Larsen Interview @ CBR “Dragon 200, Ending Supreme, Acquiring a Character?”

Pretty sweet interview with Erik over at CBR. He talks about the future in all sorts of ways: things he’s got planned for issue 200 of Savage Dragon; ending Supreme; and most intriguing, acquiring  a new character from another artist. We’re super convinced that it’s ANT… but wildly speculate for yourself!

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=41079

MTV GEEK interviews Erik Larsen at Baltimore Comic Con!

2 Quick Interviews with Erik Larsen and MTV GEEK done at the recent Baltimore Comic Con! There about a minute a piece so nothing too long, but pretty awesome stuff. He teases that the Overlord reveal is about to happen as well as a years in the working project with never before seen characters! Check it out:

 

Profile of a Dragon Fan: Travis Fowler and his DIY Hardbound Savage Dragon Collections

I first met Travis Fowler through Twitter earlier this year when he posted up a picture of his collection of do-it-yourself hardbound Savage Dragon comics. It was enough to make any Dragon fan green with envy! I had to know more about this super-fan and his do-it-yourself hardcover collection. Travis generously agreed to answer all  my prying questions about his love of Savage Dragon and the ins-and-outs of binding comic books. Check it out:

Travis Fowler (left) and Franchesco, artist of the She-Dragon one-shot, displaying a sketch of She-Dragon in one of Travis' bound editions of Savage Dragon.

So Travis, how long have you been a fan of Erik Larsen and Savage Dragon?

My first exposure to Erik was his issues of Spider-Man (adjectiveless) after McFarlane had left the series. I was 10 when Spider-Man 21 came out, which is my favorite cover of all time. Seeing Erik’s Cyborg Spider-Man was awesome. From that point on is when I started to notice artists and what I liked and disliked. A few issues later during the Mad Dog Ward, I realized I hated that art and started looking for more of Erik’s work. Lucky for me as soon as Erik’s Sinister Six story ended the Savage Dragon mini started up around the same time. It was a seemless transition to the title.

How did you get introduced to the Savage Dragon comic?

I read the mini and loved it. At the time I read Spider-Man exclusively and Dragon was something different. I wasn’t used to guns and shooting in my comics. I remember thinking, “WHOA people are actually being shot in this book. This is awesome!” Once the mini ended, I admitted didn’t read an issue of the ongoing until I read the Savage Dragon article in Wizard 68. I’m not sure why, but the book just fell off of my radar. Honestly, I was enthralled by the Clone Saga and tried to read anything and everything about it. This article brought me back in hook, line, and sinker. From that point on, Savage Dragon was on my monthly pull list and hasn’t left since.

It’s funny how “guns and shooting” is now a mainstay in modern super-hero comics. I think new readers to Dragon may not realize that Erik pioneered a lot of what is considered normal in comics today, which wasn’t the case 20 years ago. What is it about Savage Dragon now that you enjoy so much that keeps you coming back?

I feel like I’ve grown up with Dragon. There has been some direction changes in the book, but the constant in everything and every story has been Dragon. As I’ve gotten older, Dragon has also gotten older. It’s also been an ongoing story, no revamps or relaunches, there is no past comparisons. You don’t hear people say, I liked Pre-Crisis Dragon more than modern Dragon. It’s just Dragon, nothing more and nothing less.

How many issues of Savage Dragon have you bound and how many volumes do you have? Has Erik seen them?

I don’t know the exact number of issues, but it is close to 400 comics bound in 13 volumes. Erik has seen Volume 0 this past April at Emerald City Comicon. My friend Jason Palmer graciously took it to the show to get it signed and sketched in. Jason told me Erik loved the book and flipped through the whole thing.

What made you decide to bind you Dragon comics? Do you have other comic series that you bind as well?

I remember coming onto the Dragon message board  and reading a thread where a gentleman (I can’t remember his name at the moment) posted a very thorough reading order for Savage Dragon. There were the different levels of fandom, one of the levels was called Gluttens for Punishment. It had every Dragon appearance and crossover to date up

to Back in Blue. He also had rough layouts of where the mini’s and crossovers fell in Dragon continuity. I already had all of the main title, so I thought why not go all out with this. After seeing that post I wanted to have the complete/definitive Dragon story at my fingertips. Adding the mini’s and appearances added so much more to the base story taking place in the main book. It wasn’t needed, but was definitely worth collecting it.

