Sunday, January 15, 2012

Scooby Doo Mystery Comics

If you asked me between 1980 and 2011 what the first comic I ever read was, I would have answered "Marvel Team-Up #33 with Spider-Man and Nighthawk" without hesitation. If pressed for its impact, I would probably end up talking about how I first saw the Spider-Man cartoon on WDRB Channel 41 in Louisville, Kentucky in a Travel Lodge on April 15th, 1974. This lead to my Grandmother buying me the Spider-Man comic a year later, which made me a life-long comics fan, amateur cartoonist, and generally imprinted me with an identity related to comic books early on.

In true comics twist ending fashion, however, Everything I Knew Was Wrong.

Last month while browsing some comics covers online, I ran across the cover to Scooby Doo #24. A visual bullet ricocheted through my head, unveiling a repressed memory. Panels burst in my mind, exact sequences of Scooby Doo and the gang fighting the Blue Scarab were crystal clear. A little more searching, and I found a copy of the comic exactly as I remembered it. Three things shocked me about the comic.

1. It came out about 6 months before the Spider-Man comic.
2. It was written and drawn by Mark Evanier and Dan Spiegel, whose work I follow to this day.
3. The haunting involved a cartoonist, clarifying immediately that comics were made by real people.

Here's a panel:

That this panel, and others were still crawling around in the recesses of my 41 year old mind amazed me.

Scooby Doo was the thing my Mama and I did together on Saturday mornings. She worked during the week, and I spent the weekdays with my Grandmother. Mom loved Scooby Doo. She was a reader of mysteries, and seemed to think the show was pretty clever. It was our thing, and this first comic is definitely a reminder of that. 

So, thank you Mama, Mark Evanier, and Dan Spiegel. 

I would have grown up normal if not for those meddling kids.

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