MAD ABOUT SERGIO up at the Ojai Valley Museum.
It is a major retrospective that encompasses Sergio's nearly fifty year career.
The LA TIMES ran a piece that explains it all far better than I can.
I was a big fan of Groo when it had a home at Pacific and as it passed though Eclipse for an eye blink before it landed at Marvel Comics.
I think I met Sergio for the first time at a Chicago-Comic Con in the summer of '85. I remember going up to him to introduce myself and present him with a copy of Beanworld #1 which may have been the only book I had out at the time. I was flabbergasted to find out that not only did he know who I was but he was pretty fluent in Beanworld-speak. It was one of those golden meeting-a-hero moments one dreams of.
Many years later, after Groo's run at Marvel had come to an end, I helped Sergio and Mark Evanier find a safe haven for the book at Image Comics when I was at the helm of Image Central. Groo was at Image for about a year and Mark always listed me in the credits as "Executive Producer."
It was a good time. The guys found a better home for Groo at Dark Horse and we parted ways. Although I was quite sad to see the book go, Sergio's entrance and exit at Image were very important events . He came in with all of Groo's rights free and clear and he left with all of Groo's rights free and clear. They had full ownership of all their film and inventory. (Ownership of film was a big deal in those days and not all publishers were very nice about it.)
It was a big deal for me because I could rightfully say that Sergio Aragones' Groo successfully passed through Image Comics with its skin intact. No one had attempted to take (or muddy up) any of their rights.
A few years ago, while I was in the toy biz, Sergio had a great idea to produce sports toys. You know, Sergio looks at baseball, boxing, soccer, tennis, you name it. Little 3 inchers that would have come with pantomime comics. I believe they would have had worldwide appeal. But it was pitched during a time where the company I was with was narrowing its focus and it never got off the ground. I wish it had.
One last thing...Sergio has been a tireless supporter of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund over the years. His efforts are greatly appreciated by the CBLDF Board members past, present, and I'm gonna bet of the future!
What a guy!
Anyway...for a bit of a slide show of the pics I took at the opening over the weekend...go here.
If you get anywhere near Ojai while the show is up and running--don't miss it!