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Waiting For Tommy: Erik Larsen
By Richard Johnston

Erik Larsen found initial fame as creator of Amazing Spider-Man after Todd McFarlane moved to Spider-Man, but even then his work was rich and varied across media, and he had a reputation as a hard worker.

An early joiner of Image Comics, Savage Dragon debuted after Youngblood and instantly showed a new take on the superhero concept, though one more familiar now, integrating his hero with the grit and structure of the existing law enforcement community. With a few spin-off titles, Larsen didn't expand as work at Image much as his other stable-mates, and when he did, it was often to bring on board very interesting and unique voices such as Colleen Doran.

A vocal individual, Erik Larsen has been involved in flurries with some of the best and brightest in comics, and joins the ranks of those who don't like to sit down and shut up. Larsen makes his opinions known, defends them with gusto and shows no signs of backing down.

A committed creator at Image, he holds the Western record for the longest comics run by one individual, and shows no sign of stopping.

Recently, he took over the reigns of President at Image when Jim Valentino was deposed, and already we're hearing words of changes. An Image Super Team book, starring Spawn, Savage Dragon, Witchblade and more. But is there a role for Image these days, when Marvel and DC have learnt so much for the company.

Erik Larsen sadly declined to answer questions about the departure of Powers and Kabuki from the company. But there was so much more he was happy to let loose about.

 

SAVAGE DRAGON: WORLDS AT WAR TPB

RICHARD JOHNSTON: Image is a unique publisher. Of the Diamond Big Four, it's offering a wide diverse line for an even more diverse audience. Yet it pales to its hey day, when with but twenty titles it was the second largest publisher. Not too long afterwards Jim Valentino stated that he saw Image as a temporary body, that would likely dissolve in the future. Well, over a decade after, it still exists, but not with the same impact it once had. Do you see Image as a permanent publisher now, continuing as long as Marvel or DC?
ERIK LARSEN: It's permanent until we all decide to move on. It's owned by the four of us and I'm assuming we won't live forever--once we pass on--so will Image--but I expect us to be here for a good 30 to 40 years. I'm not going anywhere soon.

RICH: That's... actually, that makes me want to ask a rather morbid question. Does your share of Image not pass down the generations?
ERIK: As far as I know it does not. Early on, we'd talked about it and it didn't make a lot of sense to any of us that if Todd passed on his wife Wanda would be calling the shots. I suppose when it gets down to the last man standing he could do whatever the hell he wants, really.

RICH: Who'd your money be on? You know, there's a reality TV show in this. The Running Man Of Comics.
ERIK: Well, I'm the youngest of the group and my Grandfather is still hanging in there and he's 98-years old. I think I stand a pretty good chance.

RICH: Goodness. Savage Dragon should be well over issue 600 by then. If it keeps on keeping on... the comics market seems to be in an odd state of flux. It's Image and ex-Image creators who are providing the main companies with the comics that hit the Top 10 (Brian Bendis, Jim Lee, Michael Turner, John Cassaday) and those sales are rocketing. Yet, only a few places down the charts, below the top twenty, sales are falling away, including pretty much, most Image titles. Does it seem ironic that Image's success seems to be paving the way for its current lack of success?
ERIK: Sure. (that was easy).

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Continued Here...

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