[Groop]Membership has its privileges

Larry Steller mrgrooism@yahoo.com
Wed, 15 Jan 2003 10:29:23 -0800 (PST)

I think a GROOP membership card could be very funny!
Let's do it. 

Here's my suggestion, let me know what you think. I'd
go with something like what Eric has done in the past,
orange paper laminated, that says something like:

(Medium) I'm a member in good standing of 
(Large) The Groop 
(Medium) DID I ERR?
(Small) (your name here, number G03-0000)

Sergio, Mark, Stan, Tom and Gordon would get numbers
G03-0001 through 05, Josh would get 06 (since he is
Our Founder) Ruben would get 07 (Since he's The First
Groopie to signup, is that right?) and Gary would get
08 (since he's been publicly acknowledged by The Groo
Crew - even in print - as the Number One Groo Fan).
Number 09 would go to whoever takes charge and
actually makes up the cards, and after that it's first
come, first serve. We'd all get cards starting G03,
newbies requesting a card next year would get one
starting with G04, and so on. (If I wasn't broke, I'd
offer to do these myself, but i couldn't possibly lay
out money at this time).

Alternately, we could start the numbering with the
year each member signed up with The Groop, but that
might take too much research to be reasonable. 

Anyway, the flip side could just be a large
www.groo.com., followed by the definition of mulch.

I also believe, from talking to Sergio, he wouldn't
mind having a stack of orange business cards or small
flyers that just say something like:

"Hey Groo Fans, join The Groop, the official fan email
list for Sergio Aragone's Groo! Sign up today at
www.groo.com." He could then keep them out on the
table at conventions.

I tend to think that, although Mark & Sergio often do
very kind and generous things for the Groop, the idea
of actually USING this card for "extra autographs" or
"discounts' or "favors" would be very, very awkward,
and not something they'd agree to in principle. 

Generally, all it takes is to tell Sergio or Mark
you're a member of the Groop and you're guaranteed a
very positive reaction. Of course, the same is true
for telling them you like GROO or MAD or CROSSSFIRE or
even spinach...

The way I handled getting autographs for friends in
the past was to just say "could you please sign this
for my buddy Dave", and he'd be cool about it. I think
any friends who want an autograph but who would push
me over a reasonable 3 autograph limit, I'd wait until
the line died down so as not to hold anyone up, then
pay the $1.00 donation myself. In the case of favors
for people I barely know, I'd either split the
donation or charge them the $1.00, depending on the

Regardless, to keep in the spirit of things, I still
wouldn't ever try to get more than one or two extra
things signed for someone, I actually couldn't imagine
plunking down 5 items!!! The point isn't to try to
solicit money, it's to keep autograph seeking to a fun
and reasonable pace. 

Just sit and watch ANY creator for a peiod of time.
They're almost always VERY happy to meet and greet a
fan with an autoraph or two, and almost ALWAYS annoyed
when presented with 5 or 6 or 10 or 30...

Of course, IF IF IF I end up at San Diego this year
(I'm still out of work and job-hunting), well, I
already have the basics signed (still need Gordon
Kent, though!) and probably wouldn't even be seeking
autographs for myself. 

Aside to MICHAEL: I mentioned this to one other
person, privately, so just WATCH THIS SPACE, and if I
say I'm going to San Diego after all, email me with a
request to get something signed and I'll TRY to help
you out.

Sergio does now charge for MOST sketches, largely
because so many of his sketches have gone right up on
ebay, some even the day he did the sketch! Those few,
rare freebies he still does tends to be a doodle here
or there when he signs something, or a low-detail
quickie for someone who buys something from him IF
there's no line. 

I have had the pleasure of meeting Sergio 5 times now,
and in all that time only once ever asked him (very
politely) for a freebie sketch; he did a cute little
low-detail Groo with a goofy look on his face, and I
cherish it. Even then, this was after I had already
become very friendly with him, and still felt like I
was imposing when I asked, although he was very happy
to do it. The next time I ask him for a sketch I
intend to commission it and pay the going rate.

-Larry "Mr. Grooism" Steller

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