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Sergio on Hiatus

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Fans of Groo the Wanderer and/or Conan the Barbarian were gladdened to hear recently that the long-awaited mini-series crossover of those two swarthy swordsmen was finally coming out. Issue #1 of four comes out in April…but then we're going to hit another delay.

The series is being done by Sergio Aragonés, Tom Yeates, Tom Luth and me. It could be done without either of the Toms or me but it can't be done without Sergio who is currently suffering from back troubles. You apparently get this condition if you sit at a drawing board sixteen hours a day for 50+ years drawing silly pictures. Anyway, Sergio is unable to draw at the moment, which is a little like you or I being unable to breathe, only more serious. He finished #1 of Groo Vs. Conan, most of #2 and about half of #3…and then the problem hit him. He could probably finish #2 and maybe #3 before they're due at the printer but…

Well, I'll let you in on a secret. After that first issue comes out, the others will be delayed until his back is better. This is a secret in the sense that Sergio doesn't know it yet.

He's recuperating in a hospital at the moment, doesn't have internet access, and won't know for a few days that I made the decision to yank the book off the schedule. This is to force him to take it easy and get better rather than to scurry back to the drawing table and work 'round the clock to make the deadline and by so doing, not recuperate. So if you're pissed about the delay, blame me or blame the backache…but don't blame the guy with the backache. Groo Vs. Conan #1 hits stores on April 18. Then the understanding folks at Dark Horse Comics will stick it back on the schedule as soon as Sergio is back to full drawing strength and you'll get the rest of the story. I'll announce here when that will be as soon as I have some idea when that will be.

When you see #1, you'll find at least one thing particularly amusing. As in Sergio Destroys DC, Sergio Massacres Marvel, Sergio Stomps Star Wars and other like series we've done, the Señor and I are characters in the tawdry drama…and in the first issue we did some time ago, Sergio winds up in the hospital, unable to work. I am well aware that Life often imitates Art but I worry when it imitates Groo.

Sergio's handiwork will be seen in the next issue of MAD and I think there's stuff already completed for the one after. He has not missed an issue of that magazine since #111, which was dated June of 1967 and he's not about to stop now. There may be some delay in Sergio Aragonés Funnies, the book he does for Bongo Comics…and again, I'll let you know when I know. I'm not sure if he'll be at WonderCon this March in Anaheim but we'll be playing Quick Draw! Friday afternoon at 2 PM with or without him. I'm hopeful for "with."

P.S., Added ten minutes later: I've already received three e-mails from folks asking me to forward Get Well messages to my partner. I'm sure he'd appreciate them but let's hold off for a little while. I'll post an address later where you can send such things.