Robot 6

Steve Wacker responds to Larsen’s Spider-Man comments

Amazing Spider-Man #583 (Obama variant cover)

Amazing Spider-Man #583 (Obama variant cover)

Earlier this week I blogged about Erik Larsen’s comments on Amazing Spider-Man #583 and Savage Dragon #137 that appeared on the ComiCon.com message boards. If you haven’t seen those comments, go read them first before you read this post, as it’ll make more sense that way.

Everybody up to speed? Good. Here’s Spider-Man editor Steve Wacker, who sent us an email responding to Larsen:

I’ve been watching for a couple days as a guy I’ve never met swings away at perceived phantoms, accusing myself and his fellow creators or ridiculous “betrayals” due to our story in ASM #583. I’d say this was a grasping at straws, but that assumes there are some straws around. So here’s some info:

I don’t know Erik Larsen from Adam (admittedly I stole that turn of phrase!) and I don’t follow the news surrounding Savage Dragon at all. However, I know this isn’t the first time he’s insulted writers that work for me under the guise of criticizing Marvel. I’m also aware he and many people around him aren’t happy with Spider-Man comics and that he’s written long and hard on the topic, but that doesn’t excuse him from blatantly accusing anyone of plagiarism… particularly based on such flimsy “evidence.”

Reading Erik’s statement, he wisely (if you want to cut off all logical arguments) proclaims that the actual truth of the matter — that Marvel has a history of showing presidents in our books — is a “false argument,” but I’m going to ignore him and make the point anyway because, well, ignoring that fact is as silly as his pretend outrage.

Marvel DOES regularly show politicians and we have for years. That’s the whole point. In fact, Marvel has spent the past year putting a fake presidential candidate in most of our books. The idea that we’d follow that up by putting a Spidey-fan-made-good on our cover can’t really come as a huge surprise to anyone smart enough to be a publisher.

The Spidey Obama short was just a goofy story to celebrate something interesting happening and no one is trying to claim it was anything else. Eric’s proposal that we only did this to get attention on Spidey is practically message board-ian it’s insightfulness. As a young Steve Wacker would say, “DUH!” or even “DOY!”

I’ve never in my life read Savage Dragon (which isn’t meant as a knock since people obviously enjoy it) and certainly no plot or cover ideas were stolen from it, unless Erik created the idea of the imposter/doppelganger story which made me laugh just to type it.

Hell, the whole idea of someone posing as a public figure idea is a clichéd trope at this point (Sorry, Zeb), but it fit exactly what we were trying to do with the quick 5-pager with a one week turnaround. No one involved thought we had discovered a never-before-climbed branch of the story tree (which apparently Erik thinks he may have done a couple years back when he apparently had the president replaced in his book.)

And Eric’s notion we stole the idea of the fist bump from him is also absurd. We actually stole it from reality. Like he did. Duh!

Onto another accusation of Erik’s, the decision to put the president on the cover was made because:

#1 – As I mentioned, we recently had some success putting another public figure — who was running for President in the Marvel U — on a variant cover. So I didn’t have to travel too far to think of this one.

And #2 – (and don’t miss this one because it’s an important point, so don’t start typing yet): The president actually used to read Spider-Man! He even quoted Spider-Man in the letter to his daughters released earlier in the week. Believe me, if McCain had declared himself a Spidey fan, I’d have been all over it. (You know that well-known Batman fan Sen. Patrick Leahy was in the newest Batman movie, right? I hope Leahy wasn’t featured in Savage Dragon first! Yikes.)

The idea that this was off-limits because the President-Elect had appeared on another comic cover (or that we wouldn’t have had this idea without Erik Larsen) is beyond preposterous. I suspect this is more of an overall “Marvel would be better if I were in charge!” bone to pick that Erik seems to carry around — which, if you get me on the right day, I completely share. But that bone doesn’t mean that anyone at Marvel’s “betraying” him as Erik dramatically puts it.

I’m a company stooge, so I don’t expect Erik’s going to care too much about what I think, but at the very least the writers and artists who are busy not stealing from him don’t deserve his mewling accusations.

-Wacker
Congrats for the controversy, Robot 6!

News From Our Partners

Comments

148 Comments

‘Eric’s proposal that we only did this to get attention on Spidey is practically message board-ian it’s insightfulness.’

Now now, Steve, no need to start having a go at your actual fans . . .

To come and defend this whole topic is silly in my opinion. I understand Erik’s point. The man worked for both DC and Marvel and gave his soul. From Doom Patrol to Spider-Man, I enjoyed his run. His wounds with both companies runs deep and you cannot get rid of that over the years. I don’t believe Marvel needs publicity like this, they are a professional company of 70 years. Made many mistakes including ripping off Kirby and Lee, if not for them there would be no Marvel. I don’t care about the politics of the publishers, I want good entertainment. Steve Wacker? Who the hell is he? I just want to have fun reading books. I don’t want to hear complaints about stuff like this. What’s next the inker and letterer will voice their opinions too. Let it rest already. This is taking a life all over the Net already. Works wonders for Marvel, makes more money. Well done. So let it rest and come up with better ideas for Spider-Man already. The issue at hand in my opinion is quality and Spidey in my opinion is not doing too good. The last movie was bad and the latest stories are just as bad. Steve let’s get better stories, enough stunts already. By the way if Erik was to copy Marvel I am sure that you would raise a stink too. Move on.

As Steve says [Quote]So here’s some info:[/Quote] which Steve himself avoids:

Marvel has never featured a president on the cover.

Larsen features Obama on the cover (actually pretty bravely endorsing him prior to the election) promoting Obama; In a move that could have earned him derision and cost him the odd readers. Surprisingly the SD Obama cover garners Larsen a lot of attention/publicity SD doesn’t normally attract.

Obama mentions prior to the election he reads Spiderman; Marvel endorses Stephen Colbert and ignores Obama.

SD Obama cover gets multiple printings and a lot of press, Obama gets elected, Obamamania hits next thing Marvel is putting him on the cover.

It’s fair that, as an Obama supporter who tok a risk, Larsen is right to feel bitter that Marvel who didn’t recognise Obama despite his now referenced Spider-man love (see Wacker’s citing above) rush to cash in on SD’s increased sales and Publicity (they had no other comic to use a barometer to how it would affect sales and fan reaction other than SD regardless of Wackers claims of ignorance).

To suggest that Marvel hadn’t guaged Retailer, customer and media reaction to SD’s featuring of Obama on the cover is facetious.

If Larsen’s Obama cover had sat on shelves and caused an exodus of his republican fans would Marvel have followed suit? They knew Obama was a Spider-man fan prior to the election (now referenced as justifying the cover) yet never featured him even though Wacker states that ‘Marvel features politicians and has done for years’.

So why the change after Larsen’s cover?

So far so different to Wacker’s blissful ignorance of SD’s Obama cover and Marvel’s never putting a politician on the cover, Spider-fan or no.

