For Tommy: 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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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).
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