Mark Stephen Evanier (//; born March 2, 1952) is an American comic book and television writer, known for his work on the animated TV series Garfield and Friends and on the comic book Groo the Wanderer. He is also known for his columns and blog News from Me, and for his work as a historian and biographer of the comics industry, such as his award-winning Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics.
Evanier at the 2017 WonderCon
|Born||Mark Stephen Evanier|
March 2, 1952
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Author, screenwriter, biographer, comics historian, voice director|
|Genre||Comic books, television sitcoms, cartoons, biographical books|
Garfield and Friends
Kirby: King of Comics
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
The Garfield Show
Evanier identifies as Jewish. His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic. He chose to be a writer after witnessing the misery his father felt from working for the Internal Revenue Service and contrasting that with the portrayal of a writer's life on The Dick Van Dyke Show. He graduated from University High School in 1969.
Evanier was president of a Los Angeles comic book club from 1966–69. In 1967, he suggested the titles of the officers of the Merry Marvel Marching Society. He made his first professional sale in 1969; that same year, through a mutual association with a Marvel Comics mail-order firm, he was taken on as a production assistant to Jack Kirby. Several years later Evanier began writing foreign comic books for the Walt Disney Studio Program, then from 1972 to 1976 wrote scripts for Gold Key Comics—including one memorable story, "The Greatest of E's", where he revealed that the E in Wile E. Coyote stands for "Ethelbert"—along with comics for the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.
In 1974 he teamed with writer Dennis Palumbo and wrote for a number of television series, including The Nancy Walker Show, The McLean Stevenson Show, and Welcome Back, Kotter, on which he was a story editor.
After leaving Kotter in 1977 and amicably ending his partnership with Palumbo, Evanier wrote for and eventually ran the Hanna-Barbera comic book division. He also wrote a number of variety shows and specials, and he began writing for animated cartoon shows, including Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo, The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show, Thundarr the Barbarian, The ABC Weekend Special, Yogi Bear's All Star Comedy Christmas Caper, Richie Rich, The Wuzzles, and Dungeons & Dragons. He is most noted in animation for his work on Garfield and Friends, a seven-season series for which Evanier wrote or co-wrote nearly every episode and acted as voice recording director. Since 2008, Evanier has been the co-writer and voice director of The Garfield Show, which won a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in an Animated Program for June Foray.
He has produced a number of comic books, including Blackhawk, Crossfire and Hollywood Superstars (with Dan Spiegle), Groo the Wanderer (with Sergio Aragonés), and The DNAgents (with Will Meugniot). For the Spiegle comics, Evanier contributed lengthy essays on the entertainment industry. In 1985, he launched the DC Challenge limited series with artist Gene Colan. He wrote the New Gods series of 1989–1991. Evanier collaborated with Joe Staton on the Superman & Bugs Bunny mini-series in 2000.
For many years, Evanier wrote a regular column, "Point of View", for Comics Buyer's Guide.
Evanier's illustrated Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics, was published in February 2008 by Abrams Books. It won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book. Evanier collaborated with Aragonés and Thomas Yeates on the Groo vs. Conan crossover for Dark Horse Comics in 2014.
In 1970, Evanier attended the Golden State Comic Con in San Diego, the first annual gathering of what came to be known as Comic-Con International. Evanier is one of a small group of people (estimated at six or less) who have attended every year. In 1973, he first hosted a panel at the yearly event and the volume soon escalated to the point where he was hosting as many as fourteen over a four-day convention. They usually include Quick Draw!, which pits fast cartoonists against one another to respond with drawings to challenges Evanier throws at them; the Annual Jack Kirby Tribute Panel, Cover Story (artists discussing the skills involved in creating covers for comic books), and several panels about the art of providing voices for animated cartoons. For years, he hosted the annual Golden Age Panel featuring artists and writers who'd worked in comic books in the 1940s but it ended after 2010 due to a lack of available panelists and was replaced by That 70's Panel, celebrating comic book creators from that era. Evanier also serves as Administrator of the Bill Finger Award for Excellence in Comic Book Writing. Several of the panels he hosts at Comic-Con also appear at the annual WonderCon in Anaheim, California.
On May 26, 2006, Evanier underwent gastric bypass surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Having peaked at around 344 pounds (156 kg) by then, he subsequently lost nearly 99 pounds (45 kg) by June 2007.
