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Scooby-Doo #111

Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2006
By: Ray Tate



"Family Plot"

Writer: Sholly Fisch
Artists: Robert Pope (p), Scott McCrae (i), Heroic Age (colors)

"You Want Frights with That?"

Writer: Chuck Dixon
Artists: Joe Staton, Horacio Ottolini, Heroic Age (colors)
Publisher: DC Comics

The real moment of laughter comes in the second story served up by Chuck Dixon. He entices the reader with some out of character behavior by habitual "chickens" Shaggy and Scooby. Now, as any real fan knows Scooby and Shaggy really are brave. They easily become frightened, and yet they still go along with Mystery Inc. to solve the crime. As the Scooby-Doo movies pointed out, they really provide an important service. Their finely tuned senses for when to run are unparalleled.

Dixon though finds a very logical means to make them brave and displays their detective work and team skills in a vignette where the odd couple waxes poetic over foods important to the main thrust of the story. Dixon furthermore subtly shows the camaraderie of the gang. Certainly, Velma, Fred and Daphne act understandably surprised at the end where the villains of the piece stand revealed, but they don't behave shocked. It's surprising, but it's not that surprising.

Joe Staton with his powerful on-model treatment of the cast and his expertise in visual understatement aid the characterization of stars. The Gang offers neither outrageous gestures nor melodramatic trappings. Scooby and Shaggy, cartooniest of Mystery Inc, gain from Staton's carefully considered expressions. He knows just how scared they should be and just how brave they should act.

Sholly Fish's story in Scooby-Doo isn't really funny. He offers rock solid characterization for the Gang and his returning Ghastlies. He conceives of a classic Shaggy and Scooby comeuppance for the ghost.

The mystery is in where Fish's story really excels. It's a fairplay all-ages drama. Fish introduces the suspects. He gives the reader the clues, and Pope in turn sťances a decent and periodic faux ghost for the Gang to unmask. The message at the end of the story doesn't come off as forced but genuinely sweet.



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