So I started buying all of the minis and appearances of Dragon. Once I finished that I took it one step forward and decided to get all of the variant covers.   I wanted this to be the definitive Savage Dragon collection.  Some people might consider it OCD, I just thought it was fun.

If I remember right, I think the poster was “Eddie K.” who had the list. It’s pretty cool that it helped you put together this spectacular complete collection. Can you tell us about the binding process and how much it costs to bind one volume? 

The binding process is what you make of it.  It can be as simple as putting 20 books together and getting it bound, or you can remove back covers, double side ads, add a table of contents, make a custom cover or dust jacket, or add bonus materials in the back of the book.  There are two binding companies that I use Single Bound Studios through David Banks (www.singleboundstudios.com) and Herring & Robinson (www.herringandrobinsonbookbinders.com).

I personally have found that the best results in binding is having a book between 1″-1 1/2″.  This is normally between 18-22 issues.  I also remove all back covers, double sided ads, and inserts.  To me they aren’t needed in modern books, when I’m rereading the story, I could care less about a Playstation ad that was currently popular.  It is an extra page turn if the back cover bound.  It’s immediately in front of the next issues cover– to me there is no need for that.  Now I’m also working on an original run of Marvel Team-Up, with this collection I have decided to keep the advertisements and letter pages, but remove the back covers.  That is the beauty of binding, you can do whatever you want and it’s not wrong.  There is no right or wrong, it’s all personaly preference.

The normal turn around is four to six weeks depending on the binder’s work load, the details of the book, and time of year.  The price of the book depends on the binder, a basic bind is between $18.50 – $20.00.  A premium bind with more bells and whistles and extras can run around $65.

Binding extras is also a personal preferance.  For Savage Dragon, I added EVERYTHING: Vanguard, Freak Force, and even Badrock!  Those books and appearances might never be reprinted in trade form.  Why not include them?  It just helps the story evolve.

That’s awesome! Did you make dust jackets for each collection?

I personally do not make dust jackets.  I have absolutely no Photoshop experience.  Lucky for me though I have made friends in the binding community that have helped out: Steve Topper, Corwin, Kerry Graham, and Michael J. Smith.  They have all done some amazing work for my dust jackets and custom cover books.

Nice! In the future you need to share with us some of the images of the dust jackets that have been created for you! Here’s a hypothetical question: If Erik put you in charge of choosing any Savage Dragon supporting character to get his own on-going AND the creative team to work on the comic, who would you choose?

Honestly I would love a She-Dragon ongoing.  Other than Dragon, she is my favorite character in the book.  My dream team for this book are no strangers to the Dragonverse– Joe Keatinge and Franchesco.  Franchesco’s She-Dragon is absolutely stunning.  I would love to see Franchesco’s art with Joe writing.  Joe is knocking it out of the park with Glory.  He writes a strong female lead and knows what he’s doing.  To me it would be a perfect match of great writing with a sexy pinupish art style.  A win/win in my book.

Great choices. Especially since both creators are big fans of the series and would know how to work with the characters. So here’s another hypothetical question for you: If you were stuck on a deserted island and could only have one of the volumes from your bound collection, which issues would be in that collection and why?

It would be the most recent volume, #12.  It’s issues 145-174, the entire Emperor Kurr saga.  It’s basically the entire run of Dragon condensed to 30 issues.  Everybody shows up in those issues, major plot points are completed, death of Dragon, and a new beginning with Malcom and Angel.  It’s just an amazing run of issues.  I could reread any time and not get bored with it.

Agreed. That was a great arc which I think got many longtime fans excited about the book more then ever. It’s up there as one of my favorites as well. Lastly, to wrap this up, based on your experience, do you have any tips for someone that wants to bind their own comic collections?

Honestly first and foremost, just have fun with it.  There is no right or wrong way to bind anything.  Here are the key places to go for binding:

ComicBinding.com (www.comicbinding.com)  This place has tons of mappings for comics.  It helps out a ton to see what and how people have bound books that you are considering.

