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Re: some sad news

Hi guys/grrls!

Kevin (from the Groo mailing list) wrote:
I just heard on one of the other comic lists that
Mark Cohen passed away this week. If I'm not
mistaken, he's the person who helped line up some
of Sergio's transactions with some of the Groop
in the past. While I'd emailed half a dozen times
with him, I didn't really know him at all.
Maybe Mark can give us a more definitive take.

Well, I'm not Mark (Evanier), but I'll give it a shot.

I think Mark Cohen used to be a real estate agent.
But, all the while, he was also involved in the
National Cartoonists Society for a long time, and
knew a lot of cartoonists.  He also was a collector,
but not just any collector.  Supposedly, he has the
largest collection of MAD magazine artwork, which he
arranged into a traveling show.  In addition, he
has the largest collection of cartoonists' self
caricatures, which was also arranged into a travel-
ing show.  In addition, he also collected original
comic strip artwork.  I don't think he collected
much comic book artwork.

Anyway, Lynn Johnston, who writes/draws the "For
Better of For Worse" comic strip, one day asked
Mark if he could sell her artwork for her.  Sup-
posedly, Mark declined and said he couldn't.  But
Mark's wife was also there, and she said "Oh yes
you will!" or something to that effect ...  So that
got him started.

Since he already knew a lot of cartoonists, from
the cartoonists society and from collecting for
so many years, he was able to add a lot of artists
to his list of repping.  I think Sergio Aragones
was one of the early artists that he added.  Mark's
advertisements used to appear in the Comics Buyer's
Guide.  I think I saw his ads from the beginning
(around 1996 or so), and I saw when Sergio's name
was added.  ('Cause that's when I ordered a Groo

Sergio later dropped off having a rep, 'cause
some customers who ordered Sergio's artwork were
irate(?), about sometimes having to wait for the
artwork.  (Which was out of Sergio's control,
since the artwork wouldn't be sent back from the
printers for awhile.)

Anyway, even though you may never have heard of
Mark, you may have read his work.  He has written
gags for a number of comic strips, including
Gasoline Alley, etc.  He contributed art to the
Cartoon Art Museum for their fundraising auctions.
My guess is that he also asked some of the car-
toonists to contribute artwork to the CAM for
fundraising also.  In addition, he planned to
donate his vast collection (very substantial
collection) of artwork to the Ohio State Univer-
sity collection.  Among his collection are self
caricatures of Charles Schulz on Snoopy's doghouse,
Carl Barks, etc.  Plus, you may have heard of the
strip "Jump Start" by Rob Armstrong.  Mark said
he saw some of his art, and told him he oughta
be syndicated.  So he made a call to Schulz, who
made a call, and he got syndicated.

Plus, he arranged some panels at comic cons.  His
last one was with Morrie Turner (of "Wee Pals")
at Wondercon 98.

He was well liked by the cartoonists.  When the
Cartoon Art Museum had artist receptions, some
of them would stop by Mark's house (about a 1
hour drive from there).  Patrick McDonnell (the
writer/artists of "Mutts") said he was going to
visit Mark on Sunday after his signing at the CAM
on Saturday.  Wonder if he made it there in time
to see him?  Also, I think he said he rode with
Schulz in his limo to the annual Fog City Fest
(the Sparky awards).

How did he treat his clients?  Like you were his
long lost friend!  When I went to the Snoopy
Gallery in Santa Rosa, he invited me to stop by
his office.  He kept a lot of artwork there.
All of the walls were covered with cartoonists'
self caricatures.  Plus, he had a large cabinet
full of artwork that he was selling for the
cartoonists.  He said look through whatever I
wanted.  He also kept appologizing when he had
to answer phone calls from Will Eisner and Charles
Schulz.  But, of course I didn't mind ...  I was
still busy looking through his stacks of original
Peanuts, For Better or For Worse, Frank and Ernest,
Family Circus, etc. artwork in his cabinet.  I
think Mark actually called Schulz that time, be-
cause a cartoonist was publishing a book, and
wanted Schulz to write the forward, but was too
hesitant to ask himself.  So Mark made the call,
and Schulz said he would write it.

He published a book recently, of his self-carica-
tures.  It's a limited edition.  I think it's
available through Bud Plant.  The CAM may also
have some copies left.  There was a signing at
the CAM when the book was released.

Sooo, in conclusion, the comic book / comic strip
world has just lost one of its heroes ...
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