None of this explains Larsen’s bitterness though, it’s just a case of Marvel stealing someone else’s good idea after they’ve taken the risk. Except that it appears as if Marvel copied more than just Larsen’s ‘put Obama on the cover’ idea.

Larsen last featured a real president in a story where a shapeshifter took his place prior to giving a speech and it was up to Dragon to nail the imposter and save the day.

Marvel’s story features “a real president where a shapeshifter took his place prior to giving a speech and it was up to” Spider-Man “to nail the imposter and save the day”.

Hmm.

Is Larsen right to feel ripped off/betrayed? Who knows; there’s been plenty of imposter takes the president’s place yarns in the past just as there’s been plenty of stories featuring presidents that HAVEN’T used that scenario.

But on the back of Marvel clearly (never featured a prseident on the cover, guaged SD’s Obama cover reaction) taking something Larsen had done and using it for themselves with the cover, it does skew in Larsen’s favour.

Still maybe Larsen is reading to much into it. Most recently following on from the success of his Obama SD cover and reflecting Larsen’s bold move of endorsing Obama on the cover prior to the election Larsen released a forthcoming image from and publicising a new SD (145?): The image is of Dragon ‘fistjabbing’ Obama.

The only Obama Spider-man image released by Marvel to publicise there cashing in on Obama?: Spider-Man “‘fistjabbing’ Obama”.

Sure seems that Marvel have a lot of coincidences in their promotion of this book even if as Wacker claims complete ignorance regarding SD; the only Superhero book to put Obama on it’s cover.

Obama appears on the cover with the titular hero (never before done at Marvel); cover is released as Publicity: As per Savage Dragon earlier.

Plot DESPITE ALL OTHER SCENARIOS involves shapeshifter replacing president prior to speech only for the titular hero to save the day: As per Savage Dragon earlier.

Only Image released as publicity featuring the 2 cover stars features ‘fistjab’: As per Savage Draon earlier.

Sure seems to me that Marvel’s actions stink as much as Wacker’s paper thin explanations and I’ve no personal involvement in Savage Dragon or Obama for President. Larsen does.

I think it’s only fair given what he invested personally and financially in featuring Obama and promoting his book that he personally feels “betrayed” by the clear incidences of Marvel copying what he has done.

He’s entitled to that and to express that, Wackers response is inane in comparrisson.

Mikey

I think we’re all overlooking one very important point:

Rob Liefeld has an Obama cover.

And if Rob’s record is allowed to speak for itself, then Rob should get the credit, because he started his cover in February of 2007 after Obama announced he was running, and well before Erik or Marvel could get their greedy little hands on the President-Elect.

@rolando:

Excellent point, sir! Obviously, this round goes to Liefeld.

As do they all.

I agree with Erik Larsen about this. Marvel was only too happy to play footsie with Stephen Colbert because they believed that gimmick would pay off with some good publicity. They jump on board the Obama bandwagon only now that he will be the president next week.

Since they started out inserting Stephen Colbert in their comics, they should just have stuck with him.

@Mikey Crotty
Not much to add. Excelent post.

>>>And Eric’s notion we stole the idea of the fist bump from him is also absurd. We actually stole it from reality. Like he did. Duh! <<<

This is ridiculous. Where did Obama bump fist with the star of a comic book in reality? This argument is missing the point so far I can’t even belive Wacker really means it.

And Wacker never read Savage Dragon? I belive him. But nobody involved in the “idea” featuring Obama in Spider-Man reads CBR.com or Newsarama.com? I don’t think so.

And why did they need to change solicitation for the issue, if it really was an independent idea. Why the shoehorned the whole thing in at the last minute, after the whole Savage Dragon/Obama apperance had been announced?

Let’ see.
Marvel puts a president on a cover, wich they never did, until Larsen did it first.
On a variant, just like Larsen did before.
Featuring a story where an imposter posed as the president, which Larsen did not exclusively mabye, but before Marvel did.
The main character does the fist-bump with Obama, Like Larsens Savage Dragon did before.
And it looks like the second printing of the variant does feature a differnet background color. Where did I see THAT before? Yea, you guessed right.

And now Marvel tries to pass this as a coincident? Please, for crying out loud.

>>>>>>And Wacker never read Savage Dragon? I belive him. But nobody involved in the “idea” featuring Obama in Spider-Man reads CBR.com or Newsarama.com? I don’t think so.<<<<<

Right. And they must not read the Chicago Tribune either (November 11th 2008):
http://redeye.chicagotribune.com/red-111108-serranocolumn,0,6738591.column

I give up. It’s so redicilous that everbody defending Marvel on it seems to miss the point on purpose. Arguing with fanboys is so frustrating.

My comment might’ve sounded sarcastic, but it was to support your argument, Bendrix.

I think the point that everyone is missing is that Erik had already solicited a new PRESIDENT Obama variant cover to come out next month. This was solicited before Marvel decided to jump on the bandwagon and steal the idea, therefore becoming the first to have PRESIDENT Obama on the cover.

Steve Wacker’s plea to ignorance is BS. Of course Marvel knows what there competitors are doing.

Marvel sucks.

Oh, please Wacker.

Sorry, you lose this round.

Evil Ronald Reagan!

I don’t even get why there’s an argument to begin with; why does it matter that Larsen did it first? Because his was first and heartfelt while Marvel’s was a shameless (but better executed in the press) attention grab?

I *do* understand Wacker’s position on the matter – he doesn’t seem to care too much about most of it, but Larsen has accused Marvel of stealing his ideas; so Wacker is defending Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck, et al, the creators of the work Larsen is making his claim about.

Well, I’ll step in to defend Marvel for one reason: does anyone out there think Marvel would not have had a special Obama cover if Larsen hadn’t done it first? I think the very idea that the only reason Marvel thought of this is because Larsen did it first is ridiculous. What, do you people think Zeb Wells was unable to think of a 5 page story that incorporated Obama and Spider-Man so he had to look to a Savage Dragon issue for plot points?

As soon as I heard Obama was a Spider-Man fan (an item which only came out relatively recently, I believe), there was no doubt in my mind Marvel would find some way to capitalize on that, just like they have consistently tried to take advantage of Stephen Colbert’s love for comics/Marvel ever since he made it public knowledge. They would be idiots if they didn’t.

Quesada: “Did you guys hear Obama is a fan of Spider-Man comics?”
Wacker: “Really? That’s cool. If only there was some way we could take advantage of the fact that one of the most popular President-Elects in history is a fan of one of our characters. But how on Earth could we do that?”
Quesada: “Well, as always I was looking through some recent Image comics for ideas on how we can continue to increase our market share and gain mainstream publicity, and I came across an issue of Savage Dragon where the main character actually MEETS Senator Obama. Do you think we could maybe do something like that since this incredibly popular real-life figure is also a publicly-stated fan of the character who is most closely identified with our company?”
Wacker: “Well, it’s a crazy idea. I don’t think Marvel has ever done anything like that, with the exception of the many instances over the past 50 years where Marvel has done something exactly like that. It’s just crazy enough to work, although I don’t think our writers are inventive enough to come up with a story on their own. Can they just steal the main story beats from that Kimodo Dragon issue or whatever?”
Quesada: “Sure. Too bad we don’t have some kind of a shape-shifter character of our own to use. Can we copy the bad guy Larsen used?”
Wacker: “Why not, we’ll just change a letter or two in his name.”
Wells: “Wait guys! I think Stan Lee already created such a character in a prior Spider-Man comic! He either copied the idea from Larsen or came up with it 50 years before him, I don’t remember which. Anyway, we can use our character but copy everything else and I’ll hack it out in a day!”