From 1998 until 2017, Evanier was in a relationship with Carolyn Kelly, daughter of the famed cartoonist Walt Kelly, creator of the award-winning comic strip, Pogo. Together, they arranged with Fantagraphics Books to reprint, for the first time, the entirety of Pogo's run as a newspaper strip, fully restored and issued in a series of 12 hardcover volumes. Volume 1 was published in 2011, co-edited by Kim Thompson and Kelly; Kelly painted the covers and designed the books, with Evanier as a consultant. Subsequent volumes were delayed by the medical issues and deaths of Thompson and Kelly. Before Kelly died on April 9, 2017, Evanier promised her he would see the series through to its conclusion. Volume 4, issued soon after, included a foreword by author Neil Gaiman about Evanier and Kelly, and additional volumes are currently being released.
- 1975: Won Inkpot Award
- 1992: Won "Best Humor Publication" Eisner Award for Groo the Wanderer
- 1997: Won "Best Humor Publication" Eisner Award for Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC and Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel
- 1999: Won "Best Humor Publication" Eisner Award for Sergio Aragonés Groo
- 2001: Won "Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award"
- 2003: Won Animation Writer's Caucus of the Writers Guild of America, West Lifetime Achievement Award 
- 2009: Kirby: King of Comics won "Best Comics-Related Book" Eisner Award; "Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation" and "Special Award for Excellence in Presentation" Harvey Award
- Scooby-Doo #10, 14, 17 (1996-1997)
- Garfield #1–32 (2012–2014)
- Space Ghost #1 (1987)
Dark Horse ComicsEdit
- Flaxen #1 (1992)
- Groo vs. Conan #1–4 (2014)
- Sergio Aragonés Groo: 25th Anniversary Special (2007)
- Sergio Aragonés Stomps Star Wars (2000)
- Blackhawk #251–273 (1982–1984)
- Countdown to Mystery #8 (Doctor Fate) (2008)
- DC Challenge #1, 12 (1985–1986)
- DC Comics Presents #64, 69 (1983–1984)
- Fanboy #1–6 (1999)
- House of Mystery #214 (1973)
- Legends of the DC Universe #14 (1999)
- Mister Miracle Special #1 (1987)
- New Gods vol. 3 #1, 5–28 (1989–1991)
- Secret Origins #12 (Challengers of the Unknown) (1987)
- Sergio Aragonés Destroys DC #1 (1996)
- Solo #11 (2006)
- Spirit #14–25 (2008–2009)
- Superman & Bugs Bunny #1–4 (2000)
- Superman Adventures #14–15, 42, 53 (1997–2001)
- Teen Titans Spotlight #21 (1988)
- Welcome Back, Kotter #4 (1977)
- Destroyer Duck #1 ("Great Moments in Comic Book History" backup story) (1982)
- The DNAgents #1–24 (1983–1985)
- Crossfire #1–26 (1984–1987)
- Groo the Wanderer Special #1 (1984)
- The New DNAgents #1–17 (1985–1987)
- Three Dimensional DNAgents #1 (1986)
- Mickey Mouse and Blotman: Blotman Returns ("Now Museum, Now You Don't.") (2006)
- Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo... Mystery Comics #21-25, 27-30 (1973-1975)
- Rocky and Bullwinkle #1–4 (2014)
- Dynomutt #1–6 (1977–1979)
- The Flintstones #1–9 (1977–1979)
- The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera #1 ("The Flintstones Christmas Party"); #3 ("The Flintstones Visit the Laff-a-Lympics") (1977–1978)
- Hanna-Barbera Spotlight #1–4 (1978–1979)
- Laff-A-Lympics #1–13 (1978–1979)
- Marvel Premiere #49 (Falcon) (1979)
- Marvel Super Special #29 (Tarzan) (1984)
- Scooby-Doo #1–9 (1977–1979)
- Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel #1 (1996)
- TV Stars #1–4 (1978–1979)
- Yogi Bear #1–9 (1977–1979)
- The Death of Groo graphic novel (1988)
- Epic Illustrated #27 (1984)
- The Groo Chronicles #1–6 (1989)
- Hollywood Superstars #1–5 (1990–1991)
- The Life of Groo graphic novel (1993)
- Sergio Aragonés Groo the Wanderer #1–120 (1985–1995)
- Groo the Wanderer #1–8 (1982–1984)
- Starslayer #5 (Groo backup story) (1982)
Television and film creditsEdit
- The Nancy Walker Show (1976)
- The McLean Stevenson Show (1976)
- Welcome Back, Kotter (1976)
- The Love Boat (1977)
- Baby, I’m Back (1978)
- The Krofft Superstar Hour (1978)
- Scooby-Doo and Scrappy-Doo (1979-1980, story editor)
- Pink Lady (1980)
- The Richie Rich/Scooby-Doo Show (1980-1981)
- The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show (1980)
- Goldie Gold and Action Jack (1981)
- Thundarr the Barbarian (1981)
- Trollkins (1981)
- Yogi Bear’s All Star Comedy Christmas Caper (1982)
- Dungeons & Dragons (1983)
- ABC Weekend Specials (1984)
- Pryor's Place (1984)
- The Wuzzles (1985)
- CBS Storybreak (1985)
- Garfield and Friends (1988-1994, story editor)
- Superboy (1989)
- Mother Goose and Grimm (1991)
- Bob (1993)
- The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat (1995)
- Superman: The Animated Series (1997)
- Channel Umptee-3 (1997)
- The Garfield Show (2009-2012, 2015-2016; story editor)
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
- Johnston, Rich (March 9, 2011). "The Mark Evanier Deposition For The Kirby Family Vs Marvel Lawsuit". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013.
