Heavens to Murgatroyd!
Back in January, in an interview with HiLoBrow, cartoonist Mark Russell confirmed that he was working on a reimagination of Snagglepuss as a “gay Southern Gothic playwright.”
Snagglepuss, for those of you who can’t remember, is a Hanna-Barbera character who first appeared in 1959 on The Quick Draw McGraw Show, before getting his own slot on The Yogi Bear Show.
And with his effeminate voice, lisp, and love of theatrics it was hard not to imagine the pink mountain lion as gay.
When this was brought up in the HiLoBrow interview, Russell said: “It’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; 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/Ben Caldwell
The eight-page comic was released in March, in the Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual #1, and had the pink mountain lion “dragged in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.”
Following its success, Russell’s reimagination will be getting its own series – courtesy of DC Comics – titled Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles.
Speaking recently to The Hollywood Reporter, Russell expanded on the story, saying: “Snagglepuss in this story is having to live a double life as a gay playwright living in New York, and he’s closeted.
“But he has values and integrity as an artist, and he’s trying to stand up for people who otherwise would be shoved under the stairs in this time of great national paranoia in the Red Scare mentality.”
The first issue of Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles will be released in January 2018.