HANNA-BARBERA SCOOBY DOO
This issue marked two "firsts" in my dubious funnybook career: The first of many times I was called upon to write Scooby Doo, and the first of
many, many times a script of mine was made to look like a for-real, actual comic book because it was drawn by veteran comic book illustrator
Dan Spiegle. As a reader of Dell and Gold Key comics, I'd always admired his art and when offered the job...well, I didn't care much for the TV
series but to work with Spiegle? Doesn't get much better than that. Dan and I soon became good friends and went on to other
collaborations besides Scooby...though every so often, we get dragged back to the task. Only it isn't a task. Writing anything Dan will
draw is a pure joy.
This was the second of (to date) three Scooby Doo comic book series by Evanier and Spiegle. Chase Craig, the editor at Gold Key for whom
we'd done the earlier one, had retired. Then he came out of retirement to set up a comic book division in the Hanna-Barbera studios and he got
me to write almost everything, and Dan to draw Scooby Doo. Then he retired again and handed the whole department over to me to run,
which I did in my spare time while writing TV shows — including a couple for H-B, Scooby's show among them.
And then years later, Dan and I did a couple of issues of Scoob and his pals for the Archie company. We'll go anywhere to work
together...on Scooby or anything.
Gold Key revived this anthology comic and made me its main writer for the first dozen or so new issues...and I even drew a couple covers, including
the one at left for #1. When I did it, I asked about a title logo and they said, "Oh, we have a world-class graphic designer who gets a huge
fee for designing our logos." I didn't think their logos were so great but, hey, it was their company, their money. So I pencilled in the
words "LOONEY TUNES" in block letters without giving it much thought...and the highly-paid graphic designer just inked in what I'd done.
Several issues, by the way, included Foghorn Leghorn tales drawn by John Carey, a fine artist who worked on the cartoons directed by Robert
THE NEW GODS
Jack Kirby read someone else's attempts to handle his "Fourth World" characters and was so offended and mystified at the interpretations that he said
to me, "If they ever ask you to do it, grab it. At least I won't hate what you do." When they asked, I grabbed...but I grabbed the wrong
situation at the wrong time, taking over another storyline I didn't understand and working with an artist I barely knew who was swamped with other
work for the company. The result was a series where no one was at the wheel, least of all me. The best thing that can be said for this
version of the franchise is that Jack didn't hate it...but only because he never read it. I suggest you follow Mr. Kirby's example.
This was another comic that was started and stopped so quickly, I got whiplash. My "boss" at Hanna-Barbera called one day and said, "We need a
new book featuring the 'Classics.'" H-B then had its library of characters divided into three categories and, Laff-A-Lympics aside, they
were not to be intermingled. One category was the Classics — Huck, Yogi, Quick Draw, etc. They told me I could put anything in it I
wanted...so I got to rustle up a couple of comics of those characters, relying heavily on the superb pencilling skills of Pete Alvarado, who had
drawn my favorite H-B comics back when I was a kid. These books didn't sell at all but I had a very good, nostalgic time doing them.
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