Thursday, July 8, 2010

Groo the Wanderer

Character Overview
Groo is a parody of "brutal sword and sorcery heroes" (like Conan) that were popular at the time of his creation in the 70s. Groo is a buffoon, whose ignorance and stupidity causes him to misunderstand what's going on around him. The only task that he is actually good at is using his swords and he loves to use them. He has been seen battling whole armies (and always wins) with nothing more than his blades. However, he, otherwise, is actually very peaceful, making money by doing odd jobs. Due to his extreme bad luck and tendency to jump into a battle before even deciding which side he's fighting on or learning what the fight is about, he causes mass destruction. His bad luck has been so widely known, news that he's coming is enough to cause mass destruction, when people react to the pending disaster.
Other Recurring Characters

  • Captain Ahax- A captain, all too aware of Groo's effects on ships, not that it helps his sanity.
  • Arba and Dakarba- Two witches that try to take advantage of Groo with terrible results. They repeatedly lose their powers because of Groo.
  • Arcadio- A handsome warrior that takes credit for quests that he tricks Groo into doing for him.
  • Chakaal- She is a skilled female warrior. Groo is madly in love with her, but, despite her respect for him as swordsman, the feeling is not mutual.
  • Granny Groo- Groo's grandma, who tries to use Groo in her get-rich-quick-schemes that usually end badly and with her spanking Groo.
  • Grativo the Wizard- Punishes Arba and Dakarba for their failures.
  • Grooella- Groo's queen sister. She bears a resembles to Groo. She despises her brother, but sometimes helps him (usually leading to disaster). Her hair was turned black due to an accident in one of Groo's "games".
  • The Minstrel- A jester that speaks in rhyme couplets. He sings about Groo's deeds, but usually gets Groo mad. He rarely appeared in later issues due to the complexity of writing his dialogue.
  • Pal and Drumm- Two con men. Pal looks to make "easy money", but Drumm isn't too bright. Dealings with Groo have caused the people the duo is conning to get mad at them. Their names are a pun off of palindrome.
  • Pipil Khan- A conqueror that has a short-temper and an Elmer Fudd-like speech pattern. He knows about Groo causing the end of many of his conquests. Not having met Groo in person, he imagined Groo as having a more imposing appearance. When he met the man that has been haunting him so long, he died of shock.
  • Rufferto- Groo's dog. He was owned by a rich family, but left for adventure and became Groo's dog. He thinks Groo is a tactical genius and a hero. Groo thinks he is a potenial meal, but never ate him. When with Groo, Groo can safely get on a ship (a ship would normally sink because of his bad luck).
  • The Sage- A wise man that is the only person to think of Groo as a friend. He gives Groo advise that Groo misinterprets leading to even worst diasters. He is rarely seen without Mulch, his dog.
  • Taranto- A corrupt general that wants to kill Groo. Groo can never remember if Taranto is a friend or foe.
  • Weaver and Scribe- A successful writer and his right-hand man. They look suspiciously like Mark Evanier and Stan Sakai, who work on the Groo the Wanderer comic.
  • The Witch of Kaan- An eccentric hag that is always prepared with a potion for her next vistor.

Running Gags

  • Mendicant- Groo becomes mad when refered to as the latter, despite not knowing what it means.
  • Early Groo stories began with a poem and all of them ended with a moral.
  • The Minstrel's mandolin's head changes in every panel.
  • Cheese Dip- It's Groo's favorite food and when he gets money it's the first thing that comes to his head.
  • Mulch- An agricultural process often metioned in casual conversations.
  • "Did I eer?"- An understatement Groo says when he looks at the destruction he caused.
  • As mentioned before, Groo can't remember if Taranto is a friend or foe. So, Taranto takes advantage of this.
  • "I am Prince of Chichester"- Groo says this when he can't think of anything to say. His granny made him memorize this for one of her schemes. The in-joke is the editor at the time was named Daniel Chichester.
  • "What do you mean 'slow of mind'?"- Groo is called "slow of mind" and he usually responds to this later (MUCH later) in the story.
  • "What pirates?"- Pal tried to raise an reward for Rufferto by saying pirates kidnapped him (there were really none) and Drumm asked (in front of Rufferto's former owners, a king and queen) "What pirates?". He askes this from time to time, even after the con fell apart.
  • Hidden Message- In Mavrel / Epic Comic's Groo series, each issue had a secret message in the art or dialogue. The message, usually, was "This is the hidden message."
  • Creators- In every issue, four of the creators are hidden in a frame among people (soldiers, travellers, etc.)
  • Issue # 1- Due to Groo's unusual publication history, at least three Groo comic issues (all created by the original creator, Sergio Aragonés) have been numbered # 1 (partly to boost sales), so Aragonés says every issue he wrote is number 1.


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