The Flintstones, vol 1 DC Comics

DC Comics

As a kid every day after school I watched cartoons and shows for kids. Batman, Scooby Doo and others. Among them was The Flintstones. I enjoyed the show but have had no desire to watch it in years. The live action movies didn’t really do much for me. I’ve read some comics over the years, but like the show they were more suited to a much younger version of me.

Recently DC Comics has brought back a number of cartoon franchises and brought them into the modern times with more readability both for today’s young adults and full blown adults. The Scooby book is great stuff (Scooby Apocalypse, check it out). I was unsure about The Flintstones but very quickly after opening the trade collection I realized this is not the Flintstones I knew as a kid. Sure, it’s cavemen doing modern like things, but here it isn’t done for humor but more as a metaphor.

Fred works at the quarry, but his boss is manipulative and not above using people any way he wants to get what he wants. Wilma stays at home, but is bored and so she paints. She finds herself irritated with the “hipster” thinking of the local art scene. The animals who act as appliances and other useful tools are planning a strike. Fred and Barney go to a lodge, not to bond with other men and relax but to go to group sessions for war vets dealing with PTSD. Mark Russell has cleverly taken our modern society and shown it through the world of Fred and Wilma and their contemporaries. It’s fun and funny but at times almost too real and a little sad. I never really thought I would read a Flintstones comic that would leave me thinking about social issues for days after putting the comic down.

I love the art by Steve Pugh. It’s a perfect blend of cartoonish and realistic and works well for the book. Body types are more realistic and yet the setting is fantasy. Chris Chuckry also did a really nice job with the coloring, it is a truly beautiful book.

This won’t be for everyone but I think most people I know will enjoy it. It’s got the nostalgia factor working but also a hip vibe with real issues to think about. I know I want to read more.