Sergio Aragonés is in his mid-seventies now but is still going strong, as this new monthly series from Matt Groening’s Bongo Comics demonstrates. Each issue is a mix of the single-page, silent humour strips Aragonés is most famous for, a few longer strips – some based on historical events, some fictional and funny, some fictional and touching, some autobiographical – and puzzle pages (spot the difference, etc.). It’s a slightly odd mix, as I can’t imagine most kids being that interested in the autobiographical stories, the humour strips are mostly aimed at a youngish audience, and the puzzle pages are aimed at a very young audience, but it’s still the perfect outlet for Aragonés’ talents and the sort of outlet he should have been given years ago.
For me, the best thing about these comics is the autobiographical strips. Born in Spain, a refugee in France during the Spanish Civil War, educated in Mexico, and a seasoned traveller, Aragonés has lived quite an eventful life and the stories he has told so far seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. There is at least one autobiographical story per issue, and so far he has told of his time working as a movie extra (while still a student) in the 1950s, the first time he ever earned money drawing, his love of scuba diving, his love of puppets, and most interesting / unexpected of all, his time working as a camera assistant / sound man on wildlife documentaries, which took him all over the world. I could honestly read these stories all day long and I hope this series – and Sergio – just keeps on going forever.
These have a cover price of $3.50 (about £2.50) each. I bought a couple of issues on eBid and the rest on eBay, from various sellers, and paid about £2.00 each, including postage.