Pick Your Brain: Erik Larsen

Featuring Erik Larsen

Q: Mike – “What are your feelings regarding the current state of the industry? Is there hope?”
A: Erik – “It’s not all for me, but there continues to be good material being produced. It’s also encouraging to see graphic novels aimed at younger readers flourishing in bookstores. There are certainly huge, wide-scale changes that I would recommend for Marvel and DC, but I’m not in charge.”

Q: Mike – “In the past, and even now, you express yourself and your views sometimes in what people call a political way. How has this helped you grow as an artist? Do you feel any one topic or expression could be too taboo?”
A: Erik – “Taboo would be lambasting fellow comic book creators in print. I wouldn’t go there. I don’t know that including politics has helped in any way. It’s not as though I’m changing minds here—I’ve just chosen to set my book in real-time, and those touchstones are necessary to place the story in a specific time.”

Q: Mike – “What are your major creative influences, and how do they factor into your work?”
A: Erik – “Jack Kirby, Gil Kane, Frank Miller, Steve Ditko, Herb Trimpe, Walter Simonson, Klaus Janson, Bill Sienkiewicz, Terry Austin, and many others. Their work informs mine. It’s not easy to quantify.”

Q: Mike – “When you look at some people around the comic industry sphere, are you concerned about certain creators having associations with the political sector? And if so, what dangers might this present to the industry as a whole?”
A: Erik – “The danger is alienating your potential audience. It doesn’t ‘concern’ me particularly. They can do as they see fit, but getting political involves a degree of risk.”

Q: Mike – “Thanks for taking the time today, Erik. Any words of advice or parting words for aspiring Indie Creators?”
A: Erik – “In general—I advise people to think small to begin with. Don’t plan out a sprawling 267-issue story. Start with a beginning, middle, and end. Write it, draw it, and post it. Use clip art if you must, but get familiar with the process of creating and finishing something.”

Q: Mike – “Fantastic! Thank you for your time today, sir!”

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