Erik Larsen

Erik J. Larsen (born December 8, 1962) is an American comic book writer, artist and publisher. He is known for his work on Savage Dragon, as one of the founders of Image Comics, and for his work on Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.

Erik Larsen
Larsen at the 2011 New York Comic Con
BornErik J. Larsen
December 8, 1962 (age 56)
Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Area(s)Writer, Penciller, Inker, Publisher
Notable works
The Amazing Spider-Man
Doom Patrol
Savage Dragon

Early life

Larsen was born on December 8, 1962,[1] in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[2] As a child growing up in Bellingham, Washington, and Albion, California, he created several comic books featuring versions of a character named "The Dragon", whom he has since described as a Batman-like character who drove a car copied from Speed Racer's Mach Five. The Dragon turned into a superhero using a magic word to trigger his powers like Captain Marvel. Larsen and two friends produced a fanzine called Graphic Fantasy, which featured this character.


Larsen's first paid work was for the anthology Megaton, co-creating and illustrating a feature called "Vanguard" with publisher Gary Carlson. A revised version of the Dragon debuted in issue #2 and appeared in the following two issues. The original Dragon, inspired by elements from Captain Marvel, Batman, Speed Racer and later The Incredible Hulk, differs greatly from the modern incarnation.

Savage Dragon was first featured in two issues of Graphic Fantasy, a self-published title with a small print run, published by Larsen and two friends. In this incarnation, the Dragon was a widower and a retired member of a government-sponsored superhero team. Subsequently, the Dragon made another appearance in the third issue of Gary Carlson's Megaton anthology in its Vanguard strip, which Larsen had been drawing. In these appearances, the character of the Dragon remained basically the same as it had been in Graphic Fantasy, with a few details modified (such as the inclusion of his wife, who was dead in his previous incarnation). Both the Graphic Fantasy and Megaton issues featuring the Dragon have since been reprinted in high-quality editions.

Larsen went on to work for AC Comics on Sentinels of Justice and The DNAgents for Eclipse Comics.

Larsen did work at DC on The Outsiders, Teen Titans, Adventures of Superman and Doom Patrol. His art on Doom Patrol was negatively received by readers at first, something Larsen thought was due to his style being such a drastic departure from that of his predecessor on the series, Steve Lightle. He remarked, "Years later, I learned from the experience and made more of an effort to ease the transition."[3] His first work for Marvel Comics was a fill-in on Thor that was inked by Vince Colletta.[4] He later did a The Amazing Spider-Man fill-in story and five issues of Punisher for Marvel. A Nova story for Marvel Comics Presents was greenlit but cancelled because it did not fit with an upcoming New Warriors series that would feature the character. Though he continues to write and illustrate The Savage Dragon, Larsen has occasionally returned to Marvel to write and illustrate, on titles such as Fantastic Four, The Defenders, Wolverine and Nova. He has also done work for DC writing Aquaman.

In 1990 Erik Larsen replaced Todd McFarlane on The Amazing Spider-Man with issue #329, having previously penciled issues 287, 324 and 327. With writer David Michelinie, Larsen illustrated stories such as "The Cosmic Spider-Man", "The Return of the Sinister Six" (#334–339) and "The Powerless Spider-Man" (#341–343). He left the title with #350, was succeeded by Mark Bagley with #351. Larsen again succeeded McFarlane on Spider-Man, where he wrote and drew the six-issue story arc "Revenge of the Sinister Six" (#18–23). Larsen also gained critical acclaim for his work with the character Venom during his time on Amazing Spider-Man. His design of Venom was highlighted during the story "Venom Returns" (#330-#333, #344-347, Annual #25), which introduced signature visual elements to the character such as giving Venom a mouth full of jagged teeth and a reptilian tongue dripping slime. Though his work with Venom was widely lauded and sales were strong, Larsen has gone on record saying he did not enjoy drawing the character and that he found the origin story of both Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote to be unlikable.[5]

Image Comics and Savage Dragon

In 1992, seeking greater control and profit over the work they created, Larsen and six other illustrators left Marvel to form Image Comics, where Larsen launched a series featuring a reworked version of Savage Dragon. This time, the Dragon was a massively muscled green amnesiac, who joined the Chicago police department after being discovered in a burning field. Initially debuting in a three-issue miniseries, the series met with enough success to justify a monthly series, launched in 1993. To this day, Larsen continues to write and illustrate the series entirely by himself, and has maintained a reasonably consistent monthly schedule (save for occasional lapses) in comparison with the other original Image Comics titles. Larsen has occasionally produced ancillary mini-series, and sometimes allowed other creators to produce stories featuring the Dragon or other characters from the series.

