[Groop]Madcap Recap

Eric Chun mightyhero@yahoo.com
Thu, 6 Sep 2001 01:42:18 -0700 (PDT)

Hi guys/grrls!

Here’s my short recap of this year’s San Diego Comic
Con.  It’s only 5 weeks late.

Photos of some of the panels are posted at my web

Click on [SD photos].

I actually missed the first day of the comic con.
Unexpectedly had to go to work that day.  Had to
cancel my reservations and make new ones at the last
moment to get there late Thursday night.

Friday morning, walked past Sergio’s table twice be-
fore seeing it.  Gary was at Sergio’s table, with a
Sergio face mask this year.  (Last year, he just had
a Sergio mustache.)  Wonder what he’ll have next
year.  A young girl was behind Sergio’s table.  Had
never seen her before, but she was instantly recog-
nizable as Sergio’s daughter, Christen.  (Her name
tag read "Christen Aragones".)  She also has an un-
canny resemblence to her mom, Charlene.

The Groo panel was about to start in 15 minutes.  I
figured that I’d head over to the room where the
panel would be, and try to save the front row seats
for the mailing list members.

When I got there, the previous panel (Dan DeCarlo --
creator of Josie, Sabrina, and Cheryl Blossom, and
the modern look of all of the Archie characters) had
just ended.  Josie DeCarlo (Dan’s wife) was also on
the panel.  By sheer coincidence, she has an uncanny
resemblance to the character Josie.  I was waiting
for the front row attendees to leave, but no one
left.  They all stayed for the Groo panel, too, so
I couldn’t save the front row seats.

Sergio came on time for the panel -– something un-
heard of!  He was followed in by Gary, Larry,
Kevin, and Scott.  (They must have dragged Sergio
there.)  Tom Luth, on the other hand, came in late
for the panel –- something unheard of!  Mark, Stan,
and a mystery guest were also on the panel.

A bunch of us ended up sitting 4 or 5 rows back
from the stage: Gary, Kevin, Larry, Chris, Scott,
and me.  (Kaytee -– was that you sitting to the
right of us?)

Mark started the panel by asking if someone, -Gary-,
could guess the mystery guest, who had also worked
on Groo.  I though "Hmm ...  It doesn’t look like
Scott Allie (the Dark Horse editor), so it must be
the Prince of Chichester (the Marvel editor)!"
Moments later, Gary finally came up with the an-
swer – Gordon Kent!  I thought "Huh?"  Anyway, Gary
was right.  So, now you know why Mark didn’t ask me
to guess the mystery guest.

It turns out that Gordon was the original colorist
for the very first issue, for which he was paid the
princely sum of zero kopins.  Anyway, he was
responsible for a lot of the color schemes that are
still being used today, including Groo’s jerkin.
A really simple color, YA7 (or something like that),
was chosen, since it would have to be written many,
many times on the color guides.

That’s what I like about these panels –- you
learn something new every day.  The other thing
I learned was that Sergio used to be the Dictator
of Mexico.

At 2:30p.m. in the same room, there was a tribute
panel for Carl Barks (creator of Uncle Scrooge,
Beagle Boys, Gladstone Gander, and Gyro Gearloose,
and the modern look of Donald Duck, Huey, Dewey,
and Louie).  Mark was moderating this panel.  The
distinguished panel consisted of Russell Myers
(creator of Broom Hilda), Bruce Hamilton (publisher
of Gladstone Comics), Byron Erickson (editor of
Gladstone Comics / Egmont Comics), R.C. Harvey
(comic book historian), Russ Cochran (auctioneer /
publisher), and Don Rosa (Uncle Scrooge writer /

On the Disney Comics mailing list, there are
many, many obs- uh, intensely interested fans.
Right before this year’s comic con, there was a
passionate discussion (nearly a flame war) of
what should be Carl Barks legacy –- his comic
book work, or his oil paintings.

On the panel, there were representatives from
both sides of the coin –- those who thought his
COMIC BOOKS should be his legacy, and those who
thought his PAINTINGS should be his legacy.
During the panel, the thought had crossed my mind
that World War III might start here.  But, it
turned out to be a nice panel.

The 2nd annual Groo Grubfest dinner was on Friday
night.  That’s when all of the available Groo
mailing list members wander aimlessly through
the streets of downtown San Diego looking for a
place to eat, and then, at last resort, end up at
the Last Resort.  Gary, Larry, two of Larry’s
friends, Rich, and I made the arduous trek.

It’s quite fun to eat at the Last Resort … once
you get used to it.  The menu is typical of a
micro brewery or pub -- chicken, ribs, sand-
wiches, beer.  They give you a lot of napkins ...

Unfortunately, Gary didn’t have such a great
time.  For a while, he thought someone was
throwing beers at him.  It turned out he was
sitting under a leaky pipe!

We had a napkin fight with a few other tables.
With all of the excitement, I forgot to take a
group photo of the groop.

After dinner, we headed over to the Eisner
Award presentations.

On Saturday, I caught the end of the Voice Act-
ors panel.  Mark was also moderating this panel.
By sheer coincidence, one of the actors was
named Greg Berg, and another, who worked at
the same place, was named Gregg Berger.  Some-
times, they received each other’s paychecks.

The next panel, in the same room, was the
Marvel Bullpen panel.  By sheer coincidence,
Mark was also moderating this panel.  The
distinguished panel consisted of Marie Severin,
John Buscema, Gene Colan, and John Romita
Sr.  They were the main Marvel Comics artists
after the Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko era.

Kevin and Chris also attended this panel.  At
the start of the panel, Mark thanked Kevin for
bringing in the refreshments for the panelists!
There appears to be more to Kevin than meets
the eye.  Oh sure, he can outpun the Minstrel,
but he also created a popular web site, he
helps Gene Colan with his web site and auctions,
and he got a writing credit in DD #20.

Mark started out by asking each of the panel-
ists, one at a time, about the first story he or
she drew at Marvel Comics.  After each panel-
ist, Mark said "Did it by any chance look
like thisss?!?" (at the same time pulling out
an original art page from the first story).
That was impressive!

Later, John Romita Sr. was doing free sketches
on the main floor.  You’ve gotta meet John.
He took over drawing Spider-Man after Steve
Ditko.  Anyway, that was the good reason that
I was late for the Russell Myers panel.  By
sheer coincidence, Mark was also moderating
this panel.

Elliot Caplin (The Heart of Juliet Jones writer)
came up with the name "Broom Hilda".  But,
that was all he had.  Russell created the cast
of characters, and 30 years (and counting) of

The Fanboy trade paperback was on sale at
Bud Plant’s booth.  But, I forgot to go back
and purchase it.  It’s supposed to be re-re-
leased in November, to coincide with the
"Just Imagine ... Flash" one-shot from DC
Comics by Stan Lee, since Sergio is drawing
the back up story.

See you.


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