Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sergio Aragones Funnies #1

I should confess that I'm a big fan of Sergio Aragones, going back to his work in Mad Magazine and through his extensive comic book catalogue, with Groo the Wanderer at the top of the heap.

I was also lucky enough to meet and interview him a couple of decades ago at a comics convention, and he was just a pure delight - I always knew he was wonderfully talented, and was happy to find out he was a genuinely nice guy, as well.

These days Groo only appears in occasional mini-series, so it's great to see Sergio back with a new comic series.

It would be easy to categorize Funnies as sort of a mini-Mad. It's loaded with a variety of stories, including short gags, puzzles and longer stories. But while some of the gags could easily be printed in Mad, the longer stories are different from anything in the long-lived humor magazine.

My favorite story, without a doubt, is the autobiographical tale of Sergio's experience in college, as he was asked to recruit friends to play extras in a big shoot for a Daniel Boone film. Sergio apparently has a wealth of stories like this, and they're hilarious. More like this, please.

I have to admit that I wasn't a big fan of the two puzzle pages, mostly because my eyesight isn't good enough to pick out the tiny details in his amazing artwork. But that's a small quibble - this is a terrific comic and a must-buy for any fan of Sergio.

And that's everyone who has a sense of humor, right?

Grade: A-


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