Uncollected Editions: Marvel Masterworks Forum (http://marvelmasterworksfansite.yuku.com/forums/2/Uncollected-Editions-The-Homegrown-Hardcovers-Binding-Forum)  This is the definitive forum for all binding.  Lots and lots of information here.  This is a great community that will help you out with anything and everything binding.

Thanks for talking with us and sharing your pictures, Travis! There’s a lot of great information here for other Savage Dragon fans who may want to bind their own collections. We really appreciate you taking the time to talk to us!

Comics Bulletin Talks to Larsen about the Early Days of Image Comics

As part of their Image Spotlight Week, Comics Bulletin published an interview with Erik Larsen the took place during the Image Comics Expo. Larsen and  Al Gordon talk mostly about the founding days of Image and the future of Savage Dragon.

Check it out here: 

http://www.comicsbulletin.com/main/interviews/erik-larsen-it-seemed-good-idea-time

Dragon Fan Interviews Cory Hamscher, Artist for Supreme!!

The new issue of Supreme is practically here! With that in mind we thought it’d be a good time to chat up Cory Hamscher, the artist who will be working with Erik Larsen to bring Supreme back to Image Comics.  Below is the entire interview and below that are links to Cory’s online portfolio and facebook. Check ’em out!! Thanks again for your time, Cory.

*Hello, Cory! At Dragon Fan we’re bringing exposure to all projects Larsen as well. The biggest news out of the Extreme Relaunch was the return of the Ivory Icon, Supreme himself. You’ll be working with Erik Larsen to bring this book to us and so far the previews we’ve seen are stunning. So before all that though if you could give us a little history on yourself! Your previous work and projects:

Hey there, Raven! Thanks for the kind words, man. Okay, here we go…for as long as I can remember all I’ve ever wanted to do was draw comics, nothing else. Not a damn thing and I blame my parents because they gifted me comics on my 1st birthday. My fate was predetermined from that day on. Flash forward a bunch of years–I got my first gig right out of highschool drawing comics every other month in a magazine for a company called Guideposts. Around 2000 I did some work for Avatar, then Chaos! Comics and then in 2002 I was hired by Devil’s Due as an inker. I inked a million G.I.JOE comics for them including the first G.I.JOE vs Transformers miniseries. In 2006 I was hired by Marvel, which is where I’ve worked for the last 6 years. I penciled and inked a bunch of Marvel Adventure titles, drew a Powerpack mini and Giant-Size Incredible Hulk. After that Marvel decided to use me solely as an inker, so for the last couple years I’ve inked around 50 comics including stints on The Incredible Hulks, X-Men Forever, Skaar Son of Hulk, Dead Avengers and many others. I’m just now coming off of Avengers Academy, which takes us right up to Supreme.

*You’ll be doing the final art chores over Erik’s layouts is that correct?

That is correct. Erik sends me his layouts and I spend a couple hours penciling on top of his stuff and another 5 or so hours finishing ’em up with inks. Some issues I’ve lightboxed his layouts to work over, other issues I’ve worked right on top of the actual layouts. I haven’t quite figured out which way I prefer most yet.

*How did you come to the project?

A few years ago I walked up to Erik as he was drawing for fans at Wizard World Chicago. I asked about drawing a back-up for him in Savage Dragon, which lead to that 6 page Thor story in #150. After that I emailed him asking about doing more back-ups and he suggested working on a real book together. A few months later the book was going to be Herakles based on his version of the character from Savage Dragon. I drew half an issue and then it just kind of faded away. We both got really busy with other projects and nothing else was ever done with it past those first 10 pages. A year later I emailed Erik asking if he still had any interest regarding Herakles. He replied that he still wanted to do a book with me, but that he had something else in mind–something that would really grab people’s attention. On Thanksgiving day 2010 Erik emailed me spilling the beans about Supreme. He said he wanted me to pencil & ink it and he was going to write it and provide layouts so he could control the storytelling aspects of the art. I was floored. Me penciling & inking over Larsen’s layouts on Liefeld’s Supreme. My jaw dropped…you can’t dream of something this cool.

*Were you a fan of the previous Supreme runs? Was there a particular favorite?

Like all kids in the 90’s I bought almost every book Image put out for the first couple years, so I had the first dozen Supremes. I liked the character more than the comic. A couple years later there was that Legend of Supreme mini by Giffen, Johnson and Panosian and that book I LOVED. I didn’t read the Alan Moore run til these last couple years. I love that stuff, too, especially the issues with Chris Sprouse art.

