2009-08-27 / Local & State

Smokey Bear Gets An Updated Look From Pa. Artist

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) - A Pennsylvania illustrator is giving an iconic character a makeover.

Joe Kulka of Richland in suburban Philadelphia has been chosen to update Smokey Bear for the U.S. Forest Service mascot's 65th birthday.

Smokey Bear started spreading the word in 1944 that ``only you can prevent forest fires.''

Kulka is the illustrator of the new Forest Service book called ``Story of Smokey Bear.''

He studied the work of past Smokey illustrators and drew on his own memories of the public service announcements that have been running on television and radio for years.

Kulka's Smokey has a softer look, geared toward preschoolers through first-graders.

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