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Scooby-Doo #123

Posted: Saturday, August 25, 2007
By: Ray Tate



"Back to School Ghoul"
"Friday Night Frights"
"Cheers for Fears"
"How to Draw the M.I. Gang"

Writer: Various
Artists: Various
Publisher: DC

It's the back to school special of Scooby-Doo. Behind an inventive cover, two stories, which could have been repetitive, distinguish themselves with a perfect example of how to vary themes. The lesson learned in "How to Draw the M.I. Gang" doesn't go as planned, and everything adds up to a yummy Scooby-Snack.

"Friday Night Frights" by Robbie Busch keeps the Gang in good cheer with superb-character based jokes, and an attention to the Gang's camaraderie. The mystery's solution is a no-brainer, and it's still fun to watch Mystery Inc. piece together the puzzle pieces.

Scott Neely makes the most of a good monster design, and he buddies Busch's gags with fitting poses some of which he must imagine without the benefit of a model. For instance, the bit where the Gang split up benefits from Daphne's big grin. Not seen on the show but extrapolated for the comic book beautifully.

Scott Cunningham's "Cheers for Fears" takes a less personal approach to the field of victory. The motive of our false face is original, yet keeping within the theme of Mystery Inc's usual targets. Cunningham deserves a definite "Rah!" for researching the method of the criminal's sabotage. While Cunningham's story is more plot-driven, he's still attentive to the Gang's characterization. There's a funny scene shared early between Shaggy and Scoob. The Gang in disguise is quite hilarious, and putting Scooby among their disguise is absolutely inspired zaniness.

The menace drawn by Robert Pope is an amusing combination of Him and the design of the Powerpuff Girl. The entity works as a mascot as well as a flame-inducing threat to pom-poms. The jokes in this one creation are many. The phrase Powerpuff Girls is a play on the phrase Powder Puff Girls--which is synonymous with cheerleaders. Him is essentially attacking Powder Puff Girls; or rather Him is still attacking the Powerpuff Girls.

Sholly Fisch has some fun with "How to Draw the M.I. Gang." Scooby and Shaggy act as teachers for these art lessons, and all four of their illustrative teachings go horribly awry. Neely tweaks the nose of Wizard magazine. His lessons are just as informative as their recent Learn to Draw books.

The least of the stories in the anthology is "Back to School Ghoul." It's fairly obvious and so brief that little time is spent on the Gang's character. Dan Davis' art however is quite enjoyable.



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