For today’s fan spotlight, I’d like to introduce you to The Wandering Piney! The Wandering Piney is a Scooby-Doo fanfiction writer who has written two different Hex Girls themed stories, Occult Nights, and its sequel The Treasure of the Regal Hotel, both of which are super amazing and I would highly recommend both of them!
1. What is your name?
The Wandering Piney
2. How did you get into Scooby-Doo?
I'm not exactly sure when, but my mom introduced Scooby-Doo to me and my younger brothers when we were little. I've always been fascinated by ghosts, cryptids, and monsters, so I guess my mom figured I'd enjoy the show. And for most of the youth, I did, and I owned several movies and episodes on VHS. Eventually, though I gradually lost interest sometime around when Goblin King got released, as that was the last "new" movie I remember seeing. I only got back into the franchise a few years ago after rewatching Witch's Ghost and Zombie Island.
3. What is your favorite Scooby-Doo episode and film? Why?
My favorite film is without a doubt Witch's Ghost. The Hex Girls, Tim Curry, the fall New England setting, the use of both real and fake monsters; what's not to love! Runners up are Zombie Island and Camp Scare. Picking a favorite episode is tough, and to be honest, I don't think I actually have one. I do enjoy the few episodes with the Hex Girls though, but I wouldn't call them my favorite episodes.
4. What ways are you involved in the Scooby fandom online?
I'm mainly involved in the fandom through fanfiction. I've written two Hex Girls-focused fanfictions —Occult Nights, which is around 70k words, and my ongoing fic, The Treasure of the Regal Hotel, which currently sits at 85k words—that provide a lot more characterization and personality to the girls in a high-stakes adventure/mystery. I do have plans for fics focusing on the gang though I have no idea when I'll write them. I also read plenty of Scooby fanfics and interact with other writers and readers, which is how I've met a few other folks in the fandom.
5. In your opinion, what is the best series or era of Scooby?
The best era is easily the late 90s/early 2000s DTVS (Zombie Island through Cyber Chase) with its great characterization of the gang, maturer stories, darker tones, beautiful animation, and great music. It also brought the franchise back from its several-year slump, and without them, we probably wouldn't see as much Scooby content as we do. Plus, it introduced us to the Hex Girls. Some runners-up would be the early 70s and some of the early 2010 DTVs like Camp Scare.
6. What one Scooby-Doo series or film would you want a sequel to someday?
With the way WB handled the recent sequels to Zombie Island and 13 Ghosts, I'd prefer they stay away from sequels for the foreseeable future. I'd rather see them focus on creating new, original stories and mysteries that wrap up nicely at the end.
7. What direction would you like to see the franchise go in the future?
I'd love to see a more mature take on the franchise. Take the overarching plot from SDMI, the characterization from the Zombie Island era, a few character traits from Be Cool, and delve into the various tropes and themes found in horror, science/science-fiction, mystery, and crime genres. Really make the viewer think about whether or not the monster is real or fake, or who the culprit is, and in some cases, let them draw their own conclusion. In a slightly more plausible scenario, I'd like to see WB take a break with the crossovers and guest stars. I doubt it'll happen anytime soon since apparently, Scooby films with guest stars/crossovers make more money than the non-crossover stuff. Oh, and a Hex Girls spinoff would be fantastic, though I don't trust anyone at WB to pull it off.
8. Who is your favorite member of the gang and why?
A tough question given their characters can vary significantly with each iteration. Overall, I'd have to say Daphne is my favorite since she's had arguably the most character development out of any character in the franchise. Her growth during the 80s through What's New was quite fantastic. Fred, especially the late 90s and Be Cool versions of him, is my second favorite character.
9. What is your favorite villain? Why?
Ben Ravencroft. He's easily one of the most manipulative and scheming villains in the franchise; he was so good at being evil that he didn't even need a mask. Plus, he's voiced by Tim Curry. Runner-ups are the Freak of Crystal Cove, Space Kook, and the Woodsman from Camp Scare.
10. In your opinion, who is the best recurring (non-gang) character in the franchise?
The Hex Girls, no questions asked. I just love everything about them, especially Thorn, and I wouldn't have written two novel-length fanfics about them if I didn't. Arguably, they're what got me back into the franchise after my decade-long absence. I just wish there was more Hex Girls content out there. Runners-up would be Mayor Fred Jones Sr and Vincent Van Ghoul.
11. Do you have a Scooby-Doo collection? If so, what’s in it?
Not at the moment, though I did preorder the new Hex Girls Funko Pops. When I was younger, I owned Witch's Ghost, Alien Invaders, and most of Where Are You on VHS, as well as a couple of video games and some miscellaneous toys. I don't know what happened to them though.
12. What do you think has made the franchise so popular that it’s still going strong after 50 years?
People love a good mystery, especially if it involves the paranormal, and Scooby has provided tons of mysteries suitable for anyone of any age. Plus, you have a unique group of characters that anyone can relate to and a strong sense of family-friendly humor. The franchise is also quite adaptable, and the classic Scooby formula can easily be changed and tweaked to catch trends or explore new ideas, essentially providing something for everyone.
13. What is one fun fact about you in real life?
One activity that Scooby-Doo partially inspired me to participate in is urban exploration or the exploration of abandoned places and buildings. I've seen and photographed many amazing places most people have forgotten and have even had articles and photos published in magazines on the subject. Some of the places I've explored look like they're straight out of a Scooby-Doo episode, including an abandoned hotel, airfield, mansion, military base, and asylum. I used to have a blog related to urban exploration, but I've been a bad blog owner and have neglected it. Maybe one day I'll fix it up and maintain it.
14. Please feel free to share anything else you’d like to here!
Thanks so much for including me in the fan spotlights. This is a great way to meet Scooby fans. Keep up the great work with the blog.
Thanks so much again to The Wandering Piney for participating as one of our fan spotlights! If you haven’t already, be sure to read his Hex Girls fanfiction, Occult Nights and The Treasure of the Regal Hotel! Both do include some language, violence and mature themes, so if there are some younger fans reading this, I would recommend maybe waiting a few years before checking this one out.
9/12/2021 06:10:21 pm
Very cool! I'll definitely keep the fic recs in mind!
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~ WildwindVampire ~