Groo: Hell on Earth, Vol 3

March 13th, 2008 by

Groo: Hell on Earth, Vol 3I’m a big Groo fan. I think it’s generally a clever parody of the swashbuckling hero genre, and just silly enough without resorting to elephant sized chickens that it often has me chuckling to myself when I read it. (Not to be confused with clucking to myself, which I would undoubtedly do, if I were an elephant sized chicken.)

Of course, much of the appeal comes from Sergio Aragonés’ signature style, perhaps taking me back to the days of my youth, when I coveted owning my own issues of Mad Magazine, rather than reading snippets of friend’s copies over their shoulders or in the bookstore when I thought I could get away with it. I think Aragonés art is best when it’s super-detailed scenes with lots of people and stuff happening. I love when he draws lots of faces at once, as in scenes of village folk and cityscapes, or armies and big battles. The variation he achieves in expression with so few lines is definitely an art worth studying.

This latest arc, Hell on Earth, is an obvious parody of our political climate. Issues of the environment coupled with an unfriendly war-mongering ruler draw easy parallels to situations here in the US and the rest of the world. Truth be told, I thought it was all a little heavy handed in the first two issues of this arc, but with this issue I’m warming up to it. I’ll reserve final judgment for the forthcoming fourth and final issue.

The letters pages have been particularly amusing in this Groo itteration, and this issue’s was especially so. I felt like it really managed to build toward a suitably silly conclusion, and unlike other letter columns wasn’t filled with endless praise and meaningless back-patting prattle.

If you have a bone for the funny, Groo is well worth a gander. Not an elephant sized gander, mind you, but perhaps one human sized or slightly larger. But if you started reading Groo with this series, and then went back to read some of the old Groo series, you might find the gander grew on you, if you catch my meaning. (Yes, I did just write that. Cluck.)

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