BY JOHN CARTER JR
(Spoiler Warning for Scoob and Shag, All Art included is by Diego Casasola)
Fan art and parody works are in plethora all across the internet, with many creators using the content of previously established works at the foundation for new ones becoming very popular in many art communities. Some of these fan re-imaginings can be less than optimal in terms of their execution but there are a few that genuinely stand out and are simply impressive in their determination to be original. Scoob and Shag by Diego Casasola (Dingo) is an excellent example of a parody peace being executed right.
The webcomic features many famous cartoon characters in an epic crossover which started out as a simple comedy that would eventually evolve into an anime-style fighting showdown. It has excellent character designs, impressive storytelling, and maintains its original comedic air. I was recently able to interview Diego Casasola for more information about and surrounding the comic.
JPCJ- How did the idea for Scoob and Shag come about?
DC- Scoob and Shag started as a joke between my two friends and I. We would joke around while playing video games, doing the voices of Scoob being an asshole to Shag. It became an inside joke that we thought was so funny, we started a Tumblr blog to post some comics we doodled based on those jokes. It kind of became a bigger hit than we expected, but at the end of the day it was still just jokes and eventually died down. I had dabbled in drawing some very shonen-esque battle comics that you can probably still find online, but making a webcomic was something I’ve always wanted to do. At some point, I revived Scoob and Shag with some comics here and there, and thought it would be funny if the comics started having a continuity. I realized I already had an audience on this Tumblr blog, so why not go completely off the rails and turn this into the comic I always wanted to make?
JPCJ- The comic seems to have taken a different turn since its debut, more dramatic and action-oriented rather than just comedic? Was this the intention all along or was it something that just happened?
DC- It was never my intention for it to grow to what it is now. I had the idea to make the comics continuous pretty early on, but didn’t plan ahead to its current scope. I think around the time when Mick shows up is when I sat down and said “okay I gotta start writing things down” and was already scheming up ideas of who would be behind the mask.
JPCJ- What is a Ballyhoo and how was the concept of them created? Are there any characters or Ballyhoos you are excited to introduce/explore?
DC- Ballyhoo is the power system in Scoob and Shag, where the Toon gains a unique superpower that came from the love and admiration of fans that watched them on TV. It’s pretty heavily influenced by JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure’s power system, down to the naming convention. At first they were only based off of buttons on a remote, but I quickly ran out of ideas and started using TV terminology in general. I have a huge list of Ballyhoo ideas that I want to use and have some fun ones I think people will like, but I don’t want to give anything away.
JPCJ- Does the Strength of a characters Ballyhoo depend on the legacy of the character using it? How do you attempt to capture the essence of the original source material of these characters while still creating a wealth of drama and action? (Example: The Bugs vs Scoob fight)
DC- Yes, the more popular the character, the stronger the Ballyhoo becomes, but we’ve already seen that it comes with some not so fun side effects. In the world of Scoob and Shag, the cartoons we grew up with are a show put on by the Toones to gain more Ballyhoo, so I like playing around with the idea that maybe these aren’t the characters you knew growing up. Maybe to an extent, but their personalities can be completely different and that’s a lot of fun to mess around with, especially when people expect a character to act a certain way and I can make them do a complete 180.
JPCJ- Is there any character you’d like to bring back or explore in the past more (RIP Droopy and Goof)?
DC- I haven’t shown a lot of the world of Toone just yet, mostly because when the story begins, the planet has been evacuated and it’s implied not everybody made it out alive, so I think there’s a lot there to explore. Not just for me, but also for fans to come up with their own stories. So the possibility of seeing more of the characters that didn’t make it is always there.
JPCJ- Are there any other projects you are working on or any project ideas you’d like to explore?
DC- Unfortunately I work a full-time job and Scoob and Shag has kind of become its own full-time job, so it hasn’t given me a lot of time to work on other projects. Thankfully the community has been so supportive that in the near future I’ll probably be able to just make comics full-time and have time for other projects. I’ve always joked that if I ever get a cease and desist, I’m going to need a backup comic. I’m also working on establishing the brand of Misterie Krew, which is the company I want to start, working with some other artists to create a studio that makes not just comics, but other media like videos.
JPCJ- How has this comic and its fans affected your life?
DC- It’s incredibly overwhelming and every day I wake up to see the subscriber count grow so fast that it boggles my mind. I don’t consider myself to be famous at all, so I still get super excited to see people make things like fan art. I used to read every comment and message I got, but now I get so many that it’s impossible to keep up. I’ve recently been going to conventions a lot more and gotten to meet some fans in person which is a pretty awesome feeling.
JPCJ- Are you aware of the fandubs of Scoob and Shag on Youtube?
DC- Yeah, I’ve probably seen most of them and they’re so cool! I’m glad my comic can inspire people to be creative and make stuff like that. Studio Meraki, one of the dubbers, I’ve gotten a chance to talk to a lot and they do an awesome job. Also, little known fact, a couple of years ago Prozd of YouTube fame did a dub of an early comic that was on Tumblr and probably one of the reasons I got where I am today. I’d love to meet that dude and thank him some day.
A big thanks to Diego Casasola for the interview. Scoob and Shag is an exciting execution of both parody and originality in the fan crossover genre. We are very excited to see more from this artist and more from Scooby and Shaggy as the story continues to develop. With over a hundred thousand subscribers on webtoons and counting, we hope to see this work supported for a long time. If you’d like to follow Diego on social media or read the comic directly link will be below.
Webtoons Link: https://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/scoob-and-shag/list?title_no=210827&page=1#
Scoob and Shag Website: https://www.scoobandshag.com/
Diego’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dingusdingo/
Scoob and Shag Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/scoobandshag/
You must log in to post a comment.