By Philip Schweier
Nov 22, 2017 - 4:32
Well, circumstances change, and sometimes the line between satisfaction and desperation is razor thin. The two of the literally claw their way back into the limelight via Wicked Planet Comic Expo, which is perhaps not unlike the genuine article. Writer Howard Chaykin describes it as “has-beens with frequently no other source of income…who seem to thrive on this fatuous audience…for which the have a barely disguised contempt.” Yeah, having candidly talked with guests at major conventions, that’s pretty much right on the nose.
Having waded into the waters of Tinseltown, Chaykin knows of what he speaks, and it is reflected here. But what sells the book (to me, anyway) is in how it seems a contemporary version of the Roger Rabbit concept: animated characters come to life. And what helps sell that is Mac Rey’s artwork. Flat, two-dimensional silhouettes, but placed against multiple planes, that give the illusion of depth, much like hand-drawn animation once did. My only complaint is a panel that is duplicated three times by page 7 then twice more at the very end.
I never watched the old Ruff & Reddy cartoons; they just never appeared on my radar. So I have no point of reference for the backstory or “original concept.” I expect fans of the original characters would be grossly offended by this version. But that’s par for the course with DC Comics these days. If you haven’t read one of its books in two or three decades, you’re going to find everything is different. But it’s not the end of the world. It’s just comic books.