"Leviathans have tried and failed! You will not eat the true Sub-Mariner!"
Namor, Defenders #3
Back in the days when Larsen, Mcfarlane and Liefeld came out I much preferred Todd work. I hated Liefeld artwork and saw with mixed emotions Larsen. Nowadays I still think that Larsen is not my cup of tea, absolutely, I see Mcfarlane art as really dated, seems that his style have note stood the test of time and I really enjoy Erik Larsen work both on Savage Dragon and also on not so recent comics such as The Defenders story arc. To me Erik is a master of funny superheroes comic book.
Forgot to say that I really admire the way he draws Hulk. Nicest hair style in the superheroes world.
One of the many reason Erik Larsen is great for me is because when you're reading his books, his love of comics and geek culture comes through effortlessly. You can really tell he loves this stuff.
I like swords.
I've always wanted to read it collected. Does anything exist ? I've got a trade of he mini.
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I think it has to do with the bad taste the wake of the 90's left upon the industry. The art was pretty bad and over stylized but Larsen made that style work. The industry became focused on overly serious books but Larsen kept it fun. Also he is dedicated to his craft as an artist and a writer. Out of the Image founders he seemed to be one of the ones who wasn't concerned about it being a business opportunity but a chance to just do his own thing and he has stuck with that all these years. I think that the guy puts out quality material and has a solid sense of integrity. I can totally respect that.
I can see why his style isn't for everyone. My first introduction to Spider-Man was when he was on Amazing Spider-Man and I've always liked his style since. I didn't pick up Savage Dragon when it first came out due to lack of funds (I was in High School) but it is now one of my monthly pulls and I'm slowly buying the back issues. Awesome storytelling. Reading Savage Dragon reminds me of why I got addicted to comics in the first place.
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There are the cheap and massive B&W paperback Archives TPBs instead, and the slim colour TPBs but i bet a lot of those wont be easy to get now.
or the back issues (whats wrong with those?)
Something else that's not being mentioned is his accessibility to his fans. I've met him at 3 different conventions and EVERY time he has a line of people asking for free stuff. I've never seen him turn down a sketch request, he is always friendly and open, and his skill is evident in about 20 seconds. I have to imagine that, in 25 years of doing this, he has had a number of now-successful creators pass through his lines at conventions; there's no telling what kind of impact he made on them on a personal level, just by making himself so readily available.
He drew two of my all-time favorite comic covers:
Empty winds scrape on the soul never stop to realize/Animal whisperings intoxicate the night
Hypnotize the desperate slow motionlight/Wash away into the rain
Blood, milk and sky....
He holds his pencil weird. It's like he is having a seizure. It's like when Thor's hammer hits the ground and all that lightning comes out.
I don't even like Venom, but you can feel the energy pulsing in the two covers above.
Savage Dragon is just a fun, creative book. I wish it were more popular. (I do remember watching a Savage Dragon cartoon when I was little, but that was during the 1990s when everything Image was huge.)
I'm trying to remember a funny Larsen quote from Wizard. I believe it was "I just plain like to draw big knockers."