Scooby-Doo #84 - 'Working Stiffs'.

Karen Matchette is an American graphic designer, illustrator and cartoonist, who began her career working on Hank Ketcham's 'Dennis the Menace' (1980-1993). She later assisted Lynn Johnston on 'For Better and for Worse', and worked on Hanna-Barbera properties like the 'Flintstones' newspaper strip (1994-1998) and 'Scooby Doo' comic books (2001-2019).

Early life
She was born in 1954 as Karen Donovan in Buffalo, New York. Encouraged by her father to pursue her love of art, she took art classes at Albright Knox, and then studied abroad in Siena, Italy. In 1976, she earned her Bachelor degree in Graphic Design from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She names Norman Rockwell as one of her major inspirations. Settling in Sausolito, California, she won second prize in a cartooning contest: a class in writing and cartooning in the San Francisco area. During this period, she got in touch with Hank Ketcham, who searched for new talent.

Dennis the Menace
Matchette joined Ketcham's Carmel Valley studio, where she was assigned to draw stories for the 'Dennis the Menace' comic books published by Marvel Comics. Nicknamed "The Funny Factory", she worked there alongside fellow trainees Brian Lum and Ron Ferdinand, as well as veteran scriptwriter Fred Toole. When the Marvel comic book series came to an end in late 1982, both Matchette and Ferdinand were put to work on drawing, inking and coloring the 'Dennis the Menace' strip for the Sunday newspapers, replacing Bob Bugg. Karen Matchette, then still Karen Donovan, worked for Ketcham's studio until 1993.

Flintstones, by Karen Marchette
'The Flintstones' strip of 30 December 1997.

The Flintstones & For Better or For Worse
She then moved on to replace Don Sherwood as the writer and artist of the daily 'The Flintstones' strip for the Editors Press Service. Signing with her initials KDM, she drew Hanna-Barbera's famous Stone-Age family from 11 April 1994 until the end of the strip's run on 29 August 1998. After her 'Flintstones' stint, Matchette moved to North Bay, Canada, where she was Lynn Johnston's art assistant on the syndicated family comic strip 'For Better or For Worse'. She also wrote some of the gag-driven Sunday pages.

Return to Buffalo
Back in Buffalo since 2000, she returned as a contributing gag writer for both the daily and Sunday 'Dennis the Menace' strip, drawn respectively by Marcus Hamilton and Ron Ferdinand. Between 2001 and 2019, she also worked for DC Comics, pencilling stories with Hanna-Barbera's 'Scooby-Doo!' for DC's Cartoon Network/Warner Bros comic book lines. Additionally, she makes pen-and-ink house portraits, residential illustrations and drawings of iconic architectural landmarks in commission.


Scooby-Doo #134 - 'Velma's Monsters of the World: Fearsome Critters'.

Flintstones at comicstripfan.com

Series and books by Karen Matchette in stock in the Lambiek Webshop:

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