DC Comics' line of reimagined Hanna-Barbera comics is about to expand with a new title. The line, which also includes the sci-fi action series "Scooby Apocalypse" and the politically aware "Flintstones" among its titles, will soon see a reinvention of the pink mountain lion Snagglepuss.
During an interview with HiLoBrow, writer Mark Russell revealed that his next project following the conclusion of DC's "Prez" will be a Snagglepuss comic that reinvents the cartoon character as "a gay Southern Gothic playwright."
Of the change, Russell said that it "was not much of a stretch" to make. "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. I’m looking forward to it."
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," "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."
The series will also differ from his other Hanna-Barbera series, "The Flintstones." "It’s gonna be very different from The Flintstones, it’s more about the creative process," said Russell. "[It's] much more of an intimate story, much less about social criticism."
An eight-page "Snagglepuss" story will arrive in March as part of the "Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual." "It’s about Snagglepuss being dragged in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities," said Russell. The writer added that "Snagglepuss" will start in "September or October," once his "Flintstones" run concludes with issue #12.