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Huckleberry Hound

Huckleberry Hound is a fictional cartoon character created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera to headline the studio’s Huckleberry Hound Show cartoon which debuted in an episode titled Huckleberry Hound Meets Wee Willie in October 1958. Voice actor Daws Butler provided Huckleberry’s voice from 1958 to 1988. In 1960 the series was awarded an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Children’s Programming.

Like other Hanna Barbera cartoon properties, Huckleberry Hound was licensed for comics first by Dell, then Gold Key and other publishers. Most recently the character appeared as the childhood friend of Snagglepuss, another Hanna Barbera character, in Mark Russell’s The Snagglepuss Chronicles. Both Huckleberry’s and Snagglepuss’ stories mirror the experience of countless LGBT people for much of the 20th century in which people were confronted with the choice of staying in the closet and marriage with a person of the opposite sex or leaving family behind to live in large cities such as New York, Chicago, and San Francisco where they could find some community even if it meant cautiously navigating larger society and the law to avoid repercussions. Huckleberry with his timid nature can’t imagine life outside of their small Mississippi home town while Snagglepuss feels compelled to be “the man he is or forever become the mask assigned to him”. Huckleberry settles into the closet by marrying Henrietta and the couple has a son. When things fall apart Huckleberry chooses to leave town instead of being arrested and prosecuted and heads for New York and eventually reaches out to his old friend. Snagglepuss takes him under his wing and introduces Huckleberry as a novelist to many of the author’s connections. Life begins to feel promising for Huckleberry, especially after meeting police officer Quickdraw McGraw at the Stonewall Inn. The chance encounter leads to the start of a new romantic relationship.

You won’t find spoilers here concerning the rest of Huckleberry’s appearance in this story. Read the entries for SnagglepussQuickdraw McGraw, and Pablo.

Huckleberry Hound first appeared as a cartoon character in 1958 and in comics in 1959. Huckleberry appeared in Cartoon Network Presents after Warner Brothers purchased the Hanna Barbera properties. Mark Russell’s interpretation of the character appears in The Snagglepuss Chronicles #1 and comes out in the following issue.

Look for Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles at your local comic shop, bookstore, library or buy from Amazon.

Art at the top by Mike Feehan, Mark Morales, and Paul Mounts. Artist unknown according to Grand Comics Database for the second image taken from Huckleberry Hound #40.

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July 14, 2021
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