Episode #240 (1 hour, 1 min, 33 seconds)

Russell Burlingame Talks
Savage Dragon With Erik Larsen

Savage Dragon creator Erik Larsen has been in the comics business for over 20 years. He has worked for most of the major publishers and shows no signs of slowing down. He is the creator/writer/artist of Savage Dragon and current Publisher of Image Comics, the company he helped found in 1992.

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Erik Larsen
Comic Book Creator
US citizen with no criminal record
Name Withheld
December 8th, 1962
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Jannie (wife), Christopher (son), Joseph (son)
Image Comics
Oakland, CA
When he was born
6' 3"
210 lbs.
Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 2H pencil, Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser, Hunt 102 nib and Higgen's Design ink. Uni-ball pen, Pentel Rolling Writer. Home Run Pies.

Origin: As a child growing up in Bellingham, Washington and Albion, California, Erik Larsen created seveal comic books featuring versions of a character named 'Dragon.' He eventually published a fanzine, which led to his doing professional work on a comic book called Megaton for creator Gary Carlson. It was here that he introduced the Dragon, a super powered superhero, to the comic-reading masses.

After a multitude of mailings, showing his work, Erik became aquainted with Jim Shooter, who was, at that point, Marvel's Editor-in-Chief. Erik eventually met Jim at a convention in Chicago and Jim was impressed enough with Erik's work that he consented to co-plot a story with him on the spot. That story was a battle between Marvel Comics characters Hulk & Thor. Although it wasn't actually published until years later, it did impress a variety of Editors enough to get Larsen some more high-profile work in the funnybook field.

Erik jumped around various books in this part of his career. He did an Amazing Spider-Man fill-in story at Marvel, a few issues of DNAgents for Eclipse, and he eventually took over the art chores on DC's Doom Patrol. Soon afterwards, he left DC and moved on to the Punisher for Marvel. Five issues of that book was about as much pain as that poor Minnesota boy could stand. Erik wanted to write and when a Nova serial was given the thumbs up to run in Marvel Comics Presents with Erik as the writer/artist, he gladly left the Punisher. But it was not to be! The powers that be had other plans for Nova and Erik's yarn didn't fit in with the impending New Warriors series. Editor Terry Kavanaugh gave Larsen an Excalibur serial to draw for Marvel Comics Presents while the poor bastard waited for his big break.

When ever-popular artist Todd McFarlane left his artistic duties on Amazing Spider-Man, Larsen was chosen to be his successor. That run was astoundingly well-recieved, and included popular stories like 'The Return of the Sinister Six', 'The Cosmic Spider-Man', and 'The Powerless Spider-Man'. Although he was comfortable with his position as Amazing Spider-Man penciller, he was frustrated drawing other people's stories. Larsen found that his ravenous desire to write had only gotten stronger. He left Amazing Spider-Man, quite pooped.

By this time, the New Warriors was going full tilt and Erik tossed together a proposal for a Nova ongoing series. While he waited for it to get the nod, Todd McFarlane left the new Spider-Man title that he had launched. Erik was called upon once again picked up the torch - and he ran with it. Larsen created a memorable albeit brief run on that title, despite a traumatic event in his personal life - his house burned to the ground, destroying all of his childhood drawings and comic books.

After this period, creator Rob Liefeld invited Larsen to help found a new comic book imprint called 'Image' at Malibu comics, alongside notorious creators Todd McFarlane, Rob Liefeld, Jim Lee, Marc Silvestri, and Jim Valentino. Erik's flagship comic book at Image (which soon left Malibu and became the third lagest comic book publisher in the United States) was an updated version of his childhood creation -- 'The Savage Dragon.' Larsen has been succeeding with his ideas ever since, through his creations Freak Force, Star, SuperPatriot and the Deadly Duo as well as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles which he helped revitalize and bring to Image.

Erik Larsen was Publisher of Image Comics from 2004 - 2008.

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