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by Doug Warren on January 03, 2018

Writer: Mark Russell
Penciller: Mike Feehan
Inker: Mark Morales
Colorist: Paul Mounts
Publisher: DC Comics

In January 1953, Arthur Miller used the story of the Salem Witch Trials as an allegory for the injustices being committed in the United States. To condemn McCarthyism and the doings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. And now, in January 2018, Mark Russell is using McCarthyism and the doings of the House Un-American Activities Committee to point a finger at society and the politics of today. And he uses Snagglepuss to do it.

And Snagglepuss is the perfect character to revamp for this purpose. The first issue shows that he has his secrets. He has a double life. The picture perfect life, successful playwright with the beautiful wife (actress Lila Lion) on his arm is just a façade. And this life he is building is a delicate house of cards that could all come crashing down at any moment in the coming issues.

As Lillian Hellman testifies before congress, refusing to name names, the comic blends this fictional world with actual history, which means there are no limits to the depths and directions this comic can take.

I predict as word gets out about this comic and its fame and popularity starts to build (which it will), comparisons will be made to Bojack Horseman. It seems natural. A world where people and anthropomorphized animals coexist and no one seems to notice. The dark subject matter. The touch of humor in the most serious parts.
I will say, it was different seeing Snagglepuss as this smooth, suave character instead of bad luck klutz. But, a thought I can’t shake . . . whenever Snagglepuss tried to get ahead, get a leg up, in the original cartoons, he usually ended up worse off than he started. I have no idea what direction Russell will take him.

We also see Huckleberry Hound, introduced as a novelist. He didn’t have a big enough role to be impactful this issue, but I can’t see that being the case as the series progresses.

The artwork did its job, putting us in 1953. Also, the way the classic characters were reworked to fit this serious setting and subject matter is flawless. I will say, and this was just me, but the “animal” characters still being pantless (and smooth-crotched) when drawn with human proportions (especially the long legs), took some getting used to, but it didn’t distract from what is hands down a brilliant comic.

There are nods to the charm of the original series, throwbacks, even! But this is 100% not what you would expect from a Snagglepuss title, yet it is so unbelievably good. 

Our Score:


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