So I recently took up again Savage Dragon from Erik Larsen when an acquaintance told me that now (SPOILER ALERT) the dragon is the original dragon’s kid.
I scratched my chin and though “I didn’t expect this from Erik Larson”
I’ve met Erik in a few cons, and I always introduced myself as a lukewarm fan, and he always wins me over with his good humor and youthful sunny outlook on things. Other pros who have worked with him agree that his is one of the most down to earth guys you can meet, with flaws and virtues but most of the time always trying to do the right thing.
As a fan, I as among the troves of people who bought most of Image first releases in the 90’s including Spawn and Savage Dragon of course.
But a couple of years into the series I lost interest, mainly because the art was not exactly my cup of tea, and also because although the series made no qualms about being a fantasy and a slug fest, I can only put up with mindless clobbering for so long.
One of the things that made me really enjoy the title, and not chalk it up to “things I’d rather forget” but end up filing it under “Comics I should pick up once in a while to see how they are doing” was how open Erik Larsen was always about parodying well established heroes, genres, styles and topics.
Also, he introduced a youthful approach to serious matters such as death, relationships, finances, etc, in a way that respects the reader’s intelligence, but also neither detract nor distract from the alma matter of the comic.
He also brought an urban feeling to most of settings. Savage Dragon deals a lot with buildings and urban environments that could be considered more inner city than most. Erik Larsen goes to great lengths to place Dragon far removed from the bright lights and pretty settings that most TV and movies use when filming cities. Those producers and directors always show us the cast of the show Friends living in Manhattan on a multiroom apartment on a waitress salary, for example, or how there is always a place to park in NYC in Sex in the City.
Well, I took up the latest issue of Savage Dragon as of this writing, and found a ton of changes.
Erik Larsen has embraces a great formula that works for these floppies, which is “Some Personal Dram, some action, little personal Drama, LOTS of action to end the issue with a cliffhanger”
I applaud it.
It made me go back and pick up some issues because I wanted to catch up with this character’s life.
Erik did it again.
His kid is the dragon now, dealing with fighting baddies and passing highschool, while attending to his personal life, and sprucing things up with sex and sexiness here and there.
Larsen’s style has gotten much more Kirbiesque lately, but you should give the last two issues a try.
My recommendation? Catch up with an old friend, see if you like it, and pick up the last two or three floppies of Savage Dragon and read them
As of this writing the collection is in issue 209 and in it you get to see a wedding, hapiness, and a shocking death, and you will be wondering why you haven’t hanged out with your pal the Savage Dragon in so long.
PS.He (Erik Larson) actually moved me with the Tierra resolution (on the personal drama department) how it was rendered graphically, I think it will become one of the greatest moments in comics that very few notice.
Here are some great covers from Erik on his long running series.