- "Wondercon Special Guests". Comic-Con Magazine. San Diego Comic-Con International: 19. Winter 2010.
- Evanier, Mark (November 19, 2013). "Tales of My Childhood #6". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014.
- Evanier, Mark (December 7, 2011). "About ME". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
'Evanier' is not French; it was probably made up by some Immigration Officer at Ellis Island one day who said, 'Hey, here come some more Jews! Let's give them real stupid last names!
- Kraft, David Anthony; Slifer, Roger (April 1983). "Mark Evanier". Comics Interview (2). Fictioneer Books. pp. 23–34.
- DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 120. ISBN 978-0756641238.
Mark Evanier...wrote [to Marvel Comics] suggesting that the M.M.M.S have officers: anyone who bought a Marvel comic was entitled to the rank of RFO (Real Frantic One) and a published letter elevated him or her to QNS (Quite 'Nuff Sayer) status.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Evanier, Mark (June 19, 2013). "Tales of My Father #3". News From ME. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.
- Mark Evanier at the Grand Comics Database
- Evanier, Mark (July 23, 2018). "Corrections, Corrections..." News From ME. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018.
- Evanier, Mark (November 23, 2013). "Garfield and Friends Episode Guide". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
- Evanier, Mark (May 5, 2007). "About Vince Colletta". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
I don't think I've ever gotten through a major comic convention without someone coming up to me and bestowing thanks for my role in getting Jack Kirby to dump Colletta as his inker around 1971. It could easily be my greatest contribution to the world of comics.
- Evanier, Mark (December 1, 2007). "Briefly Noted…". New From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
The show was created, produced and largely written by Bill Steinkellner, Cheri Steinkellner and Phoef Sutton. I merely wrote one episode and, in an unofficial capacity, provided some "technical advice" about comic books and the comic book business.
- DeFalco "1980s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 220: "Marvel's Epic Comics imprint also launched their longest running and most successful title, Groo the Wanderer. It was drawn by Sergio Aragonés...and was written by Mark Evanier."
- Manning, Matthew K.; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1980s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
A mad experiment, DC Challenge was a fun adventure, starring many DC icons. Its debut issue was penned by Mark Evanier and drawn by Gene Colan.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
- Greenberger, Robert (August 2017). "It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Look at the DC Challenge!". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (98): 34–44.
- Cowsill, Alan "2000s" in Dolan, p. 296: "Writer Mark Evanier and artist Joe Staton produced a cool and wacky adventure that featured many of DC's greatest heroes and their cartoon counterparts."
- Evanier, Mark (September 15, 2007). "Where I'll Be". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
- Hennon, Blake (April 18, 2014). "WonderCon: Sergio Aragonés, Mark Evanier talk new Groo". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014.
In the series, Aragonés draws Groo, and Tom Yeates draws Conan.
- Evanier, Mark (May 26, 2007). "A Sense of Loss". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
My highest-ever weight was around 365...The lowest I've hit on my scale has been 245, just one maddening pound shy of an even hundred since the operation.
- "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- "1992 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013.
- "1997 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
- "1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
- "The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award". San Diego Comicon International. 2014. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014.
- Animation Writers Honor Mark Evanier with Lifetime Achievement Award
- "2000s Eisner Awards Recipients". San Diego Comicon International. 2013. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
- 2009 Harvey Awards
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