In the mid-1990s, Larsen published his titles under Highbrow Entertainment, the label for his imprint of Image Comics. Titles they published included:

  • Dart (1996)
  • Deadly Duo (1994–1995)
    • Deadly Duo vol. 2 (1995)
  • Freak Force (1993–1995)
    • Freak Force vol. 2 (1997)
  • Dragon: Blood & Guts (1995)
  • Savage Dragon (1992)
    • Savage Dragon vol. 2 (1993 – ongoing)
  • Savage Dragon/Marshal Law (1997)
  • Savage Dragon: Red Horizon (1997)
  • Savage Dragon: Sex and Violence (1997)
  • Savage Dragon: God War (2004–2005)
  • Star (1995)
  • SuperPatriot (1993)
    • SuperPatriot: Liberty & Justice (1995)
    • SuperPatriot: America's Fighting Force (2002)
    • SuperPatriot: War on Terror (2004–2005)
  • The Dragon (1996)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1996–1999)
  • Vanguard (1993–1994)
    • Vanguard: Strange Visitors (1996–1997)

Savage Dragon is one of two original Image Comics titles still published (the other being Spawn) and the only one still written and drawn by its creator.[6] The character was also adapted into a short-lived (26 episodes) USA Network animated series that started in 1995.

In 2012–2013, he had a run as writer and artist on a short-lived revival of Rob Liefeld's Supreme, illustrating writer Alan Moore's final unpublished script with issue #63 and writing new stories from issues #64–68.

Erik Larsen in Artists Alley at New York Comic Con 2015


In 2004, Larsen became publisher of Image Comics, taking responsibility for all comics produced by creators other than the Image partners and their studios. Larsen stepped down as publisher in July 2008 and executive director Eric Stephenson was promoted to the position.[7]

In an interview with Project Fanboy Larsen explained that the rumors of a coup for the position were baseless and gave his reasons for stepping down as publisher:[8]

Fans wanted more Savage Dragon and I wanted to do more Savage Dragon—but it was not possible to be both a fulltime publisher and a fulltime cartoonist efficiently. Something had to give, and given the fact that Image was in a good place—going in the right direction—and Eric Stephenson was completely up to speed and ready to go—it seemed that the timing was right.[8]

Larsen stated that Eric Stephenson was chosen as his replacement because "He was Jim's second in command and mine as well. He worked with Jim and Rob Liefeld before that. He's been with Image almost from day one and he lives and breathes comics. He really was the best man for the job."[8]

Technique and materials

For penciling, Larsen uses a Staedtler Mars Lumograph 100 2H pencil and a Staedtler Mars Plastic Eraser. For inking, he uses a Hunt 102 nib with Higgen's Design ink, a Uni-ball pen, and Pentel Rolling Writer pen.[2]

Personal life

Larsen and his wife, Jannie, live in San Francisco, California, with their two sons, Christopher and Joseph.[2]


Larsen was nominated for the 2016 Inkwell Awards All-in-One Award, for "Favorite artist known for inking his/ her own pencil work in award year interior, cover-dated, American comic book material."[9] In 2017, he was again nominated and received the 2017 All-in-One Award for his work on Savage Dragon.[10][11]





  • Aquaman #50–62
  • Aquaman Secret Files #1







  • Deadly Duo v1 #1–3
  • Freak Force v2 #1–3
  • Negative Burn Anthology
  • Savage Dragon v1 #1–3 v2 #1–present
  • Savage Dragon vs Savage Megaton Man
  • Savage Dragon: Sex & Violence #1–2
  • Spawn #259–266
  • Supreme #64–68
  • SuperPatriot #1–4
  • WildC.A.T.s v1 #14


  • Deadly Duo v2 #1–4
  • Freak Force v1 #1–18
  • Savage Dragon: Red Horizon #1–3
  • Savage Dragon/Destroyer Duck
  • Star #1–4
  • SuperPatriot: Liberty & Justice #1–4
  • Vanguard #1–6
  • Vanguard: Strange Visitors #1–4


