I found a super easy way to create gifs using VDub, Microsoft Gif Animator, and Gimp.
-i get the image sequence w/VDub
-use a batch converter to make those jpegs into gifs (MGA only recognizes gifs)
-add each image/frame to MGA (it lets you press play to preview the animation)
-open it in Gimp to crop/resize/edit etc
for a newbie like myself, this method was easier then using Gimp or Image Ready to create the actual animation. all i had to do in MGA is click an icon to add each image one by one, preview, and save. no adding layers or transparencies.