*Unlike Glory and Prophet I notice Supreme seems to be a more direct continuation of the existing comics. Was this done to give closure to fans of the previous series?

Well, our first script was Alan Moore’s last script that was never published. So it’s a direct continuation because of that. From what I understand, Moore had planned on this script being his last for Supreme and he ended it on a big cliffhanger so another writer could come in and take it in their own direction. Larsen’s plots start with #64 and from that issue on he brings elements from the Moore run and the pre-Moore Supreme issues together. He forges ahead in a new direction, but at the same time consolidates past elements from different runs.

*How was it to work on Alan Moore’s script? I’ve heard his scripts can be very challenging.

Holy moly. I’m just glad Erik tackled all the story elements with his layouts. Moore’s script is insane. He writes 3-5 pages of information for each individual comic page. Erik sent me Moore’s script and I swear it looked like a movie script. It would have been extremely challenging for me to go through and pick out all the important details. Thankfully, Erik did all the heavy lifting with the layouts.

*How has it been to work with Erik?

It’s been great and weird. It’s always strange to see his name pop up in my inbox because I’ve been a hardcore fan of his since Marvel Comics Present #48-50. When I see the name “Erik Larsen” I’m immediately flooded with 24 years of gnarly comic images. We don’t communicate a whole bunch unless I have a question about something or if he wants me to tweak something in the art. It’s the most hands-off of any project I’ve ever worked on. I didn’t know how to take that at first, but a few issues in and I think it’s completely wonderful. He sends me the layouts and then I’m pretty much on my own to just go.

The really great thing is that Erik is the guy, more so than any other artist or creator, who has the career that I want to mold my own after. Erik truly does comics for fun. He doesn’t care about sales or popularity or any of that fake crap, he does it because he loves it. I want that kind of a career. I want to love my job and that’s what working on Supreme with Erik has allowed me to do. These past couple months have been the most fulfilling of my life as an artist.

*The appearance of Super Patriot on #65 indicates Dragon Fans can expect a healthy dose of the Larsenverse. Would that be fair to say?

Too early to tell. At this point, all I know of for sure is Super Patriot, but I imagine there will be some more Larsenverse characters eventually. Erik has created so many great characters, especially his villains, so I hope he brings in more.

*Given that he was a “Superman” level hero Supreme’s influence was fairly big in the original Image U. Can we expect (at least in this book) for his impact to be on that scale? I notice he’s already in Glory! Would it be fair to say more of the Image Universe will bleed into his book?

I hope so. The Image Universe is so vast and still so fresh that I hope I get to draw as many different characters as possible. There is at least one more Image Universe character making an appearance in the near future, but I’m not saying who. I don’t really know what Erik has planned yet past issue #68 or 69.

*Is there a particular villain from Supreme’s rouge gallery you’re dying to draw? Or a classic rematch you’d like the chance to render?

I’m a sucker for Thor–any Thor. I had such a fun time drawing that Thor story in Savage Dragon #150 that I’d like to see Liefeld’s version of Thor pop up. Out of those fist dozen original Supreme issues the only major fight I remember him having was against Rob’s Thor.

*Finally, is there something you’d like to say to folks, New Readers or Old, about what they can hope for from this Supreme relaunch?

Right out of the gate this book is big and compelling. I have the feeling that Supreme is going to be the book a lot of Image fans have been waiting for for a long time

*Cory, Thanks again for your time. Very appreciated. We can’t wait to sink our teeth into the new Supreme!

You can view more of Cory’s work here : http://www.comicartfans.com/GalleryDetail.asp?GCat=41191   or hit him up on facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1121877072&ref=tn_tnmn

Stash My Comics Interview with Erik Larsen

Check out this interview with Erik. It’s short but pretty awesome. Erik’s always good for some funny one liners:
FOR FULL INTERVIEW CLICK HERE

  SMC: Will you ever turn over Savage Dragon to another creator when you are ready to move on, or will it end with your departure? 

EL: I anticipate doing the book until I pass on–what happens with it after that is up to my family. That’s the point when I stop caring.

LOL. 🙂