In what can certainly be seen as great news for longtime MAD magazine readers, world renowned cartoonist Sergio Aragonés has sold the animation rights to his beloved comics creation Groo the Wanderer to entrepreneur Josh Jones and his production company, Did I Err Production. The deal includes the rights for an animated series as well as a movie, though it’s unclear which might come first.
Groo the Wanderer, now in its landmark 40th year of publication, is the longest currently-running independent and “creator-owned” comic book property – outlasting many of the companies that published it. The brainchild of Aragonés, who creates the stories along with wordsmith Mark Evanier, the Eisner Award-winning Groo the Wanderer has been published by Dark Horse Comics since 1998.
Sergio Aragonés is the most honored cartoonist on the planet, having won every major award in the field, including the National Cartoonists Society’s Reuben Award and the Will Eisner Hall of Fame Award. His irresistible cartoons have appeared in MAD since 1963, including as the subject of “All-Sergio” special editions of the magazine. His artistic creations have been seen in DC Comics, Marvel Comics and just about every major publisher of funnybooks, and his work has been translated into more than 100 languages. Paperback collections of his work and graphic novels have sold into the millions.
Jones, and his Did I Err partner Scott Nocas, will serve as executive producers on the film and/or series with Aragonés and Evanier. Did I Err is focused on partnering with creative talent who understand Aragonés’ vision and characters. Projects are being packaged for streaming services and global distribution, with Did I Err able to co-finance as needed.
“After drawing and living with Groo for so many years, so many comics, so many pages, you can imagine I have drawn Groo in every position imaginable,” Aragonés explains. “Mark and I wondered so many times how he — Groo, not Mark — would look animated. We studied what we have seen on the screen by different animators and laughed plenty. Now, I know that we are going in the right direction and I can assure the fans that they will love Groo the way Mark and I do.”
“I’ve loved Groo the Wanderer since I was eight years old, and to have the honor of bringing the character to on-screen life is, quite literally, a lifelong dream come true,” Jones says. “Sergio’s style, the characters, the world, and especially the humor have always appealed to me. I just want to help bring what I’ve loved for so long to the next generation!”
Jones’ wide portfolio of businesses go far beyond his role as the head of Did I Err Productions. The visionary entrepreneur also owns and operates Kill Capital, a hybrid VC firm and family office; Gondola Ventures, a transportation infrastructure firm; FlyCoin, a crypto rewards program; and Ravn Alaska and its sister airline Northern Pacific Airways. Jones became a Bitcoin proponent in 2010 and has built an outstanding reputation throughout the cryptocurrency industry as a prolific investor and technical expert. He also co-founded DreamHost, a popular web hosting provider, while an undergraduate at Harvey Mudd College. He is a founder of HMC INQ, an investment network offering mentorship and startup support to HMC students and alumni. He currently serves on the board of Represent.Us and The Aquarium of the Pacific.
Growing up a huge comic book collector and Groo fan, Nocas has a long career investing in and launching media, consumer and education businesses. He has launched, and produced content for, next generation platforms and communities with Xbox, Sony, Vuguru, Marvel creator Stan Lee, the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Army and many others. Nocas currently serves as Managing Director of Jones’ Kill Capital, and as a venture partner with NextGen Ventures – in addition to his producer role with Did I Err Productions.
For the uninitiated, Groo the Wanderer follows the exploits of a barbarian warrior who is invincible in battle, but negotiates his days with an I.Q. three points lower than a boulder. With his trusty canine sidekick Rufferto, he wanders an ancient land of mystery, magic and mayhem, looking only for a warm place to sleep, a few coins, or a taste of cheese dip.
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