And…..scene

Quesada: F*cking Mephisto, sales are down, what were we thinking?
Wacker: What if Mephisto was actually a Skrull all this time — or a clone of himself?
Quesada: That makes perfect sense but it won’t bring back the fans in droves…
Quesada: Isn’t there any device that has recently helped a title’s sales skyrocket?
Wacker: Well, Savage Dragon’s Obama appearance sold-out three print runs — though I would not know of this huge industry related achievement because I do not have the Internet, nor a television…
Quesada: That’s excellent! And we’re MARVEL — CNN & co. will jump on this making it look as though we thought of it first!
Wacker: But how will this tie-in to plot, aside from the fact that Obama dug Spidey 20 years ago? I mean, Savage Dragon IS from Chicago and he was a presidential candiate a while back…
Quesada: Who cares? Get me variant covers, stat!
Wacker: Or we could just give a nod to Larsen in our press releases, y’know show some good faith instead of taking credit for the whole thing.
Quesada: ASH is NOTHING like the Dragon… Dragon was a COP, ASH was a top-heavy firefighter!
Wacker: What?

It’s just another publicity stunt from the Marvel Marketing Machine. Just like the news that Captain America was going to die. Just like “One More Day”. This is just a stunt to get some mainstream press. Larsen just sounds pissed that Marvel’s getting more press than he did a few months ago. And you want to know why? Spider-man is a household name. If I was to mention Spider-man and Savage Dragon to my mother she wouldn’t have a clue who Savage Dragon is but she could pick Spidey out of a line-up of superheroes no problem. It’s all about name recognition plain and simple. If Savage Dragon had 3 multi-million dollar movies, 40+ years of comics, countless toys and a handful of cartoon series then this would be a non-issue. But that’s not how it is. So Larsen is crying foul and honestly I would too if I had the history that he does with Marvel. But if anyone thinks that the Savage Dragon story and the Spider-man story are on equal footing then you don’t know the reality of modern day news. Savage Dragon doesn’t get ratings. Spider-man does. And Quesada and company know how to shill their properties.

In my opinion, Wacker and the Marvel flackies need to shut the hell up and enjoy this 15 seconds of fame because next week it’ll be something totally different.

And if Larsen wants the same kind of press that Marvel’s getting then he needs to work more on making his properties a household name and less on bitching about how Marvel’s done him wrong… again.

Mark Cook stated:

I don’t even get why there’s an argument to begin with; why does it matter that Larsen did it first? Because his was first and heartfelt while Marvel’s was a shameless (but better executed in the press) attention grab?

I *do* understand Wacker’s position on the matter – he doesn’t seem to care too much about most of it, but Larsen has accused Marvel of stealing his ideas; so Wacker is defending Zeb Wells, Todd Nauck, et al, the creators of the work Larsen is making his claim about.

********************

You still don’t get it. Larsen has a NEW President Obama/Savage Dragon cover coming out next month that was solicited a while back. Marvel stole his idea and beat Larsen to publication with their own Obama cover. Now that the President Obama cover has already been done by Marvel, Larsen won’t get the press he deserves and probably a lot less sales now. SUCKS.

wow. a geek fight.

I say let’s have a crossover, Savage Dragon vs. Spider-man where they fight for Obama’s attention. With a cameo from Triton who we find out is the father of The Savage Dragon. Then it’s all even-steven, you copy my president idea I copy your Triton and make more money by calling him Dragon.

Barack Obama needs to use his abilities as a uniter to step in and moderate this dispute.

I’d just like to point out that JOHN ROMITA drew the ACTUAL cover to this issue, and that’s much cooler.

“Larsen won’t get the press he deserves and probably a lot less sales now. ”

Not that he would have anyway – no one outside the comics industry knows who the Savage Dragon is. I didn’t hear reports of people lining up to buy the issue of Savage Dragon that Obama already appeared on (there may have been a sales bump, but nothing like THIS). Heck, there were comic book biographies of Obama and McCain published, and those barely made a ripple in the public consciousness.

Whereas Spider-Man? Kind of well known. You may have seen him elsewhere. High Q rating, that type of thing. And, as noted, Obama’s already a fan (and that’s discounting the obvious presence of a comic geek or two on his staff, if the Superman reference during the Al Smith Dinner speech is representative). Larsen’s publicity stunt was never going to have this type of impact, whether or not Marvel published first or not. If Larsen published this week, and Marvel did so next week, do you really think CNN would be doing stories on Larsen right now?

“(Hero) stops (character who can disguise himself) from impersonating the (political leader)”
What comic book is that story from?

Wrong, it was an issue of GI Joe.
And an episode of the cartoon.
Oh, and it was in Booster Gold.
Oh, and an episode of The Outer Limits.
And Star Trek.
And Batman, both the TV show and comic.
And…and I think these comment posts have a character limit.

“Surprisingly the SD Obama cover garners Larsen a lot of attention/publicity SD doesn’t normally attract.”

Exactly how much publicity did Erik get? Outside the comics industry, that is? I’ll guess (based on no knowledge or facts at all, or course) the series of candidate-bio-comics got more mainstream coverage than Savage Dragon did.

“Obama mentions prior to the election he reads Spiderman; Marvel endorses Stephen Colbert and ignores Obama.”

Erik wanted to actively endorse a presidential candidate. Good. I’m sure he was also looking for more publicity and sales on his book as well. Also good. If his only goal was to generate excitement for Obama, what did he do with the extra money generated from the extra sales? What charity was it donated to?

Marvel wanted to get publicity, and hopefully another appearance on the Colbert Report. Also good.

Both Erik and Marvel took advantage of a popular public figure (one that they didn’t have to get permission to have appear in their book) to generate buzz about their titles. You know what? Still good. One was massively more successful than the other. Suddenly, not good?

This is a tempest in a teapot. This is far more sour grapes than it is righteous indignation. This is Erik trying to get more publicity for his book by taking advantage of a topical event. And you know what? Good.

Are there any comic book reading republicans?

I love Eric Larson’s old books but it’s just sour grapes. Marvel managed to produce a comic book event that rivaled the death of superman. Even the 2nd printings are selling out in NYC.

Obama in Savage Dragon was just a footnote in the newspapers. It’s true he did it first but Marvel was the one that got the most attention. I’d be disgruntle too.

Good for you Wacker for responding.

@catluck – well done. I stand by my point but your post was funnier.

