Wondering what Somebody’s First Comic Book is all about? The explanation is on this page!
TITLE: Friends and Enemies
Story and Art: Sergio Aragones
Calligraphy: Stan Sakai
Coloring: Gordon Kent
Interpreter: Mark Evanier
Cover Artist: Sergio Aragones
Publisher: Pacific Comics
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Never heard of “Groo.” The cover has a goofy-looking guy with a sword… kind of like a stupid Conan the Barbarian, I’m guessing?
IMPRESSIONS: The book actually opens up with a one-page feature of Sergio Aragones, the cartoonist, explaining to the reader how he’s wanted to tell stories about this “Groo” for years, but he couldn’t do it until comic book companies started to allow creators to maintain copyright and profit share in their comics. Kind of an unusual way to start a comic, don’t you think?
Anyway, the real story begins on the next page, as Groo is hiding from an army that’s out to kill him. As he hides from the warriors, he tries to figure out exactly who sent them and why they want him dead. We watch as he recalls a series of bumbling mistakes, each of which presents a different suspect as to the identity of his potential assassin. The story is pretty funny, and the several brief vignettes do a lot to show you just who this character is (he’s an idiot). Aragones’ art is really funny, and he slips in a few running gags, such as a bizarre predilection for Cheese Dip that seems a little out of place for an ancient warrior, but somehow perfectly in place for a comic like this one.
There’s also a second story starring “The Sage,” who seems to be the opposite of Groo in every way. Groo is a moron, the Sage is wise. Groo is a warrior, the Sage is a thinker. Groo causes disaster, the Sage… well, not different in every way, I suppose. But while the disaster in Groo’s wake is caused by his own ineptitude, the things that happen to the people around the Sage come because he’s too smart for them to understand him fully. Of course, this pretty much just serves to make the lay people look like fools, but that’s acceptable enough.
Funny comic. I’d read more Groo.