Tuesday, December 15, 2009  
Harold Bell, 1919-2009

:: Posted by BK @ 12/15/2009 02:09:00 AM

Co-Creator of Woodsy Owl

Several news sources reported over the weekend that Harold Bell, the amateur cartoonist and comic strip character marketer who helped create and drew the first image of the environmental mascot Woodsy Owl, has died in Los Angeles.

Born in New Jersey, Bell worked in marketing for Disney and later set up shop on his own, licensing media characters like Dick Tracy and Mr. Magoo. While working on the Lassie tv show in 1970 (Bell has been identified online as both a producer on the show and as somehow associated with Western Publishing, the company that packaged comic books for Dell Publishing in the 1950s and 60s), Bell teamed up with two forest rangers and another co-worker to create a mascot for the first Earth-Day event. The result was Woodsy Owl and the famous slogan, "Give a Hoot, Don't Pollute!"

The character appeared in public service ads, publications and posters for the U.S. Forest Service, as well as on tv. Woodsy also was featured in a comic book series published by Gold Key from 1973 to 1976.

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