That’s right, issue #231 of Savage Dragon came out yesterday. So get in gear and pick up your copy over at Image Comics and Comixology. And then head right over to the Savage Fincast and listen to to the guys chatting about the latest issue with non other than Erik himself!
Erik just released the amazing cover for Savage Dragon #234. Guess who’s back?
Also, tomorrow, 24th of January, is the release date for the 9th Archives collection!
SAVAGE DRAGON COLLECTED IN STUNNING BLACK AND WHITE! The notorious threesome! Mr. Glum’s story! Into Dimension-X! Malcolm graduates high school! The showdown with Dart! Malcolm and Maxine tie the knot! Ant! Spawn! Malcolm joins the Chicago Police Dept.! Malcolm and Maxine become proud parents! The Merging of Multiple Earths! Death! Birth! Everything you loved and more in the generation-spanning saga from Inkwell Award-winning creator ERIK LARSEN! Featuring the awe-inspiring epic 225th issue! All collected in one massive volume! Collects SAVAGE DRAGON #201-225
Aaand we have the official solicitation text for Savage Dragon #233
“CHASING THE DRAGONS”
The reality show starring Malcolm Dragon’s ever-growing family debuts, and impending doom is just around the corner! Another outstanding achievement from award-winning writer/artist ERIK LARSEN.
Sooo, December gave us two issues of Savage Dragon which is great for us fans. But — it’s hard to keep up with Erik’s schedule so this review is a bit later than usual. Let’s dive right in…
If you are keeping up with Erik’s work you might know that he likes to experiment. He likes to challenge himself and he’s always looking for ways to improve his art and to keep it fresh — for himself and the readers.
For a while now Erik had been working on twice-up art boards that are considerably larger than the industries standard. Last issue though, he used some artboards that were barely half the size of the standard paper. It helped draw the book quicker — Erik wanted to get it out in time for christmas – and it also made the drawings a bit more cartoony. With Savage Dragon #230 he tries something new…
“With #229 I drew an entire issue quite small. With #230, I’m going freestyle, drawing pages at a random size. Trying to take advantage of the strengths of each option.”
Here’s a look at all the art boards for Savage Dragon #230. Erik has blurred and retouched the image to avoid spoilers — but you get the idea…
Erik went into detail on the different sizes: “Depicted here, the smallest Image art boards are 7.75 x 11.75. The interior box is 6 11/16 x 10. The other is a twice up page (full bleed is 14.5 x 22, the interior box is 12.5 x 18.75). I also used standard art boards (10.25 x 15 3/8, interior box 8 7/8 x 13.5) and in between 11 3/8 x 17 3/8 interior box 9 13/16 x 15 1/8. Added to that is a double page spread at 22 3/4 x 17 7/16 and a single non-bleed page (10.25 x 15 3/8) which I added a bleed to in Photoshop.”
So — most pages are standard-sized or bigger but there are a few of the small boards in the mix. The small boards seem ideal for full page closeups or figures or simple action with limited backgrounds.”
Eventually all pages were scanned and re-sized in photoshop so that Chris Eliopoulos didn’t have to deal with different font-sizes during lettering. The panels were also given a consistent border thickness.
Goodbye to Chris Eliopoulos
As we have reported before, Savage Dragon #230 is Cris Eliopoulos’ last work on the book as letterer. Chris is concentrating on his own writing and cartooning and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours. New letterer will be Ferran Delgado who already had a couple of stints on backstories in the book.
Live Savage Fincast
The guys from the Savage Fincast tried something new this month and held a live Podcast on Youtube. The edited recording hasn’t been posted yet but you can listen to the live recorded version on their Youtube channel. They have also started to implement games into their show, which actually is pretty funny. So check it out and let them know their hard work is appreciated!
As Erik has announced on Facebook and Twitter a few days ago, Chris Eliopoulos — long-time letterer of Savage Dragon — is leaving the book… once again.
Chris initially started working on Savage Dragon with the original mini-series and stayed onboard ’til issue #106. Up to that point, he had hand-lettered everything onto the original art-boards — from speech bubbles to thought balloons and even all those amazing sound effects.
Erik had always preferred to have the letters on the original artwork, the way it used to be in comics for the longest time. But digital lettering had long since become the standard and eventually it became too time-consuming for Chris to keep working the old way. (Below is an excerpt of the letters page from Savage Dragon #106.)
Following Chris’ departure, Erik worked with John Workman, who took over from Chris and later Tom Orzechowski. At one point Erik even lettered the book himself, but it took up too much of his time and the results weren’t what Erik was aiming for.
Eventually, Erik decided that hand lettering just took up too much time. He had to mail the original art to the letterer and then wait for them to do their thing and mail the pages back. So, reluctantly, after 21 years of hand-lettering, he agreed to turn to digital lettering.
On the plus side, that meant that Erik could work with Chris again! Chris came back with Savage Dragon #186 and worked his magic using a font based on his own hand-lettering.
Lettering isn’t Chris’ only profession. He’s a talented cartoonist and writer himself and has made a name for himself over the years. He is known for his work on books such as Marvels “Franklin Richards – Son of a genius”, his web comic “Misery Loves Sherman” and the comic strip “Desperate Times” which ran as a backup feature in Savage Dragon and was later released at Image Comics.
