Robot 6

Larsen feels “very betrayed” by Amazing Spider-Man #583

Savage Dragon #137

Savage Dragon #137

Most comic fans probably remember that President-Elect Barack Obama’s first comic book appearance didn’t come in this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #583. Last year IDW published their biography of Obama in October, and he appeared in Savage Dragon #137 last August.

It’s that second one that’s causing a stir over on the Comicon.com message boards, in a thread titled “The house of stolen ideas.” “Bendrix,” who started the thread, says that Marvel promotion ripped off The Savage Dragon’s “publicity stunt.”

A few pages in, creator Erik Larsen shows up in the thread to say he feels betrayed by Marvel:

As far as Marvel goes– I can’t help but feel very betrayed. They duplicated the incentive cover–and preempted my upcoming one–and even used the “terrorist fist jab.” Clearly those in the “house of ideas” looked at what I did and found inspiration.

I hear that they’re even doing a story similar to the one I did four years back, where an image-altering villain disguises himself as the President (in my story the Impostor replaced President Bush and took his place for a speech–in theirs the Chameleon, the shape-shifting villain, is going to spoil a speech being given by President-Elect Obama). The whole mess just feels really underhanded. I feel betrayed and, frankly, ripped off and in the real world–the one outside our funnybook bubble–Marvel will spin themselves as these great innovators who came up with this terrific publicity stunt–instead of the thieves they are.

And I know what they’re saying when they’re called on it–“Presidents have appeared in comics before” and “Erik didn’t create Barack Obama” and blah, blah, blah.

The thing that Marvel is attempting to do is to frame the argument. To say “we’ve featured presidents in the past–this is what we do–it’s part of a pattern.” But that’s a false argument. The “stunt” was an alternate cover featuring Obama– which was something no publisher had done with any president in the past and one that received a lot of press when I did it. If Marvel had done alternate covers with Bush and Clinton or any of the others– they could legitimately claim that they were following a pattern and doing what they’ve done in the past– but that wasn’t the case. And theirs is not simply the appearance of a president in a comic book but one on an alternate cover– and one concocted to try and get some of the same attention that got. I did not create Obama– I did, however, have a character endorse him, long before he was elected while Marvel played footsie with Stephen Colbert– a joke candidate.

Via Rich Watson

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Comments

31 Comments

I think you meant comicon.com website, not comiccon.com.

Easy typo to make.

House of stolen ideas indeed. How about Marvel Goes Ape! Was that not DC’s baby for many years. They even had a trade that collected DC’s past ape stories not too long ago. Make Marvel Mine! I don’t blame Erik for feeling that way. Has the pool of ideas ran out. Personally I have and will not buy the issue, it’s a cheap way to sell an issue. Has the Spider-man franchise hit a wall that they have to come up with stupid stories as of late. I really don’t like the direction the book has taken.

Stunt it may be but the actual main story in the issue by Waid & Kitson is really good and should be read by any Spider-Man fan.

Larsen is right to feel annoyed but, you have to admit, Marvel have really done their homework and gotten maximum publicity with this.

Hopefully some of that publicity will make it’s way back towards Larsen and Savage Dragon.

How dare marvel make more money than Larsen!

boo hoo hoo hoo hoo hoo, maybe you should have stayed there and you’d be selling more than 10,000 books a month !

and he still made a couple bucks off this thing…i saw 3rd prints selling for cover of #137
LOLOLOLOLOLOL

and even the crap-tastic cover marvel had was better than all three of yours erik

keep up the bad work you hack!

maybe you will come up with another idea in the next 15 years that DC will want to “steal”

lolololol

These are not new lessons. They are the same lessons which led Erik and the other Image founders to leave Marvel in the first place.

The question is, what do you do about it? How do you revamp the Image (or even just Savage Dragon) promotional machine to ensure that the next time you promote a stunt, it gets the kind of press Marvel has here (or with the unmasking of Spider-Man, death of Captain America, etc…) This is a lesson DC could stand to learn as well. Theoretically, the events of Final Crisis 6 should have had major media play, but they didn’t even register a blip on the radar.

Marvel’s marketing team is killer. Everyone in the industry should be looking at what makes them tick and how to replicate/surpass their success.

That Marvel stole the idea AND the story is no surprise.

Marvel’s ethics are on a par with George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Can I be the first one to make a “Hulk with a fin on his head” joke?

If you can travel to 1992, yes.

>> Can I be the first one to make a “Hulk with a fin on his head” joke?>>

Ahh, the Hulk’s just the Martian Manhunter with purple pants.

Provided all we care about is skin color and super-strength, at least.

kdb

>>If you can travel to 1992, yes.>>

I swear someone sent me an image of an upcoming cover with Stryfe (sic) on it today, so yeah, maybe, just MAYBE, I can today.

