A monster smash
BY MATT GLEASON World Scene Writer
Thursday, December 16, 2010
12/16/10 at 5:55 AM
A young Mitch Schauer often sympathized with the classic movie monsters that populated late-night TV.
"They were never really bad on purpose," the longtime Tulsan said from his home in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles.
Schauer particularly sympathized with Boris Karloff's Frankenstein.
"He didn't want to be created," said the 54-year-old. "Then he gets created, and everybody wants to throw rocks at him, crucify him or burn him.
"Frankenstein was just misunderstood."
Schauer is, perhaps, best known for his hit animated Nickelodeon series "The Angry Beavers."
The cartoon followed the misadventures of two lovable beavers from 1997-2001. At the height of its success, "The Angry Beavers" rivaled "Rugrats" in TV ratings.
On Saturday, the Webster High alum returns to Tulsa to sign copies of his debut graphic novel "RIP M.D." ($12.99, Lincoln Butterfield).
A graphic novel, for the uninitiated, is similar to a comic book only it tells a longer, more detailed story with pictures.
"RIP M.D." stars Ripley (Rip) Plimpt, an 11-year-old who, much like Schauer himself, always wanted to meet a real-life monster.
Plimpt's wish is granted when he befriends a harmless zombie whom the boy simply calls Dead Guy.
Soon after, other misunderstood monsters seek out the sympathetic boy for, of all things, therapy sessions. Who knew werewolves had self-confidence issues?
In one "RIP M.D." scene, Dead Guy sports a University of Oklahoma shirt while his young friend plays video games.
The OU shirt is a nod to Schauer's youth spent in Oklahoma, just like the graphic novel's many tombstones, all marked with the first or last names of family and friends.
For instance, one tombstone pays homage to Schauer's pal Gailard Sartain. Schauer is a huge fan of Sartain's classic Tulsa late-night TV series "The Uncanny Film Festival and Camp Meeting," aka "Mazeppa."
And Sartain once made a guest voice appearance on "The Angry Beavers." Schauer did a great Sartain impression when he recalled telling Sartain: "Gailard, I put your name on a tombstone." Sartain replied: "I don't know how I'm supposed to take that."
Another Oklahoma reference in "RIP M.D." features a sign for "Pawhuska Auto Restoration Co." Schauer was born in Pawhuska before the family moved to Tulsa for his father's job at Sheffield Steel in Sand Springs.
Throughout Schauer's career, he's often populated his various projects with subtle nods to his beloved native state.
"That's always my good luck charm," he said.
Although Schauer lives in California, he and his wife, Cindy, own the house next door to his father's Sapulpa home.
"We're working our way back home," Schauer said. "It's going to take a little while, but we'll get there."
Author of "RIP M.D."
When: 1-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Borders, 8015 S. Yale Ave.
Matt Gleason 581-8473
Mitch Schauer, a graduate of Webster High School, will sign copies of his graphic novel "RIP M.D." ($12.99, Lincoln Butterfield) on Saturday at Borders, 8015 S. Yale Ave. Courtesy
A scene from "RIP M.D."