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[Groop]More San Diego
Well, if you are sick of hearing about San Diego, you better delete this
One of the things that never ceases to amaze me about San Diego is how
accessible most folks are. At one point, I’m walking through a little
cafeteria place and I look at this one gentleman’s name tag and it says
“Gaham Wilson.” And so of course I Groo-ishly say “”You’re Gaham Wilson!”
And he says “Yes, I am.” The first thing I told him was that 25 years ago or
so, his contributions to Playboy were my second favorite thing about the
magazine and he chuckled and said they were his second favorite thing also.
Then we talked for a few minutes about the fine line between horror that is
horrific and horror that is funny and it was just great!!! Where else could
a bozo off the street like me do such a thing?
One of the cool things about hanging out at Sergio’s table is all of the
cool people you meet. In addition to all his fans, the publishers of the
German Groo trade paperbacks (they published the Groo & Rufferto TPB before
Dark Horse) and I also a French publisher who is working on getting Groo
published in France again (there has been only one and that was in 1991). (I
got their cards, of course) So Sergio had to spend time with them and also
with some folks from the Mexican media who wanted interviews. Mark cruised
by in between a panel and it’s always good to talk to him and he graciously
signed a few things.
I also met and spoke with the organizer of the Mexican Comic Convention,
“Conque 2000” that Carlos told us about. His name is Luis Paradela and he
is a super friendly outgoing guy. Sergio showed me the poster from the
Conque 2000 that he had done and asked if I had it. (It has a Groo) Thanks
to Carlos, I do have it and Sergio was quite surprised. Then Luis whipped
out a CD from the Con whose cover art was from the poster and then he
whipped out the convention program from 1998, 1999, and 2000 to show me.
The 1998 program cover was a wrap-around drawing by Sergio that had a little
Groo. I asked Luis how I could get one and he said, “Oh, just keep these!”
!!!!! Then he gave me his card, told me we were friends and to keep in
It was like this for the whole two days! There was one older Mexican
gentleman (I can’t find where I wrote down his name, but his last name is
Loyo ) who was a long time artist friend of Sergio and the father of one of
the artists nominated with Sergio for a Eisner for “Bart Simpson’s Tree
House of Horror”. Someone said he looked like Megatheos (he does) and I
thought it had come from Sergio that Megatheos was a caricature of Sr. Loyo
and we all had a good laugh about it. Latter Sergio said he thought I had
been the first to say he looked like Megatheos and that Sr. Loyo was not the
model for Groo’s god!?! So, as usual, I am confused. Anywho, the next day
I walk into a restaurant for breakfast and Sr. Loyo and his party are just
getting up to leave. We waved to each other and while one of his group was
taking care of the bill, he came over to me and said that he was next door
at the Rodeway Inn in room 316 and if I needed anything, just come over.
There was also a young man who Sergio has been a friend and mentor to for
since the guy was a kid. He is a fabulous artist with a beautiful portfolio
of detailed pencil art and he was talking with Sergio about a logo he was
designing for an organization he belongs to and Sergio was telling him how
logos need to be simpler. It was very interesting to watch and listen.
As has been reported, the Groo panel was great. Mark is especially funny.
One of my favorite stories is that a number of years ago some folks in
Texas, thinking he didn’t speak or understand english very well, provided
Sergio an interpreter! We all laughed at this, and then Stan added that
Sergio didn’t let on that he didn’t need one so that the interpreter would
get paid! The panel is mostly about Sergio & Mark, but Tom and Stan did
get involved in the discussion a little bit. It seems that Mark recently
interrupted Stan & Sharon’s 23rd wedding anniversary dinner to get Stan to
letter Space Circus. And there were jokes about the penny’s per hour Tom
gets paid coloring Sergio’s art. And Mark and Sergio both made the point
about what a fantastic job Stan & Tom do and what a tight knit family-like
team they all are. Mark pointed out that Groo Crew is a model of how a
comic should be done.
Hmm. This is getting too long. The Eisner awards were also fun. One
publisher who accepted the awards for a couple no-shows, called them at the
podium on his cell phone. They were in New York & London where it was
something like 2:00am & 5:00am (he got through to London) Everyone on the
Bart Simpson Treehouse of Horror spoke a little. Sergio said it had been
hard because the Simpsons have to be draw just so. Scott Shaw! (taking the
ME role in this venture) joked that it was easy and that Mark has the
easiest job in the world. Sergio was the Hall of Fame presenter, which I
guess he always does, and he was introduced as “Our most beloved
Larry & I hung out for a while after the Eisners in case I had a chance to
say good bye to Sergio. While I was waiting I started talking to two
gentleman, one of whom is Roman Arambula, who was one of the original
animators of Rocky & Bullwinkle and also worked for Disney and Warner
Brothers. He was exceedingly nice and, of course had known Sergio forever.
It was really great talking to him and a gentleman named Dave Thorne, a
cartoonist from Hawaii, who wanted a Groop shirt so badly he paid me for one
on the spot! While we were talking, Sergio came up behind and me and
started joking around.
All in all, the whole two days was just fantastic! Everyone: Groopies, Groo
Crew, other Groo fans, Sergio’s friends , everyone was just wonderful to
meet and talk to. I hope more of you are able to make it out there someday.
Take care all -Gary G.
Groop maillist - Groop@groo.com