Alan Coil
January 15, 2009 at 8:11 am
That Marvel stole the idea AND the story is no surprise.

Marvel’s ethics are on a par with George Bush and Dick Cheney.

Hot dam,another cry baby DC fan with nothing better to do.

I can only imagine Mr. Larsen’s outrage at the cover of YOUNGBLOOD #8.

“Hot dam,another cry baby DC fan with nothing better to do.”

Hey, lookie, another gamer smelling up the joint.

Erik, you need to beat Marvel to the punch and rush a Zombie-Obama variant cover to press! You’ll make millions!
http://pop-monkey.blogspot.com/2009/01/zombama-remix.html

“Most comic fans probably remember that President-Elect Barack Obama’s first comic book appearance didn’t come in this week’s Amazing Spider-Man #583. Last year IDW published their biography of Obama in October, and he appeared in Savage Dragon #137 last August.”

No, you’re wrong.
President-Elect Barack Obama’s first comic book appearance IS the variant cover for Amazing Spider-Man #583.

Last October and the August Savage Dragon issue Barack Obama was only a candidate for President.

Bitter

Tin foil hat

Huge ego

Who am I talking about?

..

“…Bitter

Tin foil hat

Huge ego

Who am I talking about?…”

Busiek?

..

Alan Coil
January 15, 2009 at 5:20 pm

“Hot dam,another cry baby DC fan with nothing better to do.”

Hey, lookie, another gamer smelling up the joint.

Oh wow,that was a big comeback Alan. Loser

Superhero comic books never recycle previous story lines, plots or character ideas. Therefore this is a shocking betrayal of a tradition of pure original invention.

Will he take Rob Liefeld to task for the same “stunt”? Or maybe that is ok because it is in the family, although it would seem to also mess up his future promotional stunt.

Oh, please. This sounds really immature….on Mr. Larsen’s part. Just let it go Erik. It seems to me you are more upset because Marvel’s take got way more attention than yours. Not a surprise there. The average person doesn’t have a clue who Savage Dragon is but they sure know Spiderman.

Whatever. This isn’t surprising to me coming from EL. Not the first immature reaction he’s had to something and surely not the last.

I’ll go along with the notion that there are no good ideas that one publisher comes up with that the others won’t copy if it makes money. We should also remember that part of Marvel’s inspiration came from the information that Obama collects Spider-Man and Conan comics. Savage Dragon was not on the list. Did Eric even bother to send him a copy?

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

January 17, 2009 at 11:36 am

Pshaw.

I had the idea to shamelessly cash in on Obama’s rockstar popularity ten years before Larsen did.

“OH GOD NO! My obvious and blatant attempt to cash in on the popularity of the President-Elect was stolen by somebody else! Obviously they stole it from me, as nobody else could have ever conceived of such a brilliant turn of story-telling!”

Shut up, Larsen.

Mark-Paul Gosselaar

January 17, 2009 at 11:17 pm

In unrelated news, be sure to check out Rob Liefeld and Jeph Loeb’s SMASH UNLEASHED! one shot in April. It’s all the SMASH you’ve been CRASHING for–only from Image Comics.

Erik Larson is just upset because most comic-book fans don’t read Savage Dragon and, therefore, don’t have a clue what goes on in that title. The publicity stunt here isn’t the Obama issue–it’s Larson’s embarrassingly childish public ranting.

Wasn’t Image founded on stealing the ideas and designs of every popular comic hero of the 90’s and then trying to make them “original”?

I guess this is KARMA!! ( YES ERIK you may use that word to create a new villian for SD t ointeract with ).

Too bad that Time, Newsweek, Entertainment weekly, autograph Magazine and others didn’t get Erik’s permission to use Obama on their multiple covers this past year. watch out editors!! The dragon is coming after you next!

AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #583

Just pick one up!

THUMBED THROUGH IT…..

The art is CRAP!

It looks like the book was put together quickly to capitalize on OBAMA.

It is not worthy of a PRESIDENT.

Man alive! Erik you sound pathetic. You’re just jealous that Spidey got more attention than your Dragon. Spider-Man is an iconic character that most people in the world know about. Honestly, the Spider-Man/Obama comic got people who never bought a comic book to actually go into a comic book shop and buy a comic. Maybe they saw a Walking Dead Comic and said “Hey that looks cool. I’ll get that too.” The owner at my LCS said that comic was the best thing for the industry since the Death of Superman. WHO CARES WHO DID IT FIRST. I’m sure that comic helped Image Comics to too. Stop being such a little bitch. You little bitch.

[…] began last week when Larsen posted on a message board that he feels “very betrayed” by Marvel because, in his eyes, the publisher duplicated […]

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