Sunday, January 23, 2011

Plop! #10: "The Secret Origin of Grooble Man!"

Download Plop! #10

A man who has turned doodling into fine art, and a very profitable art as well, Sergio Aragonés first came to prominence in the early 1960s through the pages of Mad. Or rather in the margins of those pages, where his tiny doodled figures were to be seen circumnavigating the page in such a lively way that they often seemed much funnier than the material they were framing. Aragonés soon moved up from the marginal notes and in the early 1980s created Groo.

Born in Spain and raised in Mexico, he migrated to America in 1962. "When I found out how much cartoonists made in the United States," he has explained, "that was that." He was soon gainfully employed employed at Mad. By 1967 Aragonés had added DC to his client list. Besides being a frequent contributor to Plop, he had a hand in scripting Angel and the Ape and Bat Lash.

An outgoing and amusing fellow, one who studied mime as well as architecture in school, he's also had a show-biz career, having appeared, for example, on television in the final season of Laugh-In.

In addition to the long-lasting barbarian spoof, Groo, which is scripted by his friend Mark Evanier, Aragonés has in recent years turned out a variety of other projects. One such, put forth in 1999, was Fan Boy. Written by Evanier, the miniseries kidded a typical obsessive comics fan and had Aragonés working in tandem with such serious artists as Gil Kane, Dick Sprang, and Mike Grell. Mad editor Nick Meglin has said of Aragonés, "He never loses sight of the fact that he is a humorist, an attitude that, perhaps more than any other single fact, is responsible for his great success."

Special surprise bonus : a rarely seen Groo the Wanderer story by Sergio Aragonés:

A spoof of Conan and all similarly inclined comic-book barbarians, Groo the Wanderer, who looked as though he might have stepped out of the pages of Mad, began his sword-wielding career late in 1982 in a twelve-issue run from Pacific Comics. The pudgy barbarian stayed longest with Marvel. From 1985 to 1995 there were 120 Marvel issues of Groo the Wanderer. Since then both Image and Dark Horse have published miniseries. Artwork by the highly productive doodler Sergio Aragonés, scripts by Mark Evanier.


Script: Sergio Aragones (co-plot) and Mark Evanier (co-plot & dialogue)
Pencils: Sergio Aragones
Inks: Sergio Aragones
Colors: Tom Luth
Letters: Stan Sakai

  • in Groo Chronicles, The (Marvel, 1989 series) #2


Mykal said...

OW: What a great post. Aragonés is one of those very rare artists whose genius everyone seems to acknowledge and appreciate – an artist without detractors. Who could not look at these pages and laugh out loud? His wonderful, marginal cartooning in Mad always seemed somehow mysterious and instantly legendary to me. They never, ever failed to give me a jolt of pleasure.

The Executioner said...

My friend, I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I didn't!

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