Thursday, August 16, 2012

"Bugs Bunny's Album" (Dell) 1953: "Honey Bunny"

Throughout the Western Publishing run, there was always the flagship "Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies" title (later just "Looney Tunes").But there were also sub-series and one-off "specials". One such special was "Bugs Bunny's Album" from 1953. It's a collection of three stories tied together by the device of Bugs showing his family album to Porky and Petunia Pig. The final story is of interest because it introduces Honey Bunny, a character who never appeared in animated form. She is best known as Bugs Bunny's girlfriend in later comics and merchandise, but here she is introduced as Bugs' COUSIN. Bugs tags along with her to the circus, where a wisecrack about capturing elephants lands them in the African jungle doing just that, financed by the circusmaster. The old cartoon gag about elephants being scared of mice shows up here. It's not just a myth either...elephants actually are startled by mice. Not only does Honey get her elephant, she offers to catch another, provided the circus sends her another mouse!

*update: Artwork possibly by Fred Abranz.


  1. And, in the 1966 issue, BUGS BUNNY # 108, Honey Bunny would be introduced for the first (?) time!

    Gotta be true… sez so right on the cover… “Introducing Honey Bunny”!

    Gold Key would never “lie”… would they? :-)

  2. I'm not sure she was heard from again in this form, or in any form prior to the comic you linked to there, Joe. She was created by Robert McKimson, I know that.

  3. I’m curious, Matthew… If Honey was created by Robert McKimson, for what purpose was she created?

    Was there an unproduced cartoon -- or one I’m just not recalling? Unlike his brother Tom, I didn’t think Robert worked for Western Publishing. At least not that I’m aware of. As a full director by that time, wouldn’t he have been in constant employ by WB?

    For all I know, maybe he DID some work for Western during the 1953 WB animation shutdown -- but (…unlike today, where the scripts I did for Boom! Studios’ Disney comics were due sometimes mere weeks before the on-sale date) those comics were produced so far in advance (sometimes up to 1-2 years) that the story itself could not have appeared in 1953.

    That’s one of the things that is so fascinating about Western… no one can “know all about it” – because, just when you think you get a handle on it, another new fact or revelation comes to light.

    The story here looks like it was drawn by Fred Abranz -- and the 1966 one by Phil De Lara.

    1. Honey Bunny in a version we see in this post has been created only for one particular comic story printed in 'Bugs Bunny's Album'.

      Better known version of Honey Bunny appeared in 1966. However, the animation unit in Warner Bros. has been closed few years before, and the last Bugs Bunny cartoon has been released in 1964 so it was very unlikely that Honey Bunny will appear in animation along with Bugs. Her career was mainly in comics, merchandise and shows in theaters in amusement parks. She occassionally appeared in tv commercials, too.

      Of course, at some point Honey Bunny was planned to be used in animation but... they decided to update her to Lola Bunny.

      Some interesting things you may find on this website I created few months ago: - a complete biography based on everything I learned about Honey Bunny, along with different versions of her that appeared through the years - videos! :D - some comic stories

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    3. And now it's high time to share some interesting finding :P

      I've found this 'animation production art' some time ago, according to description it was (or at least could be) made for a cartoon that has eventually been cancelled.

  4. Hey, Matt!

    When did Western start using the yellow Honey Bunny - the one who wore her ears down, like hair? That's the only Honey Bunny I remember...

    Ron Wallace (Chuckamuck45 on the old TTTP)

    1. The yellow version of Honey Bunny you talk about appeared in 1966. They just wanted to give Bugs Bunny a girlfriend so they decided to use Honey Bunny, however, in a version from 1953 she looked too outdated for them and that's why they decided to change her visual appearance to a more modern look. Now Honey Bunny is Bugs Bunny's girlfriend and no longer a cousin ;)

      Technically, Honey Bunny-cousin and Honey Bunny-girlfriend are the same character, however, because of differences they are generally considered different characters.

      By the way, Lola Bunny, introduced in 1996, is nothing else than updated version of yellow Honey Bunny from comics.

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  6. There were at least four comic book specials titled 'Bugs Bunny's Album' with comic stories featuring Bugs Bunny's relatives and ancestors. Most of them contained 5 stories each, the one containing Honey Bunny story is the only one having 4 stories.

    By the way, do you have other stories featuring Honey Bunny? I'm a big fan of this character and I'm looking for anything with her ;)

  7. I have one or two Honey Bunny stories (the later 60's version.) I'll try to dig one up at some point.