Loren Coleman, the cryptozoologist who in the next two years plans to open a permanent cryptozoology museum in Bangor, is no stranger to the media, having written more than 40 books and consulted for TV programs on Fox, NBC, the Travel Channel, the Discovery Channel and the History Channel.
But now he’s made his way into another form of media: comic books. A character based directly on Coleman is in the latest edition of “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?”, out this week in comic book shops and bookstores around the country.
“Scooby Doo” writer John Rozum, a longtime fan of Coleman’s, attended the grand opening of the second iteration of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland in 2009.
Rozum said he’d long wanted to put Coleman in one of his comic books. He managed to make it work this time, with the character of Lawrence Collier, who runs the Intercontinental Cryptozoology Museum.
Collier looks exactly like Coleman, complete with the beard and Hawaiian shirt. In this issue, the character helps the Scooby Gang investigate cryptids that are terrorizing a small town.
It’s not actually the first time Coleman has been featured in a comic book. In the early 2000s, a character based on Coleman appeared in two issues of DC Vertigo’s “Swamp Thing” reboot. The character’s name was Coleman Wadsworth, a cryptozoologist trying to track down Swamp Thing in the Louisiana bayou.
A lifelong researcher in cryptozoology — the study of creatures whose existence has not been verified by science such as Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster — Coleman opened the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland in 2003. He later moved the museum to Congress Street in 2009 and then to a larger home at Thompson’s Point in 2016.
In 2021, Coleman opened a cryptozoology bookstore on Hammond Street in Bangor, and moved with his wife to the city that same year. Last year, he announced plans to purchase the building at 490 Broadway, the former home of a redemption center and taxi company, which has been empty since 2018.
The new building will allow Coleman to consolidate all operations, including the museum and his associated nonprofit, under one roof, in a large building that Coleman calls a “hidden treasure” for its streamlined modern architecture. He hopes to have the new museum open by 2025, after which the Portland museum will close.