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 Aragonés
) of Groo The Wanderer
, and co-creator of The DNAgents
. 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's website POV Online
is a treasury of fascinating bits of entertainment history, and he writes a popular blog entitled News From Me
.Needs More Love
- Berserk Button: He hates it when children's shows glorify groupthink and ostracize non-team-players (see below). Similarly, he hates having to create characters whose sole purpose is to be the the pessimistic complainer that's always ignored and/or shunned.
- Elephant in the Living Room: One of Evanier's most hilarious experiences as a TV writer was the day he realized he could ask the producers for anything and they would get it for the show— even 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.
- Old Shame: By his own admission, pretty much every cartoon he had any hand in during The Eighties, except for Garfield and Friends (which he enjoyed to the point that he's still involved with the franchise 25 years later).
- Promoted Fanboy: As a boy, Evanier says that he enthusiastically admired comedy writers, cartoonists, and voice actors. No surprises what he grew up to be.
- Stylistic Suck: Invoked in this story about an Animated Adaptation of the children's book "Mama Don't Allow." The story is about a bad saxophone player, but the professional saxophonist they hired for the part had a very hard time playing badly enough.
- The Complainer Is Always Wrong: Defied. In some of his TV scripts in The Eighties, 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 (an excerpt of his explanation for why these characters exist is the quote on this trope's page).