons upon which were based. Too bad this line was so short-lived... and after that, Hanna-Barbera comics were absent from the market for nearly a decade (and when Marvel launched their Star Comics line in the mid-80´s, why didn´t they consider bringing back the HB characters, not just the Flintstone Kids?).

Although the Harvey books merely reprinted the Charlton material, I rank them above the latter since I agree they had nice covers and besides, their high quality paper resulted in brighter colors.

By the way, Daws Butler Jr., the comic book in which Loopy de Loop appeared was called Hanna-Barbera Bandwagon. This was not Loopy´s only appearances in comic books; he appeared for most of the 60´s in one-page strips in the British Comic "Huckleberry Hound Weekly"; some of these strips were reprinted in the U.S. in one of the digest-sized Whitman Comic Books circa 1962.

This might inspire another interesting thread: "International Hanna-Barbera Comics". Although not attending the quantity and consistency of the overseas-made Disney comics, countries like U.K., France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Holland and Brazil have produced at one time or another their own licensed Hanna-Barbera comics (since the U.S.-made material was often simply not enough). For example, I have a French comic with a Jabberjaw story (who never appeared in an American comic) drawn by a local artist, as well as a Brazilian one with a Posse Impossible story, again domestically produced.


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