For many fans of the old Scooby-Doo cartoon series, Scooby Apocalypse reads like a dream come true - a grudge match between Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo in a post-apocalyptic world, where the the Scooby gang must battle monsters to survive.
Written by J.M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen, Scooby Apocalypse was launched last year with a slate of Hanna-Barbera comic books, keeping the make-up and personalities of the Scooby gang intact while modernizing their look and placing them in a dire situation.
The series, which hits its 15th issue next week, will soon be adding another element to the story. After Scrappy-Doo becomes part of the main story this month, August's Scooby Apocalypse #16 will no longer have a Scrappy-Doo back-up story, instead giving the back-up space to Secret Squirrel.
What do Giffen and DeMatteis have in store for Secret Squirrel? And can Scooby and the gang keep fighting through the future indefinitely? Newsarama talked to Giffen to find out his take on Scooby Apocalypse.
Newsarama: Keith, you've been taking the Scooby gang in a whole new direction with Scooby Apocalypse. But now, you have a new back-up story in the series. What's it about?
Keith Giffen: It used to be that we'd do a Scooby story, and then we'd follow up on Scrappy-Doo and his crew.
In the latest story, those storylines merge. Scrappy finally finds them. And he becomes part of the main storyline.
I was left with these five pages in the back. And I was talking to Dan, I thought… let me mention the least likely character in the world, one that I didn't think he'd ever approve. And he did.
Nrama: Oh boy. Who is it?
Giffen: The back-up is going to be Secret Squirrel.
Nrama: How do you tell a Secret Squirrel story?
Giffen: I'm just telling a straight, James Bond-type adventure, and nobody ever mentions the fact that he's a squirrel.
Nrama: Wait, is he a big squirrel?
Giffen: No, I'm talking a squirrel. An actual size squirrel.
Nrama: And he wears a trench coat, right?
Giffen: Yes, in the trench coat and everything.
He's going to do all the stuff James Bond does. You know, order his martinis, get together with women, but nobody ever acknowledges he's a squirrel.
Nrama: How did you get Dale Eaglesham drawing this book?
Giffen: Dale and I get along great. I was talking to him and he just loves the book. So he wanted to do it, and we work together really well.
I also have Ron Wagner on art. Dale and Ron are splitting the job. We're not going to play musical artists, but if we have two regular artists, and we make that the way it always is, then readers will expect it.
Nrama: I noticed that, in all the Hanna Barbera team-ups, Scooby didn't take part.
Giffen: I think they were concentrating on the classic characters.
Nrama: Do you think they'll get to Scooby? And if they did, would you write it?
Giffen: Well, sure, if they came to me and said, "Do you want to do a Batman-Scooby-Doo book?" I'd do it. But Scooby already has our book, Apocalypse. And then there's a Scooby team-up and a regular Scooby-Doo book. So Scooby already has a lot of presence in the marketplace.
Nrama: Scooby Apocalypse is going to continue to be ongoing? And you and J.M. DeMatteis are sticking around on it for the long haul?
Giffen: Yes, yes. As long as they want to do it, I'll be on this book. I'm moving toward a point where we'll hit a nexus point where we have to decide if the Scooby gang fixes the world and moves on to their next adventure, or whether the book is a bleak kind of apocalyptic thing forever and ever. I still have no idea. And it's fun to get there.
That book's just a joy to do. The only continuity I have to worry about is the one I've already established. I find myself going to that book almost as a sanity check. You know, if I have a rough week on some other project or I'm arguing with someone about a trivial point, I just go running to Scooby-Doo. It's such a fun book.