  1. ^ "Today’s Comics Guide: November 24, 2011: Birthdays 2 Weeks from Now". CBGXtra. November 24, 2011
  2. ^ a b c "Erik Larsen – Biography & Bibliography" Archived 2011-05-26 at the Wayback Machine. Savage Retrieved November 4, 2012.
  3. ^ Browning, Michael (July 2013). "The Doom Patrol Interviews: Erik Larsen". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (65): 52–54.
  4. ^ Larsen, Erik (May 9, 2008). "One Fan's Opinion". Comic Book Resources.
  5. ^ Wizard magazine #23, July 1993
  6. ^ David, Peter. "Giving Credit Where Credit is Due, Part 1". August 23, 2010. Reprinted from Comics Buyer's Guide #1033. September 3, 1993
  7. ^ Brady, Matt (8 July 2008). "Eric Stephenson: Talking to the New Image Publisher". Newsarama.
  8. ^ a b c Piccione, Sebastian. "ERIK LARSEN Interview"' Project Fanboy' August 12, 2008
  9. ^ "2016 Winners". Inkwell Awards. 30 June 2016.
  10. ^ "2017 Winners". Inkwell Awards. 3 July 2017.
  11. ^ "2017 INKWELL AWARD Winners". Newsarama. 19 June 2017.

External links

Preceded by
Todd McFarlane
The Amazing Spider-Man artist
Succeeded by
Mark Bagley
Preceded by
Todd McFarlane
Spider-Man writer-artist
Succeeded by
Howard Mackie (writer)
Larry Alexander (artist)
Preceded by
Todd DeZago
Wolverine writer
Succeeded by
Steve Skroce
Cardiac (comics)

Cardiac (Elias Wirtham) is a fictional character, a vigilante anti-hero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Cletus Kasady

Cletus Kasady is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by writer David Michelinie and artist Erik Larsen, the character first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #344 (March 1991) and became the first and most well-known host of the Carnage symbiote. The character is usually depicted as an adversary to Spider-Man, as well as serving as an enemy to Venom.

In 2009, Carnage was ranked as IGN's 90th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. Cletus Kasady has been featured in several animated television series and video games. The character made his on-screen debut in a cameo appearance in a mid-credits scene of Venom portrayed by Woody Harrelson.

Dart (comics)

Dart (Jill August) is a fictional Image Comics superhero. Created by Erik Larsen, she first appeared in 1992, in Savage Dragon #2 (ongoing series).

Erik Larsen (rower)

Erik Christian Larsen (20 February 1928 – 10 April 1952) was a Danish rower who competed in the 1948 Summer Olympics.

He was born in Herfølge, Køge Municipality and died in Ringsted, Region Sjælland. In 1948 he was a crew member of the Danish boat which won the bronze medal in the coxed four event. He won a gold medal in single scull at the 1950 European Rowing Championships in Milan.

Erik Larsen (tennis)

Erik Øckenholt Larsen (born 23 August 1880, date of death unknown) was a Danish tennis player at the beginning of the 20th century.

Freak Force

Freak Force is the name of a fictional team of superhuman bounty hunters operating out of Chicago, Illinois. They originated in the Image Comics series Savage Dragon, but subsequently went on to star in their own series. All the characters were created by Erik Larsen, many during his adolescence.

Gog (Marvel Comics)

Gog is a fictional character, a comic book supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics.

Horridus (comics)

Horridus is a fictional superheroine created by Erik Larsen for his Image Comics series, The Savage Dragon.

Image Comics

Image Comics is an American comic book publisher. It was founded in 1992 by several high-profile illustrators as a venue for creator-owned properties, in which comics creators could publish material of their own creation without giving up the copyrights to those properties, as is normally the case in the work for hire-dominated American comics industry, in which the legal author is a publisher, such as Marvel Comics or DC Comics, and the creator is an employee of that publisher. Image Comics was immediately successful, and remains one of the largest comic book publishers in North America. Its output was originally dominated by superhero and fantasy series from the studios of the founding Image partners, but now includes comics in many genres by numerous independent creators. Its best-known series include The Walking Dead, Spawn, Savage Dragon, Witchblade, The Darkness, Invincible, Saga, Chew, and Bone.

Jan-Erik Larsen

Jan-Erik Larsen (born 27 May 1963) is a Norwegian editor and politician for the Labour Party, and currently State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister.

