Mark Russell and Mike Feehan bring us the second issue of The Snagglepuss Chronicles picking up basically right where the first issue left off. The Red Scare of the 50’s is hot on his heels as he runs into a fleeing lesbian playwright Lillian Hellman. In a remark eerily familiar to present day, she warns him that when the House Committee of un-American Activities comes for you a second time, it’s to destroy you.
The book starts out with Gigi Allen, an ardent anti-communist who is determined to bend the entertainment industry to her will by forcing them to make features that are government approved. As the book’s over the top villain, she is great, but I do hope that we get a little more development from her before the series is over.
One of the really great things about the DC/Hanna-Barbera comics is that they are bringing in such interesting characters from the universe, like Augie Doggie and Squiddly Diddly. And they aren’t brought in just a cameo way, they actually are a part of the plot and move the story forward. Great fun indeed.
Another character that we get to see in this issue is Huckleberry Hound, who shares a lot of similarities to Snagglepuss. As a closeted gay man, he struggled with his private shame as he’s exposed by his wife and is chased out of town. His biggest regret is that his son will grow up without a father, something he’s still wounded from. It’s a tragic, heartbreaking scene as you see Hound and S.P. showing what gay life was like in New York in the 50’s.
GiGi reaches out to S.P. asking him to cooperate with her moral propaganda scheme, and he makes a decision that will come back to bite him at the end of the book. As his play implodes, we see S.P.’s public life and private life intersect and the next issue should deliver more payoff for that.
The art is great and I’m loving the colors as they feel like the cartoons of yesterday. I am not a fan of humans and anthromorphism, but I am strangely okay with this series. Maybe because it’s the way Mark Russell is presenting the discrimination and otherness that permeates the series. Either way, I’m on board for the duration. I do have to say that the backup “Sasquatch Detective” came off as one note and not particularly successful, especially in light of the more engaging story that Mark Russell is creating.
On the whole, it’s a great second issue that moves the story forward, and you can see that they are clearly building to a larger narrative with all the stories building towards a head. I have a pretty good idea where I’d like to see the characters go, but I’m along for the ride.