I’m a firm believer that you can’t throw anyone into the deep end of a passion. For example, if I want to get people to appreciate and even enjoy metal, I’m not going to make them listen to Cannibal Corpse or Cattle Decapitation as their introduction. Rather, I’m going to start with more radio friendly hard rock/metal and then ease them into the harder and more exciting stuff while also taking the time to explain precisely what I love every step of the way. Making people feel like they’re being invited into your passion should be a treat for them, something that they feel honored by.
When it comes to horror, many people don’t know where to start, which is fully understandable. By this point, there are probably tens of thousands of horror films and countless lists of “The Best Horror Films Ever”. Where is one to start???
In my opinion, sometimes the best path is the safest one. Rather than put on Night of the Living Dead, why not put on a couple episodes of “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!”? Having always loved the show, I find a certain sense of comfort as well as nostalgia when I think about the Mystery Gang and their spooky adventures. Plus, the added benefit here is that while the overall experience of the show isn’t a scary one, there are TONS of aspects about it that can build a love of horror. For this particular piece, I want to focus on the stunning backgrounds that may go overlooked but should receive appreciation of their own.
For a while, the backgrounds were done by Walt Peregoy, who was an ex-Disney color stylist and background artist. His work was recognized for being a bit more radical and innovative, something that helped with his offerings at Hanna Barbara during his Scooby Doo years. And while he was only at that studio from 1968-71, with another stint in 1973, his work on “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!” set a foundation for the show that is still oh so vital. While it’s obvious that the gang needs to enter into eldritch realms to solve their mysteries, Peregoy’s backgrounds are what provided that wonderful miasma.
Below are several examples of the backgrounds from “Scooby Doo, Where Are You!”, which I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I did while putting this together!