Rating: 5/5 – Revel in the work of a master cartoonist/storyteller
Most people are familiar with Sergio Aragonés from his work in Mad Magazine, particularly on the “marginals”, where he has worked since 1963. Others may know of his comedic barbarian Groo the Wanderer (mulch!). Fewer are probably aware that he created the DC Western character “Bat Lash“. Fewer still that the Comic Art Professional Society has an annual award called the “Sergio” that they bestow upon a writer or cartoonist who has had a great impact on the profession. And, at the risk of being preachy, few are probably aware of Sergio’s wonderful comic from Bongo “Sergio Aragonés Funnies” since it’s from a smaller publisher and does not star a super-hero (unless we want to count Sergio as a super-hero, maybe that’s not too bad an idea!)
Every couple of months we are treated to a new issue of this gem. There are typically a few 1 page gag strips, a couple of fun visual puzzles, a longer humor story, and then what I consider to be the main attraction, an autobiographical drawn from Sergio’s rich and interesting life.
For those who attended the “Sergio & Mark Show” panel at this year’s Comic Con International: San Diego, we were treated to hear Sergio reminisce about some of the trips that Mad Magazine publisher Bill Gaines would take the Mad staff on each year. He told specifically about the trip to his homeland, Mexico, that Gaines asked him to plan and how it was so special to him that he had been given the job of showing the staff his country. This very trip is recounted in the pages of Sergio Aragonés Funnies #8 and anyone buying a copy can share in this wonderful tale.
If you’ve ever seen a comic illustrated by Sergio you know the level of craft he puts into each panel and each page. Every bit of space is filled with wonderful detail and humor, your eye is drawn to the key players in a panel and then you realize that you get so much more out of the story by letting your eyes take in all the other details loaded into the image. He’s considered a master by almost everyone in the industry, this is not for nothing. He has many more fans out there from Mad Magazine than are probably even aware that this comic exists. If you know one of these fans let them know about the comic.
This review has been far more of a commercial than most of the reviews I write, but I love Sergio’s work that much. I just can’t help myself. If you were not aware of this comic, seek it out. Ask your local comic shop to carry it. When an issue comes out, buy it! If you’re unfamiliar with Sergio’s work, please try it!
Reviewed by: Bob Bretall – firstname.lastname@example.org
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