Sunday, October 15, 2017

A Few Beard & Harper Stories at Gold Key

Husband-and-wife team Cecil Beard and Alpine Harper were the writers on the Fox and Crow and related strips like The Hounds and the Hare, Flippity and Flop, and Tito and His Burrito at DC. The Fox and Crow strip lasted into 1968.

Editor Murray Boltinoff had Cecil Beard give a quick bio in F&C 97, in which he identified Alpine Harper as his collaborator and noted that, having been writing comics for 20 years in '66, "by now, I think we've written for almost every comic character in the business."

I found a few of their later scripts at Gold Key by their distinctive "Ooo-hoo-hoo." From one story in it I could work out that they did the entire single issue of the time-travel sitcom tie-in It's About Time; I believe they did more stories of Scooby Doo than I've listed here, but it will take more study to be sure of the ones without "Ooo-hoo-hoo." The tiers are from the untitled first story in Fox and the Crow 90 (Feb-March/65); "A Better Mousetrap"; and "That's Snow Ghost."

Cecil Beard & Alpine Harper Scripts on
It's About Time

Jan/67 The Day of the Widget
  A Lesson in Courtship
A Better Mousetrap

on Scooby Doo

Dec/70 The Ghostly Sea Diver
Mar/71 That's Snow Ghost
Aug/73 20  The Fiery Hoo-Doo


  1. Thanks for this. I see that Inducks lists some Beard and Harper stories, including solo stories! I would personally suspect that both worked on each other's solo stories as well, but at this point, only their children might know.

  2. I think the records might only show who handed in the script and took the check. I agree that it's just easier at this late date to figure them for a team, like Freiwald and Schaeffer.

    The fact that those scripts of Alpine Harper's that Inducks credits as solo were for overseas, as far as I can see, and never appeared in the original English, means they can't be studied for style. But Inducks' credit to Cecil Beard for one of the Mickey Mouse serials does give a starting point to start looking for more of his (or more likely his and her) Disney scripts.

  3. I have a letter Cecil Beard sent me when I was first researching the history of the FOX & CROW comic. In it, he said that he and his wife collaborated on a lot of things, sometimes ghosting for each other, but that he didn't think she'd worked on any FOX & CROW stories.

  4. In that F&C 97 text page he's quite definite: " wife, Alpine Harper, collaborates with me...For the past 10 years, we've been associated with Jim Davis on FOX & CROW"--so he's said different things at different times.

    All this time later, I guess people will just have to take "Beard & Harper" as shorthand for "Beard and/or Harper."

  5. Let me dig out the letter and read it again. I may have misremembered.

    By the way: There are a few Gold Key stories around 1967-1970 that are direct lifts from FOX & CROW stories. I remember one that turned the Fox into Elmer Fudd and the Crow into Daffy Duck with only minor changes. I assume those were Harper 'n' Beard.

  6. Mark, that hint just now led me to find one Fox & Crow/WB story by working in the other direction. I'd IDed "Heckleberry Screamies" in YOSEMITE SAM 6 as a Beard/Harper story, and the fact that Bugs uses a costume he has lying around reminded me of the Crow's MO. It's a rehash of the untitled first story in F&C 87; the script itself is newly written around the general thrust of the old plot, although not panel-to-panel like many of the Millie the Model or Candy/Tippy refries.

  7. I recall at least one I spotted years ago that was a direct panel-to-panel lift. It was a DAFFY DUCK story drawn by Jack Manning.