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CSBG Archive

365 Reasons to Love Comics #137

Let me now turn your attention to one of my favorite cartoonists, whose swift and steady work has captivated plenty of readers, perhaps without them even knowing it. Also, he’s got one of the coolest names in comics.

5/17/07

137. Sergio Aragonés

Aragones 1.jpg

Go ahead, just say it. “Seeerrrrggggiooooo Aragonés.”

Sergio was born in Spain and raised in Mexico, but came to the United States in the 60′s not to pursue the architectural career he studied for, but rather to sell his cartoons. Finding a job with MAD Magazine, he has stayed with the publication since then, contributing his artwork to over 400 issues (missing only one since he first started working for them; the post office lost his art). He primarily draws the “Marginals,” those tiny little gags tucked away between and around the panels.

Aragones 3.jpgAragones 2.jpg

His most famous work, however, would be Groo the Wanderer, a comedic adventure title about a dimwitted barbarian character who is good at killing things with swords and pretty much incompetent at anything else, destroying civilizations wherever he goes. Sergio serves as creator, plotter, and artist, and still finds time to produce new Groo material today. Having survived the death of a few publishers, Groo remains one of the most popular and longest-running creator-owned properties. You can find far more Groo info at the official website or the Groopedia. I think it’s safe to say that many readers first encountered Mr. Aragonés’ art through Groo; I know I did.

Fun fact #1: Sergio Aragonés is considered to be the fastest cartoonist around. You can find him hosting Quick Draw panels at comic conventions. Try to catch one if you have the chance.

Fun fact #2: Sergio Aragonés is the only comic creator I’m aware of who appeared on Laugh-In.

Fun fact #3: “Aragonés” is Spanish for “awesome.”*

Sergio’s got a charming, unmistakable art style, and has become a true master of his craft. No one can out-cartoon Sergio Aragonés. He’s destroyed DC, massacred Marvel, and stomped Star Wars in aptly-titled specials– there’s no corner of comics he hasn’t managed to touch. Everything he draws is crammed with wonderful detail. He’s also one of the happiest, most genial creators in the business. Sergio Aragonés will never stop proving to his audience how fun comics can be– and why they should be good.

My only regret is that I don’t have enough of his art on display in this post. Help me out, readers! Scan, link, steal, do whatever you have to do– share with us some of your favorite Sergio art!

Senor Aragonés’ website can be found here.

*This one is not true. But it should be.

23 Comments

Andrew Collins

May 17, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Aragones = awesome.

My God, Andrew, you’re right. Allow me the pleasure of an edit. Check out new Fun Fact #3. Heh.

He’s also a great guy. If he’s at a convention near you, go up to your table and chat with him.

I loved that issue of Solo.

If you’re going to mention Groo you should also give credit to Aragones’s collaborator Marc Evanier, whose wonderful scripts are essential to the greatness that is Groo.

Aragones IS Awesome. I love the story about him and Debartolo going up to pick up *ahem* women in South America.

Dude you left an important piece of work that Sergio did that was awesome– the brilliance that is Bat Lash which employs a much more ‘conventional’ comic book style and yet is just as funny and just as stunning as the Sergio’s cartooning work.

Wait a minute… this isn’t the 1990′s gun toting badass Solo!

Awww brusslesprouts!!! I’ve been Hornswaggled!

I also enjoyed his Batman in one of the special issues around Batman’s 50′s Anniversary–it was priceless.

Now you are talking Bill!
You have restored my faith in you!

I’ve been a fan of Groo since the very first days at Pacific Comics! I hate most 90′S comics, but those small publisher of the 80′s! First, Comico, Eclipse, Pacific, etc… There was some cool stuff in those days! Mike Grell’s original run on JON SABLE, Scott McCloud’S ZOT!, Bill Willigham’s early issues of ELEMENTALS, Matt Wagner’s GRENDEL, Bruce Jones’s TWISTED TALES and ALIEN WORLDS anthologies, etc.

But back on Sergio, I recently aquired a complete set of BAT LASH on Ebay and the only bad thing about this fun and original take on the western was that it didn’t last more than 7 issues…

Without GROO I would have no idea what “mulch” is all about.
Without GROO I would have not been aware that cheese dip is the greatest food ever invented.
Without GROO, I wouldn’t have learn that important lesson of life: even if you have done the worst blunder ever, no one deserves to be called a “mendicant”

Rohan Williams

May 17, 2007 at 10:46 pm

Aragones would have to be one of the world’s best known cartoonists- I mean, the average man on the street can easily avoid the work of Jim Lee or Frank Quitely or whoever their entire lives, but EVERYBODY has seen Aragones’ work in MAD. As a kid, I remember his work always being, by far, the best part of that magazine.

Ah! The Seagoing Soarer finally gets his fair share of glory!

Sergio is indeed superb. More Groo trades – especially of the later Epic stuff.

Good call!

The Mad Monkey

May 18, 2007 at 5:24 am

Mr. Aragones’ art was even featured (in cartoon form) on the Dick Clark/Ed McMahon show “TV’s Bloopers And Practical Jokes”.
For those who don’t know, the ‘toons were much the same as the marginals in Mad Magazine…only animated.
Is there nothing that Sergio can’t do?
I should think not!

Mark Evanier told a great anecdote about Sergio’s legendary speed–he was so fast, he appeared in two comics panels on two different floors of a con at the same time. Someone would ask him to do a sketch, he’d say, “Sure, let me just go get my drawing pad,” then race to the elevator, slip down to the other panel (doing sketches for fans all the while), answer a quick question, then slip back to the original panel with drawing pad in hand. Did this the entire time, managed his departures so seamlessly nobody knew he was doing it, and confused a lot of people who were arguing about what panel he’d been on that day. :)

I don’t know who all’s been reading those “Showcase presents House of Mystery” trades, but I was surprised and delighted to discover that Sergio had a regular spot in that comic as well in the early seventies, contributing Charles Addams-like grisly humor cartoons. Check ‘em out, they’re great!

Sergio used to live down the street from my grandparents. Everytime I used to visit them, my dad would take me over to his place to say hello. What a dear sweet man he is…and the best sketch artist around.

Excellent Reason Why We Love Comics!

What’s sad is neither Marvel or DC or the kinds of companies who’d do a Massacres or Destroys book today:(

Enrique Saldaña

May 18, 2007 at 3:03 pm

Although Mr. Aragonés is indeed awesome, Fun fact #3 is completely wrong, Aragonés doesn’t mean “awesome” but “From Aragón, born in Aragón” (a Spanish province).

Flush it all away

May 18, 2007 at 5:05 pm

Great call.

I was never into Groo much, but I adored his Mad work.

I used to spend as much, if not more, time just absorbing the little marginals he drew in MAD as the rest of the magazine. I love his imagination and he has a style all his own.

Groo is fun for the whole family!

Sergio Aragones is such a great cartoonist that I can’t even be mad that he killed Marty Feldman.

Mr. Aragones most definitely belongs in this column.

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