[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Howard Chaykin
Artist: Mac Rey
After dropping Pamela as an agent in favor of the old, Aldo “Crafty” Schrafft, Ruff and Reddy find themselves working in a much darker and different label. Soon Schrafft has the duo working on every talk show and pilot in existence! Schrafft is just shotgunning their names everywhere. Westerns, crime shows, animated adult programing, fantasy shows, and … something else. Soon the duo are back in the con scene and on their first panel, they get into it with Down and Dirty!
Meanwhile, Pamela does some digging on her betrayers. She had resurrected their career, damn straight she can kill it. She finds herself at Le Democartique, a gossip mag looking to print anything to get views and sales. She hands them the tape she found, a sex tape showing some of Reddy’s earlier exploits.
Most impressive thing about issue 5 is the art. The art of the main story, where the characters interact, gives a nod to old cartoons from the 80s and 90s. Throughout the various different pilots, the art also shifts, in both the details and the emulation of style, most notably in the South Park style show.
From the writing side, the emotion of the characters feels real. Specifically Pamela, in the words that Chaykin uses and the way Rey draws her body language. She feels the most human of the characters, where Ruff and Reddy feel more like caricatures of stars.
Through these brief 5 issues, both Ruff and Reddy have had serious personal arcs, but they amount to very little. Both of these characters are the embodiment of the saying “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” They have clearly slunk back into their old ways now that they have money. It started with sly backroom deals, and by the end of this issue, fights. These events have made the growth arc quite circular and leads into a bad ending for the duo.
The Ruff & Reddy Show #5 has lead to the climactic ending of this journey of showbiz, intrigue, and dark pasts. Now that the powder keg is primed, issue 6 will be a show to watch!