Mark Stephen Evanier (/ˈɛvənɪər/; born March 2, 1952)[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

Mark Evanier
Evanier in 2023
Evanier in 2023
BornMark Stephen Evanier
(1952-03-02) March 2, 1952 (age 72)
Santa Monica, California, U.S.
OccupationAuthor, screenwriter, biographer, comics historian
GenreComic books, television sitcoms, cartoons, biographical books
Years active1969–present
Notable worksBlackhawk
The DNAgents
Garfield and Friends
Kirby: King of Comics
The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show
Richie Rich
The Garfield Show

Early life edit

Evanier identifies as Jewish. His father was Jewish and his mother was Catholic.[4][5] 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 attended UCLA but left before graduating.[6]

Career edit

Evanier was president of a Los Angeles comic book club from 1966–69.[7] In 1967, he suggested the titles of the officers of the Merry Marvel Marching Society.[8] He made his first professional sale in 1969;[9] 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.[7] 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 "The Greatest of E's", where he revealed that the E in Wile E. Coyote stands for "Ethelbert" and comics for the Edgar Rice Burroughs estate.[10]

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.[citation needed]

Evanier speaking on a panel about Jack Kirby with (from left to right) Roy Thomas, Joe Sinnott and Stan Goldberg, at the Big Apple Con in Manhattan, November 15, 2008

After leaving Kotter in 1977 and amicably ending his partnership with Palumbo, Evanier wrote for and eventually ran the Hanna-Barbera comic book division.[11] 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.[12] 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.

Evanier credits himself with convincing Jack Kirby to stop using Vince Colletta as an inker, and he considers himself one of Colletta's "main vilifiers".[13]

He wrote a script and provided "'technical advice' about comic books" for Bob, Bob Newhart's unsuccessful third sitcom for CBS.[14]

He has produced a number of comic books, including Blackhawk, Crossfire and Hollywood Superstars (with Dan Spiegle),[10] Groo the Wanderer (with Sergio Aragonés),[15] 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.[16][17] He wrote the New Gods series of 1989–1991. Evanier collaborated with Joe Staton on the Superman & Bugs Bunny mini-series in 2000.[18]

For many years, Evanier wrote a regular column, "Point of View", for Comics Buyer's Guide.[citation needed]

Evanier's illustrated Jack Kirby biography, Kirby: King of Comics, was published in February 2008 by Abrams Books.[19] It won the 2009 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book.[3] Evanier collaborated with Aragonés and Thomas Yeates on the Groo vs. Conan crossover for Dark Horse Comics in 2014.[20]

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 fewer) 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.[citation needed]

In April 2022, Evanier was reported among the more than three dozen comics creators who contributed to Operation USA's benefit anthology book, Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds, a project spearheaded by IDW Publishing Special Projects Editor Scott Dunbier, whose profits would be donated to relief efforts for Ukrainian refugees resulting from the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.[21][22]

Personal life edit

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.[23]

Awards edit

Bibliography edit

Comic books edit

Archie Comics edit

  • Scooby-Doo #10, 14, 17 (1996–1997)

Boom! Studios edit

Comico Comics edit

Dark Horse Comics edit

  • Flaxen #1 (1992)
  • Groo vs. Conan #1–4 (2014)
  • Sergio Aragonés Groo: 25th Anniversary Special (2007)
  • Sergio Aragonés Stomps Star Wars (2000)

DC Comics edit

Eclipse Comics edit

Gemstone Publishing edit

  • Mickey Mouse and Blotman: Blotman Returns ("Now Museum, Now You Don't.") (2006)

Gold Key edit

  • Hanna-Barbera Scooby-Doo... Mystery Comics #21–25, 27–30 (1973–1975)

IDW Publishing edit

Marvel Comics edit

Epic Comics edit
  • 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)

Pacific Comics edit

  • Groo the Wanderer #1–8 (1982–1984)
  • Starslayer #5 (Groo backup story) (1982)

Books edit

  • Kirby: King of Comics. Abrams Books. 2008. p. 228. ISBN 978-0810994478.
  • Mad Art : A Visual Celebration of the Art of Mad Magazine and the Idiots Who Create It. Watson-Guptill. 2003. 304 p. ISBN 978-0823030804.

Television credits edit

References edit

  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b "Wondercon Special Guests". Comic-Con Magazine. San Diego Comic-Con International: 19. Winter 2010.
  4. ^ Evanier, Mark (November 19, 2013). "Tales of My Childhood #6". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 17, 2014.
  5. ^ 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!
  6. ^ Evanier, Mark (December 9, 2019). "ASK me: College". News from ME. Retrieved 2021-02-04.
  7. ^ a b Kraft, David Anthony; Slifer, Roger (April 1983). "Mark Evanier". Comics Interview. No. 2. Fictioneer Books. pp. 23–34.
  8. ^ DeFalco, Tom (2008). "1960s". In Gilbert, Laura (ed.). 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.
  9. ^ Evanier, Mark (June 19, 2013). "Tales of My Father #3". News From ME. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013.
  10. ^ a b Mark Evanier at the Grand Comics Database
  11. ^ Evanier, Mark (July 23, 2018). "Corrections, Corrections..." News From ME. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018.
  12. ^ Evanier, Mark (November 23, 2013). "Garfield and Friends Episode Guide". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Evanier, Mark (December 1, 2007). "Briefly Noted…". News 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.
  15. ^ 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."
  16. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1980s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). 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.
  17. ^ Greenberger, Robert (August 2017). "It Sounded Like a Good Idea at the Time: A Look at the DC Challenge!". Back Issue! (98). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing: 34–44.
  18. ^ 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."
  19. ^ Evanier, Mark (September 15, 2007). "Where I'll Be". News From ME. Archived from the original on May 24, 2014.
  20. ^ 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.
  21. ^ Kaplan, Rebecca O. (April 18, 2022). "ZOOP launches benefit anthology COMICS FOR UKRAINE: SUNFLOWER SEEDS". The Beat. Archived from the original on April 18, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  22. ^ Brooke, David (April 18, 2022). "'Comics for Ukraine: Sunflower Seeds' to benefit Ukrainian refugees". AIPT. Archived from the original on April 26, 2022. Retrieved April 26, 2022.
  23. ^ 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.
  24. ^ "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
  25. ^ "1992 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013.
  26. ^ "1997 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
  27. ^ "1999 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on April 28, 2014.
  28. ^ "The Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award". San Diego Comicon International. 2014. Archived from the original on March 29, 2014.
  29. ^ Animation Writers Honor Mark Evanier with Lifetime Achievement Award
  30. ^ "2000s Eisner Awards Recipients". San Diego Comicon International. 2013. Archived from the original on August 23, 2013. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  31. ^ 2009 Harvey Awards

External links edit