In 2017, writer Marc Russell is following up his work on the unexpected hit reinvention of The Flinstones with another series based on a classic Hanna-Barbera character: Snagglepuss.
Described by Russell as “a gay Southern Gothic playwright,” the new take on Snagglepuss will first appear in the “Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual” #1. There, in an eight-page story, the reimagined pink cat will the House Committee on Un-American Activities.
“I envision him like a tragic Tennessee Williams figure,” Russell said of his approach to Snagglepuss. “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. I’m looking forward to it.”
Now, DC Comics has released a page from Russell, Howard Porter, Steve Buccellato and Dave Sharpe’s introductory tale, featuring Snagglepuss offering words of wisdom to what appears to be his universe’s version of Augie Doggy.
Snagglepuss debuted in 1959 as a featured character in “The Quick Draw McGraw Show,” and later moved on to star in his own segments on “The Yogi Bear Show.” In the ’70s he served as the co-host for Hanna-Barbera’s “Laff-A-Lympics.” His catchphrases include “Exit, stage left” (used as part of the title for his eight-page debut story), “Heavens to Murgatroyd” and the word “even,” pointedly added at the end of sentences.
The character Snagglepuss has long been presumed by some audiences to be gay, which Russell acknowledged. “[I]t’s never discussed and it’s obviously ignored in the cartoons ’cuz they were made at a time when you couldn’t even acknowledge the existence of such a thing, but it’s still so obvious,” said Russell. “So it’s natural to present it in a context where everybody knows, but it’s still closeted. And dealing with the cultural scene of the 1950s, especially on Broadway, where everybody’s gay, or is working with someone who’s gay, but nobody can talk about it — and what it’s like to have to try to create culture out of silence.”
DC Comics’ “Snagglepuss” series will start in “September or October,” once Russell’s “Flintstones” run concludes with issue #12.