My brother and I read “Groo the Wanderer”for many years. While buying a “Barbie” comic with my daughter today, I felt nostalgic and grabbed a few yellowed Groo comics. Great stuff. It always gives me some genuine smiles.
The editor was Mark Evanier, a well-know writer himself. I looked him up on the ‘net and found that he is quite politically opinionated and unafraid to discuss his ideas. In addressing his criticisms of Trump, it occurred to me that perhaps one of the reasons he dislikes the new president is that Trump has, at best, a mocking and condescending toward Latin Americans. As the editor of various Groo titles over the years, Evanier is no doubt still close to Sergio Aragonés, the Spanish and Mexican author.
Where would we be without people like Aragonés, who have provided many of us with laughter for years? Where would we be without people like Sanchéz, who kept us dry by hot-tarring our roofs? Where would we be without people like Ramiréz, who has kept track of our blood pressure for years and stitched our cuts and helped us get healthy?
These people belong to our country and deserve to be here as much as my immigrant ancestors. To scapegoat them is a disservice to what makes this country great. Just as Aragonés’ contributions to comics have been invaluable, so have the contributions of immigrants from any number of countries. For this reason, attempts to wall them out, ban them, and otherwise minimize their potential contributions will have a detrimental impact on our quality of life, as well as theirs. Let’s say “no to the wall” and “no to the ban”
The comics world lost a big star recently.
Born in China in 1925, Alfonso Wong worked in illustration before and after his move to Hong Kong in 1956. Sometime around 1960 or 1961, his beloved character Old Master Q took shape. Old Master Q turned into a comic strip with several repeating characters, including his two buddies, a foil, and a love interest.
Although some of the strips have words, many are wordless. The “Old Master Q” comic reads like the best pantomime strips, such as the original “Ferd’nand” and “The Little King.” There is always the set up, the reveal, and the reaction. The strips were seamless, with a quick buildup to the gag. They could take place in any country, any time.
As the years passed, Old Master Q became a marketing empire, especially in Hong Kong, but also extending to other areas of southeast Asia and other areas with large overseas Chinese populations. A namesake comic was printed monthly and Old Master Q began to appear on licensed products and in advertisements.
Sometime in the 1980’s, his son Joseph Wong took over. Unlike many strips that are continued after the creator’s retirement, Joseph Wong was an able heir. Alphonso Wong moved to California where he continued making art and no doubt stayed in touch with his characters. He died this month due to organ failure.
Check out more of Alphonso Wong’s work here: Old Master Q Comics. You certainly won’t regret it!
Dan Archer has some interesting reporting in the BBC News magazine today. He has a comic story about human trafficking in Nepal. Instead of writing a traditional narrative, Archer turned his report into a comic. Some of it is typically “illustrated narrative,” but that seems unavoidable in such a comic. This is a new area of journalism that is being explored by the BBC, so kudos to them.
The watercolor is very nice, but most importantly, this is a good piece of journalism with multiple sources and quotes that fits well into the comic format. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more of this from Archer and the BBC.