and Reddy were once on top, but like most comedic partnerships, it had a
limited shelf life. Fame is far more fleeting than the famous are willing to
admit, even to themselves. But years after accepting their individual “new
realities,” why would either of them choose to take another dip in the shark-infested
cesspool known as Hollywood, U.S.A?
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.
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.
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.