Talking about his work on Flintstones and Prez, writer Mark Russell also gave more details to HiLoBrow about his upcoming Snagglepuss comic book for DC Comics later in the year, which we covered earlier in the year. And about making him a gay southern playwright working in New York in the nineteen-fifties, with other Hanna-Barbera characters in the background.
RUSSELL: Other than that unforeseen cancellation, working with them has been really great — and I don't know if you've heard, but I'm also writing a Snagglepuss comic for them.
HILOBROW: Oh. My. God. No, I had not.
RUSSELL: It's Snagglepuss sort of reinvented as a gay Southern Gothic playwright?
HILOBROW: [Laughs] He is, he is!!
RUSSELL: Yeah, it was not much of a stretch at all. 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; that's what I'll do after The Flintstones. [Russell's contract in the gravel pit is for 12 issues.] I'll go right from that into Snagglepuss.
HILOBROW: I've long admired the affirmative gayness of Snagglepuss.
RUSSELL: Yeah, 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.
HILOBROW: Amazing. So this has been publicly announced?
RUSSELL: Yes, in fact, an eight-page sampler comes out in March in the Suicide Squad/Banana Splits Annual [laughs] — it's about Snagglepuss being dragged in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities! Then the series will begin in September or October I think.