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Whilst in the sixth form, my mates all collected Marvel and DC comics and we spent every available weekend scouring comic fares and events in and around the Nottingham area. My friends all collected the traditional action adventure comics like Spiderman, etc. After a while, I decided I actually wanted to collect a series of comics, whilst at the same time, being rather different. I was also a big fan of “Mad!” magazine, which for those of you who have never come across this, it is a predominantly U.S. comic, which parodies popular films and TV programmes in cartoon form. One particular illustrator always stood out from the others, and that was a bloke called Sergio Aragones. Imagine my delgight when scouring a box of old comics and I found a comic written purely by this Sergio fella, entitled, of all things, Groo the Wanderer. GROO THE WANDERER was created by Sergio Aragonés. Basically, it's the story of a barbarian who is as dangerous as a stampede of cattle...and almost as smart. Along with his intrepid, oddly-loyal hound Rufferto, he roams another time and place, leaving destruction in his wake. Groo was first published in 1981, more than 150 issues have been published to date, not necessarily at regular intervals. For avid collectors like me, you will need to know that Groo was published by four comic book publishers, namely Pacific Comics, Eclipse Comics, Marvel/Epic Comics and Image Comics. Groo is presently published by Dark Horse Comics <http://www.dhorse.com> These days, the comics only come out every so often in the form of a four-issue mini-series of his exploits. I didn’t realise until I started writing this review that there are literally dozens of Groo websites around, I thought I was the only fan of Groo around here. Most of these can be accessed from “the” main website: www.groo.com For those of you who are now a tad on the intregued s
ide, before I zoom off, I shall give you an insight into some of the main characters: Groo was born by an ordinary farmer and the proud family name means "The Cattle are Dying". He was born totally mindless due to a curse his father had recieved from an evil sorcerer that could read peoples minds. Groo later became plagued with bad luck and almost everything he did turned out bad even though his intentions almost always were honourable. Since he was dumb but strong he later became a great warrior in Sakisamas army and it was there that he recieved his swords. His true and loyal friend (and only friend for that matter) is his dog Rufferto. Rufferto stumbled onto Groo when he fled from his former master. Sage has been around since the beginning of Groo. Sage is like a grandfather to Groo. He is nice, caring and he looks after Groo's welfare. Arba and Dakarba (get it????) are two witches who have it out to get Groo. They tried to kill him the first time they laid their eyes upon Groo's ugly nose. Captain Ahax is my favourite character, as he appeals to my “slapstick” sense of humour side. Unfortunate things always happen, usually whatever craft he seems to be sailing, Groo will always sink it without a trace. Other regular characters in the Groo cast are: Pal and Drumm, Arcadio (with a chin to envy Bruce Forsyth), Taranto, The Minstrel (who can’t sing, naturally), Chakaal (Groo’s love element), Grooella (Groo’s sister) . If you come across any old editions, I should snap them up quick, as there is a laugh on every page - better than some comedy programmes on tele. Once you've started, you won't stop!
Illustrator Sergio Aragones' creation of Groo The Wanderer, always in a pickle and enjoys a spot of cheese dip and mulching.