Last year, DC Comics unveiled four titles in their big Hanna-Barbera revamp project: Scooby Apocalypse, Future Quest, The Flintstones, and Wacky Raceland. The latter came to a close with issue 6, Future Quest will end with April’s issue 12, and Mark Russell has stated on Twitter that he’s leaving The Flintstones on its 12th issue as well.
So out with the old, and in with the new, DC has just announced a new wave of Hanna-Barbera based ideas that will be previewed in this March’s upcoming crossover annuals:
Get ready for RUFF AND REDDY by writer/artist Howard Chaykin, THE JETSONS by writers Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner with art by Pier Brito, TOP CAT by writer Dan DiDio with art by Phil Winslade, and the already highly anticipated series SNAGGLEPUSS by writer Mark Russell with art by Howard Porter.
It’s unclear if these will all be ongoing series, or minis, or backups based on the PR. But The Jetsons has been talked about for months now, so that and Snagglepuss look to be headed to your comics shops on a regular basis. Still no sign of the previously announced Garth Ennis Dastardly and Muttley though.
Below you can get a glance at the new take on the pink mountain lion described as:
Snagglepuss is as a Southern gothic playwright working with an ensemble cast of cultural figures, exploring an intensely creative time in the New York City theater scene of the 1950s.
Still waiting for the Aquaman/Squiddley Diddley crossover announcement!
Chaykin doing Rough and Ready? Are we sure this is the Hanna-Barbera dog and cat — or a sequel to Howard’s own Black Kiss?
Future Quest was the only readable one on the list. I’m sorry to see it go. That Snagglepuss art looks ugly as hell. It actually hurts my eyes to look at it. I still can’t figure out who DC thinks is the audience for these things. Nostalgic Baby Boomers do not want to see the characters treated like this, and I don’t see anything in the design or execution that would entice younger newer readers. One wonders if Warners is just letting DC do this to keep the trademarks and copyrights on the properties, hoping that maybe they’ll get lucky and one of these “dark” versions will take off and become commercially viable.
I don’t know about intended audiences for these, but I’ll just say I think The Flintstones is the standout of the line. It’s insightful, while also the rare comic that makes me laugh out loud at least once an issue.
I want to like Future Quest more than I do, it has nice moments, but hasn’t fully come together. I think Shaner not being on every issue has led to some tough hiccups.
The Flintstones is a treasure, and I’ll hate to see it go. But I’m beyond excited for Snagglepuss!
(I’ll take “Two consecutive sentences I never thought I’d say” for 500, Alex.)
Who at DC keeps approving Dan Didio to write series? They don’t sell for shit and are quickly canceled, and in group projects he’s reliably considered the weak link by critics and fans.
Surely he doesn’t just get to approve his own work? How does DC, as a company that needs to make profit as part of massive corporation, justify vanity projects for a historically mediocre editor/exec?
I’d heard, because sales were good, that FUTURE QUEST was changed from a 12-issue series to an ongoing one. Not true?
Not as I understand it. Issue #12 has been solicited as the final issue and sales are underneath the typical 20k threshold (18,296 in December per Diamond), but I don’t know if these books are held to a different standard than DC’s main line.
Jeff Parker has said on twitter there’s news to come though. So hold tight, I guess.
@Darren J Hudak – I’m guessing that if folks stopped looking at generations (or any group, for that matter) as a monolith who all think the same, we might find that books like these books can find an audience in several age ranges. It’s just a question of how profitable they can be. I’m a younger reader who grew up watching a lot of Hanna-Barbera reruns on Cartoon Network, and a lot of these are catching my attention, at least conceptually. All that being said, I agree that the art on this page looks straight-up bad. (For real, what’s up with Augie Doggie’s arm in that last panel?)
@Kyle Pinion – I couldn’t agree more that Future Quest has been kind of a disappointment. I’m hopeful that the maxi has set the groundwork for minis using the team (or just components) without a need to introduce characters throughout. That way other creators can come play with the toys without having to feel like they need to re-introduce folks when they do, but we’ll see.
@Ben – This might be an unpopular opinion, but I’ll take Didio, the writer over Didio, the editor any day of the week.
I’m on the older side of Gen X, and I grew up with the H-B cartoons. I really enjoy seeing these alternative takes on the classic characters, and Mark Russell is doing a bang-up job on Flintstones.
I wish Snagglepuss’s dialog was more in line with his usual way of speaking, but this looks great to me. Really don’t see all that much bad with the art. Maybe it’s not so easy to anthropomorphize animals as one would think.
I remember the first time I saw Tim Gunn on Project Runway years ago, I thought how much he reminded me of Snagglepuss! But I don’t know who Snagglepuss was supposed to sound like back then. If I remember correctly, Huckleberry Hound was based on Andy Griffith. Top Cat had the voice and mannerisms of the character Phil Silvers played on The Phil Silvers Show, Sgt. Bilko–always finagling, looking for the next rube to put one over on. The Flintstones was, of course, analogous to the Honeymooners. Was Snagglepuss ever meant to be based off of anybody in particular back then?
The best way to succeed with these updated versions is to do what the creatives at Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica did: figure out what people adored about the old version (be a fan of it yourself!), preserve that spark and bring it to the fore, and only then go on to doing your update. Just turning it dark because then it’s somehow more “adult” or “edgy” will never work if you don’t understand that. It’s also important to note that we’re moving into a Depression era and darker eras tend to grant success to more feel-good entertainment than dark. Conversely, dark entertainment tends to find more success during happier, more prosperous times.
Where’s the Blue Falcon and Dynomutt remake?
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