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:
http://retrodundee.blogspot.com/2008/08/jeremy-sugar-puffs-bear.html

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.


UPDATE 11/12/2011:
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.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI8IJA8kdkI

10 comments:

Kid said...

I seem to remember a story about the bear used in the photos for this cereal ripping the arm of its handler/trainer/zookeeper, or someone involved with it in some way. I think it happened long after the Honey Monster was introduced, but I bet Quaker Oats were glad they weren't still using the bear as their mascot at this time. Incidentally, I still have my old Honey Monster single of the Archie's hit, "Sugar, Sugar".

Mondo said...

Blimey - I'd forgotten all about Jeremy Bear. Amazing - what a find.

Tim Perkins said...

Hey Lew,

I had forgotten all about Jeremy Bear, just shows how powerful advertising can be doesn't it.

Everyone associates Sugar Puffs with the Honey Monster nowadays.

I used to see the bear on the train all the time - the one on the box I mean...LOL.

Thanks for sharing this one, mate.

Best,
Tim...
(''j)

Raven said...

I remember very well getting this as an infant, ordered by my parents from the back of my cereal packet; possibly one of things that deepened my fascination with comics at a very early age - I spent ages studying those strange overlapping red/green images, and pondering the magic of the specs. Nice thick card cover, wasn't it? I remember it being a very nice production.

One of those rather exotic, now mostly forgotten and obscure comic items of the time like the Tesco Fun 'n' Games comic.

Anonymous said...

Unlike my esteemed colleagues above I remember J. Bear very well plus the song in the adverts. BUT the above 3-D comic! That hurts because 1) it proves I have forgotten more than I remember and 2) I must have been a very lonely boy to have ordered this in 1971. Yes, it was me too that had a copy - long gone! I could never get on with this 3-D but the recent Coraline and Avatar 3-D was fine!
I hate you for reminding me about this. "Oh, the shame, the shame!"
Norman

Lew Stringer said...

Not lonely at all Norman. Ordering this comic showed you had curiosity for such a format.

I found my copy by chance yesterday, and I'd kept it in its original envelope (with its 3p stamp still on). How sad is that? :-)

(For added sadness I can reveal the postage date was 30th November 1971. :-))

Anonymous said...

Where do you find all this stuff, Lew? - I had one as well!

I wonder just how popular the promotion was, it seems from the comments plenty of people took advantage of it.

As an aside, at the age of 7 I actually wasn't that impressed with the comic and couldn't see the point of it. It was only in later years that I learnt that my weak left eye prevents me from seeing in 3D at all. I haven't splashed out on a cinema ticket for Avatar for the same reason - or does that use a different technique for the effect?

Lew Stringer said...

Avatar uses a different technique but you still need special specs. I saw the 2D version as I couldn't afford to risk my eyesight watching a near-three hour movie in 3D. (Last year I was diagnosed with eye pressure which could eventually lead to Glaucoma.)

stuweelouis said...

Hi, I have 1 honey monster (sugar puffs) mini comic called Honey monster in space, produced in 1984. Origionally it was from a collection of 6 mini comics produced in the 80's, found free inside the box of cereals.

The other comics in this collection were:

Honey monster and the go-cart
Honey monster and the ghost train
Honey monster at the boating lake
Honey monster at the seaside
Honey monster at the zoo

I've looked everywhere on the internet and caannot find them anywhere or any reference of them.

Please does anyone remember them?

Stuart.

Jeremy Becker said...

My dad worked for Quaker back in 1975 when I was born. Hence, I was named after Jeremy the Sugar Puff Bear. I've always told people that story but until today I'd never seen my ursine namesake. Yay for you and Yay for the internet!
I'd love to get a copy of this comic if anyone knows where it could be found...

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