“Savage Dragon vs. Spider-man where they fight for Obama’s attention”

I’m reminded of nothing but an episode of Freakazoid where F!, Pinky and the Brain and (IMS)The Goodfeathers visit Steven Speilberg and ask “which of us do you like the most?”

Steven’s reponse – “Who are you people?”

We have a popular President Elect who is an admitted Spider-Man fan. A Spider-Man COMIC BOOK fan. How stupid would you have to be to think Marvel wouldn’t take advantage of that? How stupid would you have to be to think that Marvel would hold off because a disgruntled ex-employee with questionable talent used the same idea a couple months earlier in a book that the popular President Elect probably hadn’t even heard of until he was on the cover (and maybe not even then)?

Larsen is being rude, unreasonable, and missing the point. What a shock. He should just draw his Hulk-ripoff and grow the #^%& up.

Yes. This was all an evil plot to get out an Obama cover BEFORE Erik Larsen’s cover…
…and not before an ACTUAL event like… oh, yeah… THE INAUGURATION!

LOL

Actually, I think Obama had the inauguration moved up so that it wouldn’t get publicity taken away from it by the release of the next Savage Dragon comic.

Actually, Larsen should feel good that Obama has been on this many sold-out comic book covers instead of being upset that Marvel got more mainstream press than he did.

@Joseph – Thanks :)

By the by, Spidey and Dragon met in “Savage Dragon / Destroyer Duck”.

Let’s put this to rest…
http://www.alexrossart.com/news/2008/obama_full.jpg
Obama belongs to all. The people’s Obama.

Actually, I believe that Marvel wouldn’t know/care what Larsen’s doing in Savage Dragon. Why would a company that owns half the market share suddenly start looking over their shoulder for an Image book that comes out a few times a year?

It just seems like sour grapes to me. Even if Larsen’s variant cover was the first to hit the stands, do you think “civilians” off the street would be lining up to get an issue of a comic featuring a character they, at best, might remember from a failed 90′s cartoon? I doubt it. Look around your LCS. People have been trying to cash in on Obama’s image in comic from since the summer. Until Spider-man was added to the mix, no one cared.

Erik can have Jesus say the F-word on his cover (or show Obama) and the general public won’t hear about it.

Spidey is more popular than the Savage Dragon. Period. I don’t think Marvel expected these sales, but I think it’s cool Obama is on the cover of a comic he himself proclaims to like.

I love Erik, but he has no cause for concern. Wacker dissing Erik is comically unnecessary, however exactly what Erik wanted.

I have the issue where the Savage Dragon supports Obama (actually much of the Dragon run). I don’t have the Spidey issue.

Catluck, no one in Chicago reads the Red Eye, why would someone form New York? Larsen’s just bitter because Marvel’s publicity stunt actually worked.

Anyone who actually thinks Marvel ripped off anyone here is wrong. And kind of stupid. Larsen acted like a crybaby fanboy on a message board. Wacker is right.

Who friggin’ cares? Wacker shouldn’t even have to comment on this trash.

Erik is simply crying over the fact that Marvel’s Obama cover got more attention than his did. If anyone read Savage Dragon when it first started, you notice that Erik plagiarised Spider-Man (he had some African-American girlfriend that looked an awful lot like Mary-Jane, he also had some African_Americe newspaper publisher who looked an awful lot like JJJ etc…)

I think Erik should simply grow up!

“maybe these then? ”

Nope. Got any clips from CNN? Any front page stories? Anything they might have concievably seen in New York City, casually, not actively trolling the media for comic-related stories?

Considering the number of mentions the Larsen covers got in the comics industry, I’ll agree it’s stretching credibility that Wacker (and through Wacker, Marvel) claims to have known not at all about the Savage Dragon issue. I find it completely reasonable that they may not have read it. I can envision a scenario that someone in Marvel legal specifically TOLD Wacker to deny all knowledge of the book, to preclude any legal action by Larsen, frivolous as it may be. But even still, the idea of putting a public figure on the cover of a comic is scarcely new, original, or actionable if others do it.

@Pierre

Those are homages, there’s no need to point it out, especially with a “hero hating newspaper publisher” called RRR — no way Larsen could take credit for that, nor did he. And as for the character “Rapture”… he drew her like HE drew M-J in Spidey… no point there either.

Listen guys, I’m just supporting the underdog here, and humoristic jabs aside — this is another one of the countless “things” Marvel does on a regular basis. It’s ok to call them out on it once in a while, they’re big boys, they’ll be fine… the “underdogs” though, need a hand.

Peace.

..

Looks like Wacker has balls of steel.

But not an ounce of talent. (Maybe 15 grams, but not an ounce.)

CREATE something NEW Wacker. Then you’ll have a leg to stand on. Yer just one of many living off the work of OTHERS.

Until then, yer just a wacking in the wind.

..

@Vinnie

Well that IS sort of part of the whole point — you come up with a concept (whether it be a gimmick or not) and it has some “media mention” here and there (and no i didnt troll for them, there’s a huge list on Larsen’s msgboard) and right after it worked (selling out three print runs), some bigger guy comes along and basically steals your device. I’d be pissed. Again, had they given a nod to the “previous trend” or something, that would’ve made this a whole lot less of an issue.

Erik is a pain in the ass, always complaning about marvel and dc with no real reason.

It’s odd cuz I used to like his work, now he only talks/writes/draw crap.

By the way, I can’t see ANY decent argument to support Erik on this, Marvel has done anything wrong nor plagiaristic.

..

Perhaps Wack-man could explain the whole Osborn-Obama connection. Or is this an imaginary story? (Aren’t they all?)

Very, very bad art, by the way. Who knew Spidey had such a weird face under that mask? Are there BONES in his skull, does he have a jaw and cheekbones or just goof-nuts below the eyes?

Another cheap and pointless Marvel Moment.

..

It’s evident that if Larsen had gained CNN EXPOSURE from an Obama cover AFTER the Spidey issue came out, you would all be calling him out on it.

Attaboy, Wacker! You’re sure to get promoted after that response. Why, it practically read as if Brevoort wrote it. Same avoidance of the subject, same sarcastic tone, same disregard for anything non-Marvel.

The parallels between the 2 stories are just too many to be chance. Larsen should sue.

“if Larsen had gained CNN EXPOSURE from an Obama cover AFTER the Spidey issue came out, you would all be calling him out on it.”

Yeah, for successfully getting publicity for his book, and through that for comics in general.

Marvel didn’t steal the idea, any more than Erik stole the idea from the people making comemmorative plates.

Larsen is the only one allowed to cash in on the Obama craze. Didn’t Marvel know this? Wacker, just clear everything through Larsen in the future and you should be okay. Cause comics are only filled with original ideas and have been since Superman ripped off the Gladiator.

Also the idea of having a green character for a book probably started with him as well.

“Larsen should sue.”

Not that I’ll ever get a decent answer for this, but… for what? Sue a company “stealing the idea” of using a public figure on their cover for publicity?

If Erik was that smart, why wouldn’t he schedule his issue, which he presumably has control over BEFORE the inauguration.

Why wouldn’t you follow the trend of every other publisher in the world jumping on the Obama express to move product.

