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Drawing by Brooklet boy ends up in 'Alley Oop' comic strip
W Alley 1
Scotty Griffith draws a Stegosaurus in his home last week. A 7-year-old second grader at Brooklet Elementary, his drawings of two dinosaurs recently appeared in the"Alley Oop" comic strip. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff

Click on link to watch Studio Statesboro video with Scotty Griffith:

    Scotty Griffith loves dinosaurs.
    But the 7-year-old second-grader at Brooklet Elementary doesn't just like to read about T-Rexes and Pterodactyls, he likes to draw pictures of the prehistoric creatures, as well.
    His grandmother Linda Griffith noticed Scotty's talent and she discovered an outlet for his ability when she read about a drawing contest in the Statesboro Herald – more specifically in the comics section of the Statesboro Herald.
    "Alley Oop" runs on the comics page of the Statesboro Herald Tuesday through Saturday. The strip features the antics of a caveman and his friends and family. Alley Oop recently marked its 75th year and to celebrate the occasion the authors of the strip – Carole and Jack Bender – asked readers from the age of 2 to 17 to submit their favorite drawings of dinosaurs. A number of drawings were selected to run as part of the daily and Sunday strip.
    "We wanted to make Alley Oop's 75th anniversary as special as possible, and we couldn't think of a better way than to invite young reader interaction," Carole Bender said. "We were amazed at the response, and we've been especially touched by the ecstatic comments we've gotten from many of the families after a child's drawing was selected."
    So, Scotty set about drawing a dinosaur. He submitted a T-Rex to Alley Oop and then drew an Iguanodon, which he also sent in.
    "We got so many drawings in which the child invented his or her own species of dinosaur, and you could feel the joy with which they approached their drawing," Carole Bender said. "Scott's drawings were like that. It wasn't that he created his own dinosaur, but his drawings had a distinctive, fun style. The dinosaurs showed real personality."
    Out of thousands of submitted drawings, Scotty's was one of a few dozen selected to run with the strip.
    "I was really excited when I found out they picked mine," Scotty said.
    Unfortunately for Statesboro, the drawing ran on Sunday, Dec. 28 – the Herald doesn't run the full color Alley Oop strip in the Sunday comics. But it is shown on this page for the first time.
    Scotty said it usually takes him about 15 minutes to sketch a dinosaur and about 30 minutes to then color it in the way he likes. He loves to draw in general and was recently accepted into the Quest program at Brooklet, which promotes creativity.
    "Scotty has really blossomed the past two years," Linda Griffith said.
    She said her husband Bill and her retired to Brooklet in 2003 after living in southern New Jersey for 30 years. Griffith said Scotty's younger sister and brother, Tina and Billy, also live with them.
    Scotty said his favorite subject in school is – no surprise – art. But he also loves to read, especially adventure/fantasy books like "The Chronicles of Narnia."
    He had never seen the Alley Oop strip until his grandmother told him about the contest, but he reads it now.
    "It's funny and it has dinosaurs in it," Scotty said. "I love dinosaurs."

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