Happy Birthday to globe-hopping, humor cartoonist Sergio Aragones! The Mad Magazine contributor and co-creator/penciler of Groo the Wanderer was born September 6, 1937, in Spain, forced to move to France as a child to avoid the Spanish Civil War, then settling in Mexico where he developed his artistic talents as a child. Arriving in New York City as an adult in 1962, Aragones almost immediately found work at the satirical Mad Magazine, where he was “told to make Mad your home.” At Mad Magazine, Aragones was the illustrator of A Mad Look At …, a section in every issue of the magazine with speechless gag strips that dealt with a particular topic, such as Pizza, or UFOs.
In 1967. Aragones found work at DC, writing and illustrating DCs romance and western comics. But when DC started demanding Aragones work on a work-for-hire basis, he refused, and DC tore Aragones’ paycheck in half in front of his face. Needless to say, that relationship ended right there. In the late 1970s, Aragones and writer Mark Evanier created the best -selling, crtically acclaimed comic adventures of the bumbling barbarian Groo the Wanderer, but it would be 1982 before it would be published, first by Pacific Comics, then Eclipse Comics, followed by Marvel as part of its now-defunct Epic Comics imprint, then on to Image Comics, and most recently Dark Horse Comics where it has remained.
In an interesting aside, on December 2, 1982, comedic actor Marty Feldman, who, among other things, brilliantly played Eye-Gor in Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein, died of a heart attack in his Mexico City hotel while in the area filming a movie. Aragones, also in Mexico City and filming and dressed up in his role as an armed policeman, startled Feldman in the night, frightening him. It was this chance encounter that is widely speculated to have caused Feldman’s heart attack. Aragones often recounts the story by saying “I killed Marty Feldman.”
Aragones has accumulated countless awards for his work, even appearing in the 99th episode of Futurama as his own head, hosting The Last Actual Comic Book Booth at Comic Con 3010.
SCIFI.radio would like to wish the brilliant Sergio Aragones a very Happy Birthday, and many thanks for making us laugh over the years.
Michael Brown is a comics nerd and a father who lives in small town Tennessee. When he’s not making his players mad in his “Shadowrun” RPG or experimenting with new and inventive uses of duct tape on his children, you can find him checking out the latest comics and movies for SCIFI.radio!