By Mark Russell, Steve Pugh, Chris Chuckry, Dave Sharpe, Bilquis Evely
This is Excellent. Do I need to say more?
In this issue the two separate plot-lines involve the mistreatment of animals in The Flintstones as well as the development of marriage in the Stone Age. Anthropologists suggest that primates started practicing monogamy so that their offspring wouldn’t be killed off by every potential male who wanted their own offspring. I don’t know how such a theory would work in this universe, they think Sex Caves are a good idea. I guess they believe in the “it takes a village” approach to parenting? Anyway, people have started getting married in Bedrock and its upsetting the more traditionally-minded If you can’t tell where this is going, its an allegory for gay marriage. or a satire of that controversy or both. Digging alittle deeper, even the people who want to get married don’t know if its the best option. Fred has this really deep monologue on how its like insurance that you don’t die alone and how he worries Wilma will leave him for someone better the minute he comes along. That’s pretty cliched story material for sitcoms, but Russell gives the scene all the feels. Obviously Fred and Wilma are forever, which is not something you can say for The Simpsons Homer and Marge although both have similarities. Pebbles and Bam-Bam turn a fleeting thought to the concept of marriage, since both their parents are married but they have no idea what the alternative would be like.
Meanwhile, we see how animals became more or less indentured servants to cave men centuries before and it’s kind of twisted. Basically, animals were starving off and humans were gradually killing them for food. Edne the sabretooth tiger decided to live with the humans rather than starve out in the wild and so in the “present” birds, moose and marsupials act as household appliances so the humans can live easier. It sounds funny until you consider that the vacuum cleaner sits all alone in a closet all day besides when Wilma feels like cleaning the house. As an animal lover, and someone whose signed numerous petitions to save animal lives, I felt a little disturbed by all of that. “Eh, it’s a living” is what the animals would say in the cartoon, but wow does it seem horrid here.
Enter Pugh’s charming and optimistic art. The vacuum may sit in the dark 7 days a week, but he made a friend with the bowling ball.
I mean Pugh and Chuckry just keep everything funny and touching, like an old married couple deciding they don’t want the other to die off. I’m running out of praise to give them, because every issue of The Flintstones has been my favorite comic of that week and it’s largely due to them.
No matter how dark Russell takes his stories, their art always brings it back to a innocent seeming world slowly advancing forward. I’m curious to see if the plot thread with the animals gets revisited, as the appliances don’t care for Dino at all.
I said at the beginning this was Excellent and really that’s how I’m going to end this. Russell got me to look at the institution of Marriage in a new light, as well as not to take my pets for granted. This is one of the best comics I read for this week and I’m really looking forward to next month’s issue.