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BELOW LEFT: SWING WITH SCOOTER #1 -- BELOW RIGHT: ROBBY'S PHOTOSHOP RECREATION!
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.SECRET ORIGINS OF SWING WITH SCOOTER - PART 1 of 8
THE BRITISH INVASION!

Welcome to the Secret Origins of Swing With Scooter, the longest “Secret Origins” series ever undertaken by DIAL B for BLOG! You may be wondering why Scooter and company rate eight whole issues. You'll soon find out! We have a lot of work to do, reader, most of it visual (what else is new?), but some of it AUDIO -- so let’s get started!

According to Wikipedia, Swing With Scooter “was an attempt at drawing upon the teenage light drama market that is usually served by Archie comics and similar titles.”

Scott Shaw claims Scooter was “DC’s attempt to snag a piece of the ‘teenage comic’ market with which Archie Comics had found so much success ... [it] never presented Archie Comics with any significant competition.”

Finally, Don Markstein's Toonopedia says Scooter “was DC Comics' first attempt to reenter the teenage humor market with an original character since the demise of Buzzy, Here's Howie, Scribbly and the rest of that line, back in the 1950s.”
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BUZZY #77 HERE'S HOWIE #17 SCRIBBLY #15

Guess what? Wikipedia, Shaw and Toonopedia are going to have to rewrite their entries! Because in fact, Scooter began as neither an Archie clone nor an attempt to reenter the teenage humor market. That’s right reader -- we’re about to expose the REAL origins of Scooter in a landmark series that will one day come to be recognized as the ultimate and definitive study of “Swing With Scooter.” This series is a gas!

You don’t believe me? You think Scooter and company don’t RATE an eight-part series? Well, I say they DO! Who am I? Everyone, let’s say it together-- I am Robby Reed, creator of this blog and author of this article! And if I say this series rocks, then this series ROCKS! And before it’s over, you'll think so too. We'll start with a band that rocked like no other... The Quarry Men?!?!

.DIGGING THE QUARRY MEN

Teenager John Lennon set out to become a rock star and, as he put it, to reach "the toppermost of the poppermost." He bought a cheap guitar, formed a band named after his alma matter (Quarry Bank Grammar School), and the Quarry Men were born.

In Liverpool, England, 1957, John met baby-faced rocker Paul McCartney, who impressed Lennon with his singing and guitar playing, as well as his good looks. A year later, Paul recruited a young guitarist who, he believed, was even better than him or John — George Harrison. Drummer Pete Best joined the band in 1960.

After a brief split, the Quarry Men regrouped as "The Fabulous Silver Beatles," later shortened to “The Beatles.” This name, inspired by the insect-inspired name of Buddy Holly's band, The Crickets, also references “beat” music, a British slang term for rock.

A few years, much practice, and many club concerts later, Pete Best was replaced by Ringo Starr, who brought solid drumming and a wild sense of humor to the “Fab Four,” who were now ready to begin their historic climb to "the toppermost of the poppermost."
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DC CAPTURED THE NEW SPIRIT OF ROCKIN' REBELLION ... UM, "PERFECTLY"!
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OH YES -- DC REALLY "UNDERSTOOD" THEIR HIP YOUNG READERS...
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THE MEN (AND WOMAN) BEHIND THE SCOOTER!
Getting back to our star, Scooter -- just who created “Swing With Scooter”? The comic has an interesting pedigree... one that provides the first proof that the book was neither an Archie clone nor a teen humor book. The early issues of the book were written by two people. The first was DC editor Jack Miller, who edited Strange Adventures during Deadman’s history-making premiere run.
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Miller's co-creator on Scooter was Barbara Friedlander, who had written numerous stories for DC's romance line, including Heart Throbs, Secret Hearts, and Girl's Romances. (Now you know why we featured DC's romance line yesterday, as a prelude to this series!) The stories cover-featured on the three books seen below were written by Friedlander.
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HEART THROBS #106 SECRET HEARTS #141 GIRL'S ROMANCE #121
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Who would DRAW Swing With Scooter? Who would design the character's look, and the book's settings? If it was really an Archie-clone attempting to be funny, we might have expected DC to assign an artist with a light, cartoony style. The man DC picked was known not for his cartoons, but for his bizarre and graphic depictions of fantasy, blood and gore!

Scooter's premiere visualizer was artist Joe Orlando, seen right in a ghoulish self-portrait recalling his work on Jonah Hex, Cain from House of Mystery, and Swamp Thing. Orlando has pictured himself holding his own head, a reference to his days drawing gruesome horror stories for the old EC line of comics.

Before signing on the both pencil AND ink Scooter in 1966, Orlando was best known at the time for his work at EC Comics, in titles such as Weird Fantasy, Crime Illustrated (covers featuring Orlando's work pictured below, left and center), and also for his Marvel work on titles like Daredevil (below right, inked by Vince Colletta, a scary thought in and of itself!).

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WEIRD FANTASY #19 CRIME ILLUSTRATED #1 DAREDEVIL - 1964
AN NOW, BACK TO... THE BRITISH INVASION!

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The British Invasion began in earnest when John, Paul, George and Ringo arrived in New York on February 7, 1964, to go on the Ed Sullivan Show. Pictured above and below right at the airport, the four lads were greeted with the kind of frenzy seen perhaps once in a generation. If you were of age ..back then, you remember the day.

The frenzy got still more frenetic with the release of A Hard Day's Night later that year. Completed in just four months, the movie's groovy title came from a chance remark made by drummer Ringo Starr after an all-night recording session.

"I came up still thinking it was day," Ringo recalls, "and I said, 'It's been a hard day...' and I looked around and saw it was dark, so I said, 'night!' So we came to 'A Hard Day's Night.' "

Beatlemania had struck! But what does all this have to do with our man Scooter, the supposed STAR of this here series? You'll find out... tomorrow!
(Or maybe the next day. Friday at the latest!)
NEXT: In a crisis of near-infinite proportion, the superheroes' girlfriends all want to see the Fab Four in concert! Desperate for tickets, they reach out to the Beatles! See John, Paul, Ringo, and George side by side with Superman, the Human Torch, the Metal Men, Archie, the Teen Titans, Jerry Lewis and Jimmy Olsen as the British invasion hits the world of comic books!

Click here for "Secret Origins of Swing With Scooter"
PART 2: "WE WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND!"



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