Civil War has Bush in it when Captain America broke out of the helicarrier.

T’ Challa’s wedding had a bunch of people in it from the real world.

Obama was one of the faces the skrull imitated in Secret Invasion. Why is it so difficult to believe that Marvel didn’t copy off the Savage Dragon?

Any idea if Larsen has commented on Image publishing the issue of Youngblood with an Obama cover? I haven’t read anything to this effect but that also seemed to come out of nowhere and was first mentioned just this week for a book supposedly coming out in February.

http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=19545

“It’s evident that if Larsen had gained CNN EXPOSURE from an Obama cover AFTER the Spidey issue came out, you would all be calling him out on it.”

LOL!

Yeah. Savage Dragon was going to get CNN exposure. That doesn’t even work in the hypothetical. I don’t even think Savage Dragon could get CNN exposure in the fictional world OF Savage Dragon with Erik Larsen writing and drawing it.

Bad enough the comics world is queueing up to suck up to the political world; now they’re fighting about who did it first.

Alan Coil
January 16, 2009 at 11:41 am

Attaboy, Wacker! You’re sure to get promoted after that response. Why, it practically read as if Brevoort wrote it. Same avoidance of the subject, same sarcastic tone, same disregard for anything non-Marvel.

The parallels between the 2 stories are just too many to be chance. Larsen should sue.

WAAAHHHHHH!!!!! Didn’t realize DC fans cried this much as well. Having fun defending your boyfriend Alan?

I can see where Marvel is going by this. They’re merely cashing in on Obama’s fascination for Spidey — as I know Erik Larsen would’ve been all over it if Obama said he was also a Savage Dragon Fan.

But… Steve Wacker??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? You’re just a guppy in a pond where Erik has been a long-time big name. Even if he is wrong, don’t try to swing bats in a league where you are just the new recuit. Just let the guy voice his opinion, as he often does, and just marvel (no pun intended) at your success over the Spidey-Obama issue. You know that your success is eating all over Larsen. Just keep your mouth shut, newbie. You ain’t Larsen yet… Best stay in your place.

@Greg

Savage Dragon and Erik Larsen (along with the Image guys when it first started) were on CNN, check out the videos.

….and the winner is….Erik Larsen!

Why would Mr. Larsen make a big deal out of this?

Pretty much for the same reason that Marvel did the Obama cover. Too sell more copies of a comic book.

See, it’s like this.

There’s a huge media storm going on about the Spidey book. Erik knows this. He also knows how internet search engines work. He also knows that the outside media isn’t gonna give a whole lotta love to his SD Obama cover because the character is mearly a blip on the radar comparatively.

So, make some posts to generate an internet controversy related to the Spidey comic which will then get the two intertwined.

So now, when folks put “Obama comic book cover” into google or what have you, guess what comes up with Amazing Spider-Man?

The Savage Dragon.

So, Erik ties himself into the publicity, which Wacker has added to now, and he’ll probably sell even more of his comic then he would have before.

He should thank Marvel.

It’s all about sales. That’s all it’s ever about.

Once folks realize that about this industry, it gets a lot more easy to enjoy the hobby because you will then be immune to all the “controversies”.

You’re welcome.

Mark
January 16, 2009 at 12:31 pm

I can see where Marvel is going by this. They’re merely cashing in on Obama’s fascination for Spidey — as I know Erik Larsen would’ve been all over it if Obama said he was also a Savage Dragon Fan.

But… Steve Wacker??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU? You’re just a guppy in a pond where Erik has been a long-time big name. Even if he is wrong, don’t try to swing bats in a league where you are just the new recuit. Just let the guy voice his opinion, as he often does, and just marvel (no pun intended) at your success over the Spidey-Obama issue. You know that your success is eating all over Larsen. Just keep your mouth shut, newbie. You ain’t Larsen yet… Best stay in your place.

Wow,are you the big time legendary writer or artist who can actually back up comments like that? Steve Wacker who actually kept 52 at DC on time. Also whom is now editor of two major series that run weekly. Yeah your right,a loser fanboy whom has never worked in the field like yourself can really talk. It must honestly suck to try and be tough on the internet when in your real life you can only hope to accomplish what Mr. Wacker is already doing.

Typical comicbook crybaby fanboy wannabe. Shouldn’t you be getting ready for your night shift at the 7 eleven?

Seems to me what is good for Marvel should be good for other publishers. If not for Marvel publishing The Dark Tower I would not be reading comics today. I would not then have got hooked to the point that I sought out other options and started reading something like, well, everything that Kirkman writes.

If Marvel did NOT put out an ASM Obama cover….there would be many job openings there today.

Hey Rolando I am sure you are a much more talented artist than Liefeld. Please let me know what books you have done so I can check them out sometime. As far as Erik Larsen goes. I have every issue of Savage Dragon he has ever done. But please. This is Spiderman for gods sake. Of course Marvel is going to get all this publicity. That is one of the MANY reasons why they will ALWAYS be the greatest comic company on the planet. Of course Savage Dragon is never going to get the attention of the large media outlets like Marvel will.

Seems a bit silly to accuse Marvel of stealing the idea. It’s not that original an idea, and it’s something that will bring extra sales and attention to a book. What, Marvel would never have thought of a backup story featuring Obama had SD not done it before?

Remember folks, Erik Larsen also created:

One More Day
Brand New Day
The Heavens and the Earth
Sliced Bread

Just add it to the list of ideas someone else “stole” from him. Yeesh.

“Savage Dragon and Erik Larsen (along with the Image guys when it first started) were on CNN, check out the videos.”

LOL

I’m sorry, what CENTURY was that in? Wake me up when Savage Dragon is relevant to the real world again.

Stephen
January 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

“Larsen won’t get the press he deserves and probably a lot less sales now. ”

Not that he would have anyway – no one outside the comics industry knows who the Savage Dragon is. I didn’t hear reports of people lining up to buy the issue of Savage Dragon that Obama already appeared on (there may have been a sales bump, but nothing like THIS). Heck, there were comic book biographies of Obama and McCain published, and those barely made a ripple in the public consciousness.

Whereas Spider-Man? Kind of well known. You may have seen him elsewhere. High Q rating, that type of thing. And, as noted, Obama’s already a fan (and that’s discounting the obvious presence of a comic geek or two on his staff, if the Superman reference during the Al Smith Dinner speech is representative). Larsen’s publicity stunt was never going to have this type of impact, whether or not Marvel published first or not. If Larsen published this week, and Marvel did so next week, do you really think CNN would be doing stories on Larsen right now?

*****************************

So, just because Savage Dragon has less of a fan base, it makes it alright for Marvel to steal the idea? Basically your saying that this is okay because Marvel gets more press.

Even if Larsen got 1,000 new readers because they read some press from a blog or something, that would still be great.

Now Marvel ripped the idea from Erik and fast-tracked their President Obama cover first. Someone who bought an ASM Obama cover (and doesn’t already collect Dragon) is now a lot less inclined to buy the Dragon Obama cover. Once it’s done the first time the collectability is kind of diminished.

