Mark Evanier is a veteran television and comic book writer, animation and comics historian, and the universe’s foremost authority on Jack Kirby.
Mark was the head writer and voice director of the animated TV shows Garfield and Friends and The Garfield Show. Cool right?
When I was a kid I noticed Mark Evanier’s name popping up over and over in everything that I loved on Saturday Mornings and in my Favorite comic book.. He was involved in some of my favorite cartoons back in the 80’s. By “involved” I mean he wrote on Dungeons and Dragons, Thundarr the Barbarian, and Scooby-Doo ! That’s right, you heard me.
I guess you could say that Mark’s had his hand in more Pilots than an Air Force base’s resident proctologist.
Dungeons & Dragons
Garfield and Friends,
Thundarr the Barbarian
Scooby and Scrappy Doo
Mark wrote the episode that introduced Scrappy-Doo to the Scooby Doo show. Scrappy gets a bad rap these days which I don’t get. IMHO Scrappy was a great addition to the show if you think about it in terms of story and character. We all know Scooby and Shaggy were cowards and always ran away. Scrappy instead would charge head on into trouble forcing Shaggy and Scooby to chase after him thereby upping the hijinks and shenanigans!
Scrappy got different performances out of Shaggy and Scooby and created unique situations that were sorely needed. I don’t recall people hating on Scrappy back in the 80’s when he first came out. Oddly I think this is a sort of retro hate comes from people who were too young or not even born when Scrappy was introduced. Ask any generation Xer and we all love Scrappy.
Mark’s career in comics is just as amazing and extensive as his TV work. He is the co-writer of Sergio Aragonés Groo The Wanderer, one of the greatest humor comics ever! It’s been in and out of print for over 30 years! They just released an insane 4 part mini series crossover last summer called Groo vs. Conan!
Sergio Aragonés GROO
I’ve been a huge fan of Groo since it first came out under Pacific Comics and am the proud owner of a complete collection of all issues and collected trade paperbacks. I highly recommend Groo to anyone who loves fantasy and humor comics. The writing and art are fantastic and I believe Groo is one of the greatest comics EVER.
I mean look at these pages by Sergio Aragonés!
DNAgents and Crossfire
Mark is also the co-creator of The DNAgents and Crossfire.
Mark wrote a highly respected run on Blackhawk #251-273 from 1982 to 1984. Dan Spiegle’s art was amazing.
In his early years doing comics Mark worked as a production assistant for Jack Kirby. So he was really close to the King of comics and is an outspoken proponent and defender of Kirby’s legacy which if you hadn’t noticed really needs it. Mark is an expert in everything Kirby. He wrote the 2008 Eisner award winning biography Kirby: King of Comics.
Mark Evanier is the foremost authority on the work of Joe Simon and Jack Kirby. He has a new book coming out in November of 2014 called The Art of the Simon and Kirby Studio. This 384 page book includes artwork photographed from the original art in Joe Simon’s private archive and showcases the seminal work of Simon and Kirby and their artistry as it has never been seen before, with smudges, white out and misspellings!
Mark’s website News From ME is packed full of show biz, animation, and comics history that more often than not is not documented anywhere else. Mark often posts obituaries of lesser known animators, comics creators, actors, voice actors, writers, directors, and producers that are completely ignored by the mainstream.
Mark is a brilliant writer and historian who I have the deepest admiration and respect for. It was a real treat to have him on the show!