Behind the Panel: Erik Larsen on Savage Dragon, politics, and Image Comics

Contributed by
Jan 3, 2018

Erik Larsen built his illustrious career working mainly for both DC and Marvel Comics, before taking a huge gamble and going on to form Image Comics with a few of his fellow comic book artists back in 1992.

The Savage Dragon creator recently sat down with SYFY WIRE’s Mike Avila to chat about leaving Marvel (which had a huge impact on the company), what led to the creation of Image Comics, and the risks of going independent. Creating their own comic company also led to some rather intriguing work demands for Larsen, such as doing anime, video games, and live-action. Below, he dives into all, from the beginning success of Image, to its legacy, to what caused the '90s comic bubble to burst.

 

“It seemed like the thing to do at the time,” Larsen explained about leaving Marvel, where he had worked on several titles, including some Spider-Man books. “I wasn’t feeling like these guys are terrible and I don’t want to do it with them anymore. It was more of a situation where I had my own stories that I wanted to tell, and I didn’t want Marvel Comics to be owning the characters that I had created. So it’s like, ‘Well, I can’t do them here in this context, then I've got to do them someplace else.’ So basically that’s where it came for me.”

Which ultimately led him to join Todd McFarlane, Jim Lee, Rob Liefeld, Jim Valentino, Marc Silvestri, and Whilce Portacio in creating Image Comics. And the rest, as they say, is history: which you can learn a whole lot more about in our So Much Damage: The Oral History of Image Comics series.

Additional material by Nathalie Caron