Thursday, December 27, 2018



[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

WRITER: Howard Chaykin
ART: Mac Rey
LETTERS: Ken Bruzenak
COVER: Howard Chaykin with Wil Quintana
32pp, Color, $3.99 U.S. (December 2017)

Rated “T+” for “Teen Plus”

Ruff and Reddy: A Cautionary Tale in Six Parts Part One

“The Ruff and Reddy Show” (also known as “Ruff and Reddy”) was an animated television series made by Hanna-Barbera Productions (H-B Productions) for NBC.  It was also the first animated series produced by Hanna-Barbera.  “The Ruff and Reddy Show” premiered in December 1957 and ran for fifty episodes until April 1960, comprising three seasons.  “Ruff and Reddy” followed the adventures of Ruff, a smart and steadfast cat, and Reddy, a friendly and brave (but not too bright) dog.

DC Comics has been reinventing and re-imagining classic Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoons in new comic book series since early 2016, the best example being Scooby Apocalypse, which is “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” with an apocalyptic twist.

“The Ruff and Reddy Show” is the latest classic H-B series to get a DC Comics re-imagining.  The Ruff & Reddy Show is a six-issue comic book miniseries.  It is written by Howard Chaykin; drawn and colored by Mac Rey; and lettered by Ken Bruzenak.

The Ruff & Reddy Show #1 opens in the 1950s and finds America caught between communist/Russia hysteria and the comfort of post-WWII economic prosperity (which white people who are of the Silent Generation or are Baby Boomers call “the good old days”).  On television, “The Ruff and Reddy Show” is a hit, but its stars are not necessarily in the best place.  Ruff and his comedy partner, Reddy, are “celimates,” and neither guy really likes the other.  When everything falls apart, are they ready to try something new to get back to the top of the entertainment mountain?

Considering that this is written by Howard Chaykin, it is surprisingly unimaginative.  The Ruff and Reddy Show also shares a setting that is similar to Satellite Sam (Image Comics), the series Chaykin produced with writer Matt Fraction.  I was somewhat interested in Satellite Sam, but not enough to really seek out the series past the first issue.  I am even less interested in The Ruff and Reddy Show; it just seems like DC Comics is really reaching in its (forced?) effort to re imagine the Hanna-Barbera library.  It seems as if Chaykin favors the lost potential or possibilities of the past (this series and his other work set post-WWII) while holding the actual potential and possibilities of the present in disdain?

Also, the story is lost in all the dark colors and black space created by artist Mac Rey.  Rey's art looks like the work of someone who misunderstands Maurice Noble and uses illustration software to make ugly Maurice Noble-inspired art.  I don't know if I will read the second issue, but I do know that The Ruff & Reddy Show #1 is not worth its $3.99 cover price.

3.5 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2017 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog for reprint and syndication rights and fees.


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