I'm nattily attired in a trenchcoat and peering through a magnifying glass to get you in the proper Investigative Reports frame of mind as I uncover Saturday Mornings dirtiest darkest secret!
In 1966, did Joe Rudy and Ken Spears sit at the same barber shop and leaf through a copy of "Swing With Scooter" #1 planting the seed that resulted in their beyond famous animated "Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!" tv show three years later?
Scooter, drawn by EC artist Joe Orlando and scripted by Jack Miller and Barbara Friedlander, mainly follows an english mop top superstar who tries to get away from the demands of fame by living in the states surrounded by a group of rag tag fun-lovin' fellow teens. But it's as if the second cousins of the Scooby crew lurk in every other panel. You have a chubby goateed Shaggy called Sylvester, Velma is now Cynthia, and the Mystery Machine van is the Super Bus.
I only have the first issue of what appears to be a 36 issue run (from which the panels are from), but judging by future covers (thanks to NY Comics Shop), it's seems they even got more Scooby-Dooish as time went on. Who knows? Maybe they even adopted a dog at some point.
BTW- No one is taking credit for coming up with Scrappy Doo.