But hey it’s no surprise, this is how corporations work. It all for the good of the shareholder. These kind of things happen in the cut throat corporate world. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t SUCK though.

Make Mine Image.

Wait. Are you telling me Obama won the election?

You guys taking swipes at Erik (and it’s Erik with a “K,” Steve — for an editor, you don’t spend a lot of time proofing your own work, do you?) for creating “sliced bread” and all that obviously don’t understand that comic books are ART, and art must be BUSINESS of its artists, and your embittered Comic Book Guy cynicism is what mires our beloved industry in self-appointed corporate stardom in the first place. Marvel is certainly entitled to grasp for their slice of the Obama pie, but, artistic inspiration aside, from a BUSINESS standpoint Larsen did it first, in the midst of the election when it was an artistic RISK. I’m a long-time Larsen/Dragon fan (the comic that inspired me to collect was “Amazing Spider-man” #347), and even I felt that Dragon’s endorsement was a stunt, considering the now-famous issue didn’t actually “star” Obama (sans cover) and seemingly crammed the candidate’s mention as a last-panel cliffhanger. But it was a risk and well-crafted strategy that got an unknown-to-the-mainstream artist like Erik on CNN. Seeing Joe Q. on CNN or Colbert is the equivalent to seeing any corporate head interviewed on network news or late night — it’s an agent’s phone call away.

Is there a single person on this board that has self-published a comic or zine, or written a short story, then seen or read something similar to it — something published and successful? This is the equivalent, just a few notches higher than the Small Press aisles at Comic Con, or the copy machine and paper-cutter I scam to make zines at work. :)

So, while Erik didn’t “create” Obama or even the formula that he used to integrate Obama into Dragon’s world, as an artist and a businessman, I can understand and sympathize with his comments all the way.

“So, just because Savage Dragon has less of a fan base, it makes it alright for Marvel to steal the idea?”

Which is more of a stolen idea:
A comic where a superhero meets up with a president…
http://wiki.superman.nu/wiki/index.php/Image:Jfk.jpg

Or someone making a comic about a big, green HULKING superhero?

Uh…does anyone actually READ Savage Dragon anymore? Huh. Surprised me. Now I know why he would put a public figure on his cover…let’s drum up some sales.

As should Marvel. An why not? Obama is PUBLIC FIGURE. Hence, go for it! Hey, DC, I think Superman could use a bump (fist bump?), so have Supes hug McCain or something…

I appreciate Wacker for pointing out the obvious silliness of the whole rant by Larsen. I read Larsen’s Spidey stuff…it was okay…I read the first few issues of Dragon…yawn. I liked his Super Patriot much better. But Larsen, seriously…

WHO CARES WHO DID IT FIRST? As long as it keeps my floppies on the shelves, I’m there. We all know comics are a sadly overlooked art form and anything that garners attention and gains fans, I’m happy. That is, as long as the stories are well done and don’t pander all the time to the mainstream.

Let’s face it: Both Amazing and Dragon pandered to the mainstream to garner attention. Amazing Spider-Man, a book I’ve read since 1977 (yes, I survived the Clone Saga among other egregious misteps), is more guilty of pandering in this case, as one astute writer pointed out above that the book also featured Colbert.

But to accuse a publisher of ripping him off? Larsen, it just smells…like desperation.

Savage Dragon? Seriously? I’m with Wacker, who the hell reads that thing?

Does it matter at all that the 5 pager was awfully written and the art looked like something a buddy drew in HS?

I like Erik Larsen, like Savage Dragon, I’m a long time Obama supporter and was glad to see him on the cover and in the book during the campaign.

I dropped my sub to “Amazing S-M” after “One More Day” because I thought it was the stupidest major plot development in any comic book I’d ever read. Make that in any book I’d ever read. The kind of story development that lands writers in hell, for real. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

That said? Mr. Larsen needs to get the F&^% over himself. Most of the world, most of the entertainment world, most people who follow popular culture have NO IDEA WHO HE OR SAVAGE DRAGON is. Period. The hubris he assumes in leveling his charge of “BETRAYAL” is epic in proportion.

Two things in particular:

The fist bump Obama and his wife shared received so much play in the MSM any book including Obama almost HAS to include a fist bump!

Putting Obama on the cover of ANY publication right now is like printing money – look at the way newspapers sold after he won. On top of that, he’s a public figure, so you don’t have to pay him anything to use his image. (Man, I just used the word “image”… am I ripping off Larsen?).

So, yeah, if this was a Larsen-centric universe where the world revolved around Erik Larsen and his creations, he might have a case. Since it’s not, it really only points out how arrogant Mr. Larsen allows himself to get. Get over yourself, sir!

Michael, if you’re ever lucky enough to create something, or have something published (and maybe you have, I don’t know), then someone with a bit more noteriety generates the same thing and sweeps the credit, then try asking the question, “Who cares who did it first?”

Just because you don’t read it or like it doesn’t mean other people aren’t. Different strokes for different folks, I understand, but c’mon, you gotta read something that isn’t mainstream, maybe even on the brink of cancellation — or you gotta root for an underdog creator, too.

Couple quick hits:

-I shouldn’t have misspelled Erik’s name. Whoever said that was right. No slight was intended (especially considering my own last name)

-None of this is meant as a knock on Erik’s considerable body of work and his creation Savage Dragon. I don’t read it, but I certainly recognize that it’s an incredible accomplishment to create something that lasts this long and to find a way to write and draw that many issues. You should all go read it (after Spidey and Ms. Marvel, natch)

-I rarely if ever read PREVUES either online or in print, so if that’s a fireable offense, I hope you never become EiC here! (If you do though, let me the first to say, “welcome!”)

-and to whomever said: “Steve Wacker??? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?”

You sound just like Quesada.

-Wacker

Oh no…
MS. magazine ripped off Savage Dragon too!
http://www.msmagazine.com/
And hundreds of other magazines too!
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27650802/
Alan Coil is right!
Erik Larsen should sue… EVERYBODY!

“So, just because Savage Dragon has less of a fan base, it makes it alright for Marvel to steal the idea?”

Which is more of a stolen idea:
A comic where a superhero meets up with a president…
http://wiki.superman.nu/wiki/index.php/Image:Jfk.jpg

Or someone making a comic about a big, green HULKING superhero?

**************************************

Such a lame response. Dragon is nothing like the Hulk. The ONLY similarity is the skin color.
Dragon is a 5’10 green alien with skinny legs and giant arms. He probably has more in common with Martian Man Hunter than the Hulk. Get over it.

I’ve got to side with Marvel on this. Erik’s just whining and grabbing press, oh and making circumstantial accusations while he’s at it.

I mean, really. If Marvel’s story was so bad… and they stole it from you… doesn’t that mean your idea kind of sucked in the first place? I think the real question here is why the Savage Dragon issue was just as cliched as the ASM issue!

NEITHER of them did anything really original. Boo hoo! It’s not really a big surprise that Spider-Man can out-PR fricking Savage Dragon.

