Thursday Comics Hangover: The soul of Snagglepuss

I have written about how good the Flintstones comic is, but it has to be noted that the most recent issue, #8, is the best, most ambitious edition yet. It satirizes gender roles, economics, politics, and celebrity, and it also contains a great little story about how the ultimate goal of parenting should be to fuck the next generation up slightly less than your own.

My favorite part of the new issue is when a guest speaker named "Thorstone Pebblen" discusses "a brand-new field of research called 'economics.'" He explains it thusly: "When you trick somebody into participating in a small-time fraud, it's called a 'scam.' But when the scam is so big that people have no choice but to participate, it's called 'economics.'"

While underrated artist Steve Pugh is doing incredible work balancing the many tone considerations of the book, a vast share of the credit for this comic's success has to go to writer Mark Russell, who is somehow simultaneously paying homage to the old Flintstones cartoon's history of social satire while also forging his own path.

And then two days ago, Russell revealed in an interview with HiLoBrow that he's reimagining the Hanna Barbera cartoon character Snagglepuss as "a gay Southern Gothic playwright."

I envision him like a tragic Tennessee Williams figure; Huckleberry Hound is sort of a William Faulkner guy, they’re in New York in the 1950s, Marlon Brando shows up, Dorothy Parker, these socialites of New York from that era come and go.

This news spread on Twitter, but I couldn't quite believe it was true. It sounded too good, right? It had to be a joke, right?

Not so much. Yesterday afternoon, DC Comics released a page from the upcoming Snagglepuss comic, with art by Howard Porter. Click to enlarge this:

In the HiLoBrow interview, Russell calls Snagglepuss "very different from The Flintstones, it’s more about the creative process; much more of an intimate story." If he pulls this one off, Russell is going to be one of my favorite contemporary comics writers. In an ever-churning content world of reboots and reimaginings, he's doing the unthinkable: he's taking exhausted corporate IP and making it more personal, more thoughtful, and more relevant.