The Comics Journal took the occasion of the completion of the latest mini-run of the comic book series Groo to run a tribute to the series' author (with co-writer Mark Evanier), master cartoonist Sergio Aragonés.
And what a career. Like his friend and fellow Mad alumnus Al Jaffee, who passed away last month, Sergio has been prodigiously, relentlessly productive. He's had entire careers within his career: His Mad magazine work and his work with his character Groo (an idiot barbarian in a sword-and-sorcery spoof) would each merit awe at their longevity and sustained creativity. And yet he's done so much more.
As Tegan O'Neil writes in her insightful article, "There have been precious few months without new work from Sergio on the stands since the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Think about that. Just, you know, roll that fact around in your head a minute."
It's a rave review of the latest four-comic book issue Groo run, Gods Against Groo, soon to be compiled in a trade paperback, and of course a rave review of Sergio's career and artistry, only lamenting that Groo hasn't really found the broad, mainstream all-ages mega-success it deserves.
"Sergio has no peers, not anymore. He's nothing less than our greatest living cartoonist. In 2023, there's no one else even in the same neighborhood. We, all of us, had damn well better start acting like it."
The Gods Against Groo trade paperback can be pre-ordered here.