He started his political career as chairman of the Møre og Romsdal county chapter of the Workers' Youth League in the early 1980s, and later served in the Møre og Romsdal county council from 1983 to 1987. During the first cabinet Stoltenberg 2000-2001 he was appointed State Secretary and responsible officer for press relations in the Office of the Prime Minister. When the government resigned after the election in 2001, Larsen was appointed special advisor to the Labour party group in the Norwegian Parliament, a position he left in 2003. In September 2008, he was re-appointed State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister in the second cabinet Stoltenberg.Outside politics, Larsen worked as a journalist and editor for several regional newspapers. He was editor of Tidens Krav 1990-1993 and editor-in-chief of Telemarksavisa 1993-1998. He returned to Tidens Krav 2005-2008 as editor-in-chief. He has also held positions in the company A-pressen.

Jørgen E. Larsen

Jørgen Erik Larsen (born July 25, 1945) is a Danish football coach and former player.

He spent most of his active career at Herfølge Boldklub, playing 197 games for the club. In 1978, he was named sports director of Herfølge BK and manager of the club in 1987. In 1993, he was named new national team coach of Ghana, and later on he became the national team coach of Qatar. He was the manager of Qatari team Al Rayyan Sports Club, coaching Fernando Hierro, Mario Basler, and the brothers Frank and Ronald de Boer at the club. He was manager of Malaysian team Kedah FA, and attracted former Herfølge player Thomas Abel to the club in the summer 2002. In November 2005, Larsen was signed as a manager of Brønshøj BK in the second-tier Danish 1st Division.

Lagoon Boy

Lagoon Boy is a fictional superhero published by DC Comics. His name and appearance are references to the title character from the classic horror feature film The Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Mighty Man (Image Comics)

Mighty Man is a fictional hero created by Erik Larsen some years before he began drawing professional comics, possibly in his adolescence. He has been a major character in Larsen's self-created title Savage Dragon and its spin-off Freak Force, as well as in Gary Carlson's Big Bang Comics series. His first appearance was Megaton #2, an anthology by Carlson, which was also the first appearance of the Savage Dragon.

Saracen (comics)

Saracen (Muzzafar Lambert) is a fictional character, a supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created by Mike Baron and Erik Larsen, the character made his first appearance in The Punisher Vol. 2, #22 (August 1989). He is an enemy of the Punisher.

Savage Dragon

Savage Dragon is a fictional superhero created by Erik Larsen, published by Image Comics and taking place in the Image Universe. The comic features the adventures of a superheroic police officer named the Dragon. The character first appeared as Dragon in Graphic Fantasy #1 (June 1982) and first appeared as the "Savage Dragon" in Megaton #3 (February 1986).

The Dragon is a large, finned, green-skinned humanoid whose powers include super-strength and an advanced healing factor. He is also an amnesiac: his earliest memory is awakening in a burning field in Chicago, Illinois. Thus, for most of the series, the origins of his powers and appearance are a mystery to readers. At the beginning of the series, he becomes a police officer and battles the mutant criminal "superfreaks" that terrorize Chicago.

Savage Dragon is one of only two Image Comics titles that debuted during the company's 1992 launch that continues to be published well into the late 2010s, and the only one of the two that for most of its run, has been written and drawn almost entirely by its creator (with the exception of one issue), for which Larsen has been lauded. Savage Dragon is the longest running American full-color comic book to feature a single artist/writer. The character was also adapted into an animated series, which ran for two seasons (26 episodes) on the USA Network beginning in 1995.

Savage Dragon was listed by Wizard as the 116th-greatest comic book characters of all time. IGN also listed Savage Dragon as the 95th-greatest comic book hero of all time stating that he has the trappings of a great comic book hero.

Shrapnel (DC Comics)

Shrapnel is a supervillain in the DC Comics universe. He is primarily an enemy of the Outsiders and the Doom Patrol.

Shrapnel appeared in the second season of Arrow as a grounded version with no powers played by actor Sean Maher.


SuperPatriot is a fictional Image Comics superhero created by Erik Larsen in 1992. SuperPatriot has had regular appearances in Erik Larsen's titles, whether in his own mini-series or as a supporting character and is currently a member of the Liberty League.

Whiplash (comics)

Whiplash is the name of multiple fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Each Whiplash is a supervillain in the Marvel Universe, with the first and latest appearing as members of Iron Man's rogues gallery. The original Whiplash (Mark Scarlotti) also went by the name Blacklash. The newest Whiplash (Anton Vanko) is based on the version of the character that appears in the 2010 film Iron Man 2 played by actor Mickey Rourke.


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