The Ruff and Reddy Show #1
Written By: Howard Chaykin
Pencils By: Mac Rey
Colors By: Mac Rey
What You Need to Know: The Ruff and Reddy Show was a Hanna Barbara cartoon that took was first released December 14, 1957 and ended April 2, 1960. The show had a total of 3 seasons the show amassed a total of 155 episodes within its limited 3 year timespan. Given the shows limited animation the fact that it was one of the first fully animated shows on a big time network and one of the first Hanna Barbara shows to pave the way for various other shows. It’s legacy allowed for other Hanna Barbara properties and just other cartoons in general and managed to pioneer an industry not taken all too seriously prior most thought there was no money nor success to be had in animation. Most would be wrong as Ruff and Reddy found a large amount of success on network television.
What You’ll Find Out: With all that being said however you don’t need to be an expert on the show to understand the plot here. Heck you don’t even need to have watched it. Howard Chaykin beautifully recaps the events of the original series and its respective time period in a way that’s just too good to be true and makes this comic feel like it came out of a time capsule. The story gives you a bit of insight and a look at the man behind the curtain and gives you a look at the characters in a light that you may have never saw them in.
What Just Happened? You get a look at the Ruff and Reddy show under the microscope. If there is anything this book does well it’s the fact that nothing stays young forever and eventually everything dies. You just gotta know when to hit your mark and get out. Nothing lasts forever even beloved cartoon icons everything dies. Getting a look behind the scenes of not only the animated celebrities and getting a look into their personal lives but also getting a look into what those times were like. Especially what it was like underneath the surface showcasing that the “good old times” weren’t always good. They were downright ugly and cruel at times. The book sort of acts as a satire on America’s culture in the respective of outright honesty but also objective cynicism. The country only pretended and ignored the fact that they’re were very prevalent and clear problems right in front of them but rather than dealing with them. We turned our eyes to televisions and new inventions the times had to offer. Cartoons were the bright spots teaching us ideals and showing us better worlds showing us how we could be better. Escapism was we dreamed of but we just couldn’t quite grasp it. But by putting the show under microscope as well as these beloved characters. It showed me that even the most innocent of properties aren’t subject to change. Nothing’s perfect, nothing’s infallible, and nothing’s incorruptible. I felt like those little deaf kids when finding out that Ruff and Reddy weren’t the best of buddies I had always thought they were. I felt betrayed and that’s what this book does so well puts a beloved series under the microscope to show you that things aren’t always what they seem. It’s a pretty bold move but does it pay off?