Evanier, Mark 1952-
EVANIER, Mark 1952-
PERSONAL: Born March 2, 1952, in Santa Monica, CA; son of an Internal Revenue Service employee.
CAREER: Author of cartoons, comic books, and television scripts. Hanna-Barbera comic-book division, former head; Edgar Rice Burroughs Estate, former head of overseas comic-book division; author and editor of comic books for American Disney Comics, Gold Key Comics, DC Comics, and Hanna-Barbera; author of foreign comics for Disney Studios.
AWARDS, HONORS: Will Eisner Award for Best Humor Publication (with Sergio Argonés), 1999, for Sergio Argonés' Groo.
(With Steve Rude) Space Ghost in the Sinister Spectre, Comico (Norristown, PA), 1987.
(Author of introduction) Bugs Bunny and Friends: A Comic Celebration, DC Comics (New York, NY), 1998.
Coauthor, with Sergio Argonés, of comic books, including Sergio Argonés' Boogeyman, Sergio Argonés Destroys DC, Sergio Argonés Massacres Marvel, Sergio Argonés Stomps Star Wars, Sergio Argonés' Dia de los Muertos, and Sergio Argonés' Blair Which?
Author of books on comics, including Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life, TwoMorrows, 2002 and Wertham Was Right!, TwoMorrows, 2003; author or editor of comic-book series, including (with Will Meugniot) "DNAgents," "Space Circus," (with illustrator Dan Spiegle) "Crossfire," "Fan Boy," "Daffy Duck," "Walt Disney' Super Goof," "The Amazing Chan," "Garfield and Friends," "Superman and Bugs Bunny," "Space Ghost," "Tom, Dick, and Harriet," "DC Challenge," "Bugs Bunny," "Flaxen," "Walt Disney's Moby Duck," "Superman Adventures," "Looney Tunes," "Yogi Bear," and "The Flintstones."
"GROO THE WANDERER" SERIES; ILLUSTRATED BY SERGIO ARGONÉS
(With Sergio Argonés) The Life of Groo, Epic Comics (New York, NY), 1993.
Also coauthor of comic-book series collected and published as Groo: The Most Intelligent Man in the World, Groo and Rufferto, The Groo Houndbook, The Groo Kingdom, The Groo Inferno, 1999, The Groo Jamboree, 2000, The Groo Library, 2001, The Groo Maiden, 2002, The Groo Nursery, 2002, Groo: Mightier than the Sword, 2002, Groo: Death and Taxes, 2003, and The Groo Odyssey, 2003, all published by Dark Horse Comics (New York, NY).
Mad Art: A Visual Celebration of the Art of Mad Magazine and the Idiots Who Created It, Watson-Guptill (New York, NY), 2002.
Coauthor, with Dennis Palumbo, of television scripts for series, including The Nancy Walker Show and The McLean Stevenson. Also author of scripts for cartoon series, including Scooby Doo, Plastic Man, Thundarr the Barbarian, The Trollkins, ABC Weekend Special,CBS Storybreak, Rickety Rocket, and Superman: The Animated Series. Author of pilots for cartoon shows Dungeons and Dragons and The Wuzzles.
Author of weekly column in The Comics Buyer's Guide 1994-2002.
ADAPTATIONS: The comic-book character Groo, based on the series by Evanier and Argonés, is featured in a card game created by Archangel Entertainment.
SIDELIGHTS: Since he started his career as an assistant to noted comic-book creator Jack Kirby, Mark Evanier has worked with many of the industry's greats. He is the author and editor of many comic-book series, hundreds of columns, and several television shows, and has collaborated with comic-book author/illustrator Sergio Argonés on projects for over twenty years. The duo's most well-known collaborations include the comic-book series "Groo the Wanderer."
In the "Groo the Wanderer" series, the dim-witted Groo, accompanied by loyal canine sidekick Rufferto, creates mishaps while trying to help people. Glenn Carter of Silver Bullet Comics online explained that Groo "is accessible to both young and old. Adult readers will enjoy the biting wit, sarcasm, and keen sense of irony, and the young will enjoy the silliness." Originally created by Argonés, "Groo" first appeared in Mad magazine. When the character became popular, Argonés and Evanier created several comic-book miniseries containing comical tales starring the lovable barbarian, and by 2003 had penned over 800 "Groo" installments.
In the "Fanboy" comic-book series, Finster, a high school student, comics fan, and employee of Grudge's Comic Shop, spends much of his time fantasizing about battling bullies, teachers, and other enemies with the help of comics superheroes. "Fanboy" "pokes fun at not only itself, but at the comics code, puerile plots, exaggerated bodies, teen angst, and just about everything having to do with comics," explained Fry Kitty in Comic Inc. online.
Evanier's Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life presents a collection of his essays, columns, and commentaries. He explained the genesis of the prose collection to an interviewer for the Dark Horse Comics Web site: "In the back of my various comics I was writing silly little essays for awhile about my career, … and people kept asking me for more of them." "If you don't agree with the premise embedded in its somewhat whimsical title, then Mark Evanier's Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life probably won't have much to say to you," concluded Bill Sherman in a review for Blogcritics.org. "Most of the collected … columns focus on one of three areas: ironic tales from the world of comic-book collecting, anecdotes and reminiscences about some of the industry's most prominent and/or colorful figures, and reflections on the artistic state of mainstream comic books today," explained Sherman. Alan David Doane in Comic Book Galaxy online called Evanier "a first rate essayist whose stories are uniquely personal and terrifically funny." Doane added that Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life "is essential reading for people with an interest in comics."
Published in 2002 to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Mad magazine, Evanier's Mad Art: A Visual Celebration of the Art of Mad Magazine and the Idiots Who Created It celebrates the people who have worked on the magazine since its conception. It contains in-depth interviews and biographical sketches of the magazine's original artists, writers, and production staff. Jerry Beck noted in CartoonResearch.com that Mad Art serves as a "terrific tribute to the mad-men whose humor influenced the latter half of the twentieth century—and continue to be an inspiration to many of today's top cartoonists and animators." In the book, Evanier presents a complete history of the comic book and magazine, including biographical information of the more recent Mad staff. A reviewer for National Caricaturist Network online called the book "a hilarious look at five decades of America's premiere showcase for parody, satire, and wit."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, February 1, 2003, Gordon Flagg, review of Mad Art: A Visual Celebration of the Art of Mad Magazine and the Idiots Who Created It, p. 139.
Library Journal, February 15, 2003, Joe J. Accardi, review of Mad Art, p. 139.
Publishers Weekly, April 28, 3003, review of Mad Art, p. 50; June 2, 2003, review of Groo, p. 36.
School Library Journal, August, 2003, Paul Brink, review of Groo: Death and Taxes, p. 190.
Blogcritics.org,http://blogcrtics.org/ (September 1, 2002), Bill Sherman, review of Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life.
CartoonResearch.com,http://www.cartoonresearch.com/ (February 16, 2003), Jerry Beck, review of Mad Art.
Comic Book Galaxy,http://comicbookgalaxy.com/ (June 6, 2003), review of Comic Books and Other Necessities of Life.
Dark Horse Comics Web site,http://www.darkhorse.com/ (November 15, 2003), interview with Evanier.
National Caricaturist Network Web site,http://www.caricature.org/ (June 9, 2003), review of Mad Art.
POV Online: Mark Evanier Web site,http://www.povonline.com (November 16, 2003).*