I’m not even taking a side on this matter, because I honestly could care less about this issue. But I did want to comment that the way in which Wacker expresses himself in every interview, is never positive.

I’m waiting for the day this “professional” can either release a statement or give an interview without one ounce of condescension towards *anyone.*

There is a manner in which to speak (or write) which will put you beyond reproach. There is a way to speak with intelligence that even if someone disagrees with your stance, they cannot disagree with the way you express it.

I have yet to see that from Mr Wacker.

Hulk with a fin on his head.

Are people so retarded to still suggest Dragon – an amnesiac with super powers turned police officer – is a Hulk knockoff? The only similarity between the two is the color of their skin. I guess that means you rubes think all black people are the same too, huh?

And it’s quite clear – all other bullshit aside – that Marvel indeed made a mad dash to scoop Erik on the alternate cover thing. Erik’s not claiming the idea itself is altogether original, he’s grousing that Marvel did him dirty and stole his thunder. That’s a reasonable charge, given the circumstances, and if people want to go on defending Marvel they do so in willful ignorance.

You might not like Larsen’s work, Savage Dragon, whatever. That’s another topic entirely. Exercise a little objectivity.

In an issue like this, neither side is generally right. However, due to the actions of both parties involved neither one can legitimately claim the moral high ground. In the case of Mr. Larsen, I don’t think that Marvel ever intended to rip off any of his previous work. Sure there are similarities to stories done in the past, but these are merely superficial elements. And there is the aspect that Pres. Elect Obama DID mention he used to read Spider-Man comics when he was younger. This has less to do with slighting creators and more to do with a comics company taking advantage of something happening in our culture to help sell and attract attention to comics. In the case of Mr. Wacker, however, the fact of the matter is that Mr. Larsen DID use Pres. Elect Obama in his title the Savage Dragon first, before he was even elected president. Mr. Larsen did get a lot of heat for his decision to use a political figure in his comics and have his character openly endorse him, and he got none of the positive press that Spider-Man and Marvel getting at this time. Mr. Larsen had Pres. Elect Obama in his books first, this is not in dispute. This is fact. And a little recognition towards his way would not be unreasonable in this respect. Trying to undermine the other party will not endear others to your side of the argument. More likely it will further create a nasty divide. And just because someone disagrees with your opinion, Mr. Wacker, does not mean that he is of lesser intelligence. Using “Duh” or “Doy” in your response reflects poorly on you, not on the other party.

Perhaps in their fervor, both parties should take a page from the person they are so eager to use in their respective publications. Pres. Elect Obama has made it a personal mission of his to reach out to the other side in order to help solve the many problems that the country faces. Maybe instead of engaging in partisan bickering, both sides should extend their hands in friendship and solve the problem in a dignified matter rather then engage in childish bickering.

Again, from reading the comments, I’m under the impression that people think that Erik is sour because ASM got more publicity that his Alternate cover with Obama on Savage Dragon issue 137. That is not the real issue.

What people aren’t getting is that Savage Dragon issue 145 is where most of the bitterness lies. Savage Dragon Issue 145, due in February, was already planned and solicited to have another (now President) Obama cover and an appearance in the comic. Newsarama did a whole story on it over a month ago. Marvel then swooped right in and beat Erik to print.

THIEVES.

Yes. Marvel is made of THIEVES.
Thieves who forced Obama in a recent interview to say that he collected Spider-Man.
Thieves who put out a comic with Spidey & Obama in it.
And evil thieves who put out that comic, during a time when Obama collectibles are selling like crazy, to coincide NOT with the inauguration, but to get out ahead of the February issue of Savage Dragon.

Thanks for cracking that one wide open, Craig Olsen.

Marvel: The House of Other People’s Idea’s.

Erik Larsen’s tendency to go off on disgruntled bents about the industry is part of his irascible charm. One thing I’ve always liked about him is his willingness to take on the sacred cows. I don’t know who Steve Wacker is, but he seems obnoxious…and he played right into Larsen’s hands.

Every single other print magazine has had an obama tribute issuem so why not Marvel?

Wacker is right when he says its preposterous to think this should have been off limits just because Larsen did it first.

SO what if they did steal his idea? its Marvel and Spider-Man. Isn’t flooding the market with what sells what comics have always done?

There’s your problem right there. Savage Dragon #145 is coming out in February when the Inauguration is next week! Putting out an Obama book the week before that isn’t “swooping in”… it’s common sense.

I’m so beyond caring about this now, only because so few people in this thread are actually being objective. There will always be similarities within the comic book medium, especially when those comics are tied into real-world events. I take issue with Marvel for putting out a cookie-cutter story that was basically an Obama plate in comic book form. I also take issue with Larsen assuming he is so great that everyone MUST be stealing from him. It’s one thing to have those suspicions and another matter entirely to make whiny public accusations with no real supporting evidence.

One of the biggest complaints editors had with the Spider-man/Obama issue was the sudden announcement and release. Could this be a coincidence that the upcoming issue of Savage Dragon was also featuring an inaugural story soon? It sounds fishy.

Wacker’s statement makes Marvel look foolish: by acknowledging Larsen’s comments Marvel validated the Savage Dragon’s legitimacy. For an editor, Wacker is a poor writer. His response is heated and immature. This whole incident is an embarrassment to Marvel and they should silence themselves before they bring any further discredit to their professionalism.

For Pete’s sake, Marvel, you make what’s suppose to be a hobby into something that’s too much of a hassle to be a hobby.

You call yourself creators and suppose to be an entertainment business, but all we see is a major ego trip where you think the comic industry can’t survive without you and that it makes you too invincible to have the need to put some effort into it

You’re not leaders, just a comic book company who’s now living off other people’s glory that came before you, especially some of your writers which I call Joe’s inner circle.

Have your tantrums to yourself, we’re not interested.

Obama in Spiderman brought national attention to the book (without killing a major character, a rare first!), and I noticed my local comic store sold out of issues even though they ordered a few extras. In a time where EVERYONE is talking about the problems with the comic industry as the country’s economy is in bad shape I would think this is a win for everyone because it brings people in to buy comics!

Alex A Sanchez
January 16, 2009 at 4:19 pm

One of the biggest complaints editors had with the Spider-man/Obama issue was the sudden announcement and release. Could this be a coincidence that the upcoming issue of Savage Dragon was also featuring an inaugural story soon? It sounds fishy.

Wacker’s statement makes Marvel look foolish: by acknowledging Larsen’s comments Marvel validated the Savage Dragon’s legitimacy. For an editor, Wacker is a poor writer. His response is heated and immature. This whole incident is an embarrassment to Marvel and they should silence themselves before they bring any further discredit to their professionalism.

Oh wow,so now Marvel must ask permission of when to release an issue which coincides with the inaugural date of the President??

No,your statement looks foolish as a nobody trying to speak only for yourself and all your non-existant friends in your mom’s basement. Larsen was nothing special,an artist with a bunch of half baked idea’s. Hulk with a fin on his head….ya,very original. Savage Dragon had no legitimacy to begin with.

