Bookshelf: The Jetsons #3 (Comic Book)

The Jetsons #3
First Published June 1963
Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

As you can see, my copy of The Jetsons #3 is in pretty sorry shape. I’m not sure exactly what is going on in the middle of the cover above Judy and Jane. Some sort of burn? An ancient coffee stain? Even without the mysterious brown mark the comic is about as beat up as one can get without the cover actually falling off. It’s just barely holding on. The interior pages, aside from some bent corners on the lower right, look much nicer.

While discussing other television comic tie-ins (Bonanza and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., among others) I’ve pointed out that the likenesses of the characters, and their real-life counterparts, haven’t always been that spot-on. With The Jetsons comic book, though, that’s not a problem. It’s been years since I watched an episode of The Jetsons but I’m confident the likenesses are near perfect.

The Jetsons #3 Cover
The Jetsons #3 Cover – Copyright 1963 Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

This issue includes four complete The Jetsons stories plus one Lippy the Lion and Hardy Har Har back-up story. My copy is missing the centerfold but I believe the Lippy and Hardy story is only four pages. The first Jetsons story runs ten pages, the second and third are four pages and the last is seven pages.

The following page is from the first story in which George comes down with a case of “automatic-itus” that causes him to make mistakes whenever he’s around anything mechanical. He decides to take the family to Jetstone Park for a little nature. But Jetstone Park is anything but natural. Eventually, the family escapes to the real outdoors and enjoys a picnic dinner.

The Jetsons #3 Page
The Jetsons #3 Page – Copyright 1963 Gold Key/K.K. Publications, Inc.

The second story (Elroy and Astro in “A Dog’s Best Friend is His Boy”) also deals with a medical issue, this time with Astro. He has “automation-melancholia” from his automatic doghouse. In the third story (Judy Jetson in “Lonely for Her One and Only”) Judy and her date Zip take a trip to the Moon and are attacked by a Spacian. Elroy, who had stowed away in the back of Zip’s space cycle, pops up just in the nick of time and saves the day.

In the final story (The Jetsons in “Getting Ahead the Hard Way”) George stumbles upon a formula for synthetic cloud and brings it home. At first things are all puffy and fun but soon the synthetic clouds start sucking all the moisture out of the air. This last story is my favorite but they’re all short, enjoyable adventures. Rosey the robot maid only makes one brief appearance in the first story. Then again, Rosey was only in a handful of episodes during the 1962-1963 version of The Jetsons.

4 Replies to “Bookshelf: The Jetsons #3 (Comic Book)”

  1. Very interesting that “Lippy & Hardy” were the “back-up story” in this issue, as they were primarily seen in first-run syndication at the time this was issued in the spring of 1963 {rule of thumb in the comic book industry: always date your issues at least three months in advance of the actual “street date”}, as part of the “NEW HANNA-BARBERA CARTOON SHOW”, the unofficial title for three separate series that were syndicated in the same “package:- “Wally Gator”, “Touche Turtle” and “Lippy & Hardy”, usually presented as part of a live local “kids show” franchise [in New York, WPIX-TV originally presented them with host Milt Moss as “CARTOON ZOO” (1962-’63), featuring Moss as “curator”, in front of a “zoo” backdrop that featured life-size cutouts of the characters in “cages”]. Some stations presented them as “stand alone” series (WTIC, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn., presented “Wally Gator” in various 15 and 30 minute formats early weekday and Saturday mornings during the ’60s); WNJU-TV in Newark, N.J., broadcasting Soanish language programming, presented dubbed episodes of “Wally” as part of their “MIGHTY MOUSE PLAYHOUSE”{??} packaage in the ’70s [Screen Gems/Columbia, H-B’s distributor, once owned Channel 47 in the ’60s and ’70s, so that’s probably why “Wally” was shoehorned into the middle of “MIGHTY MOUSE”, along with Hal Seeger’s “BATFINK”, which they originally distributed in syndication in 1967…and it was interesting to hear those cartoons in Spanish].

    I’m quite sure one of the Hanna-Barbera animators (or a former one who “knew” their style) penciled the stories in the Gold Key comic books- they’re on a par with what you saw on TV every week at that time, and look quite good! The writer, however, forgot that Astro rarely went “Woof!”- he talked like “Scooby-Doo” did a few years later {“Reah! A Rirdie and a Reer!!” is what he SHOULD have said, to comic effect, in the fourth panel of the last page of the story reproduced above}. And, of course, H-B never forgot to subtly “plug” their other characters among their TV shows and comic books- now, WHAT famous bear wearing a porkpie hat and a tie under a collar goes, “Hey-hey-hey!”?

  2. I’m quite sure Pete Alvarado- animator, background/layout artist and cartoonist for almost 70 years {worked variously at Warner Bros., DePatie-Freleng and Hanna-Barbera} who, among other accomplishments, pencilled most of the Hanna-Barbera comic book stories for Gold Key/K.K./Western Publishing in the ’60s and ’70s- drew the above page and story. His style here is similar to the daily “Mr. Magoo” strip he drew for UPA and the Chicago Tribune syndicate in the ’60s.

  3. I’ve just discovered, through “The Big Blog Of Kids’ Comics” website (by “Mykal”), that the artwork for “The Jetsons” story was actually done by Tony Strobl, who drew H-B comics for Gold Key for years. The “Lippy the Lion” story {not featured here} was rendered by ex-Warner Bros. animator Phil DeLara, who worked for Bob McKimson’s unit in the ’40s and early ’50s. Thanks to “Mykal” for that valuable information!!!

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