In 2014 Dial Books published “I am Amelia Earhart” and “I am Abraham Lincoln”, the first two books in writer Brad Meltzer’s “Ordinary People Change the World” series of picture book biographies for children, which are illustrated by Eliopoulos. The books were a tremendous success and more books were and are being released.
And that’s keeping Chris busy. It’s understandable that he want’s to concentrate on his illustrating and writing career — but unfortunately it means he has less time for other things. His last issue as letterer is Savage Dragon #230.
I think I speak for us all when I wish Chris all the best for his future projects (fingers crossed for some more Desperate Times) and who knows — maybe he’ll be back one day… once again.
The latest Savage Fincast Mei is Bae is online. The poor guys lost the original recording of their show and had to take the time to re-record the whole thing. It’s fun nonetheless. Listen to them discussing Savage Dragon #229, the pros and cons of working on small artboards and other shenanigans.
In case you guys missed it, we have the official solicitation text for Savage Dragon #232.
“TERROR IN TORONTO!”
Enter: the Wraith! He can walk through walls! Nothing can hold him! Nothing can stop him! And only one man dares to try: Malcolm Dragon!
I don’t think we had a character with the superpower to walk through walls before but it reminds me of the time Glum saved Angel with that device that made people intangible. A no-prize to the first person who tells me which issue that was in…
Part of the 2017 Inkwell Award is the “Sinnott Inking Challenge Spotlight on Erik Larsen” where 30 professionals ink a pencilled page by Erik himself. The first results have been posted online and we want to share these with you. It’s quite fascinating to see the different results and it really helps to understand the work of an inker, how important it is and how much of a difference it can make…
Click on the image to see all the single images.
It seems some of the artists have slightly rotated the original artwork for their inks — For better comparison, I have taken the liberty to re-rotate the pages so they all sit firmly above each other and the original pencils.
I’ll keep adding the newest entries so keep checking back to see more of the challenge contestants.
01 – Andy Smith
02 – Richard Clark
03 – Neil D Vokes
04 – Chris Madd
05 – Lebeau Underwood
06 – Joe Prado
07 – Tom Schloendorn
08 – Dee Fish
09 – Keith Williams
10 – Scott James
11 – Geof Isherwood
12 – Rodney Ramos
13 – Andy Owens
14 – Mark McKenna
15 – Scott Rosema
16 – Keith Champagne
17 – Mark Stegbauer
18 – Richard Bonk
19 – Rudy Nebres
20 – Idan Knafo Kerbis
21 – Rusty Gilligan
22 – Mike Sellers
23 – Kevin Conrad
24 – Don Hillsman
25 – Alex Saviuk
26 – John Floyd
It’s hard to keep up with Erik’s release schedule these last few weeks. Savage Dragon #229 came out a mere two weeks after the last issue and Savage Dragon #230 is about to hit the stands just three weeks later (this coming Wednesday, right after Christmas). High time we take a minute and take a look back at the current issue.
First things first. If you take a peek at the cover you’ll notice the button of the Inkwell Awards. The Inkwell Award is a trophy given in the field of inking in American comic. The Inkwell’s mission statement is, “To promote and educate about the art of comic book inking.”
In June 2017 Erik was announced Winner of the 10th annual Inkwell Award in the category “ALL-IN-ONE (pencilling and inking together)”. I don’t think we properly mentioned this before but it’s high time Erik Larsen gets a little love from the various awards in the comic business for his continued labour of love. Well done Erik!
Erik had originally drawn the cover on twice-up paper and based it on an image of his wife. He wasn’t satisfied with the results though and drew another more cartoony version on an artboard from Image Comics. Those artboards are smaller than your standard-sized comic art board and don’t really allow to work in that much detail which actually helped with the cartoony style Erik was aiming for.
Eventually, Erik drew the entire book on those small artboards from Image Comics. I think he said that it’s just a lot faster to work on smaller paper and he wanted to get the book out in time. But Erik is also always very interested in different approaches to his work and wanted to find out how this would affect the layout and artwork for Savage Dragon #229. If you keep that in mind while reading the issue you might see some pages where this shows. Some panels definitely have a more cartoony feel to them.
Malcolm, Maxine and the kids moved to Toronto in Savage Dragon #227 and Erik felt that he had to do some research before portraying the city. With Chicago, he just went with what felt right and hardly ever used photos to base his art on. But with Toronto Erik somehow felt he wanted to get things right…
I know I said earlier that Savage Dragon was not supposed to be a tourist’s guide but I’m finding compelled to include actual Toronto locations in this book. It’s getting out of control.
If you look at the current issue (and also the last one) there are a few actual places that get referenced: Tim Hortons, the CN Tower, St. Michael’s Hospital and of course the Poop Café which — I know it’s hard to believe — is an actual place. They also have a facebook page
REVIEWS OF SAVAGE DRAGON #229
I think most pages are completely overwhelmed by Erik’s erratic schedule and haven’t even managed to deal with the latest issue. Russ managed to get his interview up and Bleeding Cool talks about the issue as well but that’s pretty much it. Oh and there’s a review on this french website — maybe somebody can chime in and translate the thing for us…