Saturday, February 06, 2010
Comic Oddities: Jeremy Bear in 3-D (1971)
Back in 1971, the breakfast cereal Sugar Puffs featured an offer on the packet to send away for a 3-D comic. At the time, the mascot for the food was Jeremy Bear, - a character they'd used since it was launched in 1957, (using photos of a real bear originally). In 1976 this would be replaced by the Honey Monster still used today.
Stylized as a cartoon character, the bear became the star of the 16 page comic The Amazing Exploits of Jeremy Bear. The contents featured three 4 page strips, a single page strip, and three activity pages, all using the red/green 3-D technique. A free pair of 3-D specs was also included.
Published for Quaker Oats by Golden Press Limited of 14-16 Great Portland Street, London. The only credit in the comic reads "Created and Designed by Ellis Eringer". A little research on the net found that Ellis Dale Eringer was born in 1920 in the USA and mainly worked on Disney comics for the overseas market as an inker. Although his Disney work is extensively catalogued here there seems to be no mention of his Jeremy Bear comic on the internet at all, so I'm happy to rectify that oversight today.
I'm assuming this comic was only published in the UK, although it wouldn't surprise me to learn if there were foreign language editions as well. Although the visual style of the Jeremy Bear comic was American, the humour of the strips seems quite British, with each adventure ending with a pun.
The Amazing Exploits of Jeremy Bear is a very nicely produced children's comic, at least on a par with anything else of the time. The 3-D technique worked well too. (It should also work on screen here, if you can get hold of some 3-D specs.) As I recall it was just a one-off and, as the Honey Monster became the new mascot a few years later, Jeremy Bear faded into memory.
A little info on the real "Jeremy" bear:
Here's a photo of the bear on the Sugar Puffs box design from the 1960s (taken from this interesting website http://www.theimaginaryworld.com/fod3.html). This is the Canadian box, but the UK version had the same picture and logo.
It just occurred to me that the artist, Ellis Eringer, was the guy interviewed on the 1955 anti-comics TV documentary 'Confidential File'. Sadly, Mr.Eringer goes along with the propaganda in the documentary.