Sergio Aragonés looks back on 47 years of SDCC

Last week at Comic-Con,  Katie Schoolov of KPBS, the local PBS station of San Diego, did a profile piece on longtime cartoonist for Mad Magazine, Sergio Aragonés, who is most famous for his Groo comic and has been at every SDCC since it started back in 1970, below are some of the highlights:

Where he understands his impact:

“This is great because when you’re a cartoonist, you work at home all by yourself,” Aragonés said. “But when I come here, I realize I’m doing right, because that’s what they like.”…..

Where he recalls how far the convention has come:

“In the beginning, there weren’t that many people, probably a thousand or less,” Aragonés said. “Then we went to the convention center because it grew up so much.This is what happens. Masses of people. Millions, millions of people. People dressed like Batman, people with horns, and rifles, and things,”

Despite the more than 100,000 people who attend Comic-Con, and the sizable crowd at Aragonés’ booth, he said fewer people are coming for the comics.

“A lot of people are interested in movies, television,” Aragonés said. “Many of them don’t even know about comics, which a lot of people complain. But I love it because, like this (comics) they discovered these things when they were kids.”

“Comic Con is internationally known, so every time it gets mentioned, San Diego gets mentioned. There’s over 1000,000 people that come. When they come they stay in hotels, they buy food,” Aragonés said. “A city grows according to its needs. I think it’s been for the best. Before it was only sailors, their tattoo parlors, it was kind of a seedy little place. But it has really changed a lot.”

“I compare, many times, the comics to horses. Horses were the only way to travel before, so everybody had to have a horse. Suddenly the car comes in, and horses stop being the main way to travel. But horses didn’t disappear. We have horse races, we have Western cowboys, we have movies. Horses are a very valuable thing,” Aragonés said. “Comics are going to be here for a long time. Why? Because people like the feeling of it. What is going to disappear is the bad artists because there won’t be a place for them.”

“The old-timers, they keep coming, and they keep saying hello, and you see them grown from kids to adults,” Aragonés said. “It’s a pleasure being here because you’re the recipient of all these years of memories.”

It seems at 80 years old, the veteran cartoonist will continue to show up as long as there is a San Diego Comic Con.