Creator: Mark Evanier
Mark Evanier is an American television and comic book writer.His early television work was mostly in sitcoms, including Welcome Back, Kotter, on which he was a story editor, but he is better known as a writer (and sometimes voice director) of animated series, including Garfield and Friends (of which he wrote nearly every episode), The Garfield Show, Dungeons & Dragons (which he helped develop and wrote the pilot episode of), Thundarr the Barbarian, and Scooby-Doo.For the latter, he had the unenviable job of writing the episode that introduced the infamous Scrappy-Doo. Relating the episode's history in a series of articles called Scrappy Days, he argues that Scrappy's hatedom is mostly a modern phenomenon, and at the time, the character actually helped keep the show on the air.In comics he is the co-writer (with Sergio AragonÚs) of Groo the Wanderer, and co-creator of The DNAgents and Crossfire. He has written a well-regarded run on Blackhawk. In his early years in comics, he worked as a production assistant for Jack Kirby, of whom he has published a biography.Evanier writes a popular blog entitled News From ME. His website is chock full of bits of show biz and comic history often not documented anywhere else. Particularly of Jack Kirby (his mentor) whom he wrote an exhaustive book about, and the classic comedy It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (he had a hand in the recent restorative blu-ray release). He's also an unabashed fan of June Foray, whom he cast in several of his shows, and was partly responsible for her first Emmy Award nomination.Additionally, he often posts obits of a lot of lesser known comic creators and Hollywood actors, writer and producers that often get completely overlooked in the mainstream. Sadly, his obits were so good and so frequent as The Golden Age population began dying out, his website has often been mis-identified as a "Obituary Site." For this reason, he is in high demand to host panels at San Diego Comic Con, especially relating to the Golden Age of comics. He hosts well over a dozen every year.
Tropes present in his work:
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Defied. In some of his TV scripts in The '80s, Evanier was forced by Moral Guardians to include this Aesop, which he hated due to its Unfortunate Implications of groupthink. When he had more creative control over his scripts, he took every opportunity to parody it devastatingly. The best example of this would be "The Buddy Bears" from Garfield and Friends.
- Elephant in the Living Room: On one of the variety shows where Evanier worked as head writer, he realized he could ask the producers for anything and they would get it for the show— so he wrote a sketch that called for a live elephant. The joke was meant to be that an infomercial advertiser didn't notice an elephant in his studio, but it got even funnier when the elephant decided to... Just go read it here.
- The Scrappy: Deconstructed in his blog series Scrappy Days, in which he explains how the character of Scrappy-Doo came to be.
- Stylistic Suck: As related in this column, he wrote a script for an Animated Adaptation of the children's book "Mama Don't Allow." The story is about a bad saxophone player, which caused difficulty when the professional saxophonist they hired for the part had a very hard time playing badly enough.