Io9 reports that DC Comics is bringing back Hanna-Barbera’s beloved Snagglepuss character as a “Southern Gothic Playwright” in 1950s New York.
The character’s sexual orientation should not come as a huge surprise to anyone who has watched a Snagglepuss cartoon before.
And a 2008 Saturday Night Live sketch put the pink lion in a same-sex relationship with the Great Gazoo, another Hanna-Barbera character.
In an interview with HiLoBrow, writer Mark Russell said:
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.
Why 1950s New York? Russell explained:
Yeah, [Snagglepuss’s homosexuality] is 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.
Some might suggest that Russell is reading a little too much into a children’s cartoon, but keep in mind that these cartoons were made by adults. Sometimes, the implications are totally intentional (like with Wonder Woman’s all-female bondage paradise).