So Wacker’s response is heated and immature and Larsen’s wasn’t? Dam,Larsen’s fanboys don’t really have much of an argument. Wacker is actually pretty dam well respected in his field of editing by those in much higher position than Larsen ever held.

No,Marvel should continue doing what they want because clearly they ruffled feathers of someone who doesn’t matter anymore, and can’t afford a month’s supply of rogaine. So Alex,got any other comments from your position kneeling and kissing Larsen’s feet?

B.Uhe
January 16, 2009 at 4:56 pm

For Pete’s sake, Marvel, you make what’s suppose to be a hobby into something that’s too much of a hassle to be a hobby.

You call yourself creators and suppose to be an entertainment business, but all we see is a major ego trip where you think the comic industry can’t survive without you and that it makes you too invincible to have the need to put some effort into it

You’re not leaders, just a comic book company who’s now living off other people’s glory that came before you, especially some of your writers which I call Joe’s inner circle.

Have your tantrums to yourself, we’re not interested.

Only person here having a tantrum was a dude named Erik. Must be rather sad and pathetic that a creator who doesn’t matter anymore needs his image messageboard gluesniffers to come and protect him. Awwwww…..that’s so cute.

@James
“it brings people in to buy comics!”

No it doesnt.
It brings a ton of people in who never buy comics just for that one highly-publicized Obama comic, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that 99.9% of them will not be buying anything else along with that Obama comic, and that they’ll never set foot in a comic book store again.

What it all really boils down to is this important fact:

who really gives a flying f*ck?

Here are my two cents, and I’ll try to keep my thoughts, grammar, and sentence structure coherent:

It seems utterly ridiculous to those of us comic fans who are somewhat more grounded in reality than the rest of you when these kinds of debates start to rage-on.

This obnoxious term of “publicity stunt” that many of you have thrown in judgment of Marvel blows my mind. In fact, yes I suppose that it IS a publicity stunt, just not in the negative sense that many of you seem to use it.

Let’s all return to reality and remove from your minds that Marvel is this mom and pop company that puts out comics every Wednesday directed just for you. This is a multi million dollar, publicly traded corporation with a 70 year history that has multiple divisions, among which is a comic book publishing wing.

In short, ABSOLUTELY this Spidey-Obama comic was an effort to create hype and publicity around a product which Marvel wanted to sell (which is the goal of every company, after all). And what a brilliant and successful effort this has been, by the way. And to mirror the point made by another poster, to think that Marvel wouldn’t/couldn’t have come up with this “publicity stunt” (or “PR event”, for those slightly more eloquent) without Eric Larsen having done so first, sounds completely ridiculous.

I feel for Larsen. He obviously feels slighted and ripped off and has every right to feel that way, even though I may disagree with him. That all being said, I think that Larsen should have expressed his disappointment in a professional business manner to Marvel directly, not as a blog or comment on a comic site. It seems childish and unprofessional, and proves how gossipy this modern technology has made us. In fairness to the other side, I also don’t think Wacker should have publicly responded to Larsen’s post. Ditto it was unprofessional and I would have expected more. In the end, their back and forth hasn’t created positive hype or publicity, it’s made comic creators seem gossipy and childish.

I think that the sooner that comic fans come to terms that Marvel (and DC for that matter) are large companies with the intent to make a profit, and not the local hometown newspaper, the easier it will be for us to grasp these real-world concepts such as marketing and public relations and making money.

@ lito83
Agreed.
Agreed.
Agreed.
Very well put.

Now back to the nitpicking as no one will take to heart what you said….

This is why comics in general have gone to hell. Comics have run out of new ideas so they copy off each other..BORING..

Stephan asked:

“Sue a company “stealing the idea” of using a public figure on their cover for publicity?”

Not just the cover. The story is nearly identical. Plagiarism, in some people’s book.

Alex A Sanchez said:

“For an editor, Wacker is a poor writer. His response is heated and immature. ”

Agreed. And his latest post makes him look semi-literate, what with his misspelling of “Prevues”.

C’mon, Wacker, it’s Previews. Each and every book you publish is included in Previews. You should know how to spell that.

Sheesh. No wonder DC was so glad to let you go.

Chaossentry, Agent of M.A.R.V.E.L.

I’m a huge Dragon fan, so I’m glad Wacker took the bait and responded to Larsen’s comments… more publicity for my favourite comic!

>@James
“it brings people in to buy comics!”

No it doesnt.
It brings a ton of people in who never buy comics just for that one highly-publicized Obama comic, and it’s pretty much a guarantee that 99.9% of them will not be buying anything else along with that Obama comic, and that they’ll never set foot in a comic book store again.<

Alright, Spiderman sells 10,000 issues (A guess, but let’s stick with it) 99.9 percent of that is 100 people who WILL be buying something else. Nowadays, a comic that sells 100 more issues has a better chance of staying on the stands then one that doesn’t. Now, it does sound farfetched, but again every little thing helps. I understand the actual arguement, but I think if five silly pages are going to bring in more buyers then that’s not a bad thing.

So. . . the Spider-Man / Savage Dragon crossover is cancelled? :D

And, about this issue, who the hell cares?

Peace.

@ lito83

Just perfect. You are right on the money, and by money I mean MONEY.

Peace.

“The story is nearly identical. Plagiarism, in some people’s book.”

Someone pretending to be the President is hardly the most orginal idea in the world. Was Heroes ripping off Savage Dragon when alternate universe Sylar pretended to be President Nathan Petrelli? Were all three just ripping off the movie Dave, where Kevin Kline pretends to be the President? :)

It”s also pretty evident that Marvel didn’t do this BEFORE his inauguration because if it did, it would look as if they were endorsing a candidate, and it would be unfair to McCain. So they would either have to have a separate appearance of McCain, or make them appear together. Which would pretty much mute the whole point. So they waited until after the election.
The whole Stephen Colbert was a huge joke. Anyone who compares it to an issue featuring a real soon to be president is being an idiot. Stephen Colbert is a comedian, not a president.

>>>My comment might’ve sounded sarcastic, but it was to support your argument, Bendrix.<<<

And my comment was not aimed at yours, catluck. Sorry I did not make it clearer.

If Erik Larsen hasn’t proved himself to be such a crybaby over the years and Steven Wacker hadn’t proved himself to be a stand-up guy (especially in dealing with the mess left him in the wake of the ONE MORE DAY controversy), I might feel a little differently about this. However, I’m so sick of Larsen’s anti-Marvel campaign that he’s been leading seemingly forever, I just can’t take anything he says seriously. Besides, SAVAGE DRAGON is far from the most original comic book on the shelves. Hitler’s Brain? The Nazis should sue!

“mewling accusations”.

LOL. That pretty much sums it up for me. Moving on.

Heh, the idea of anyone from Image complaining about anyone sharing the same concepts they had is just too funny. They all made X-men/Hulk/Wolverine clone books. Enjoyable yes but still clones of what they did at Marvel. Every team had a huge guy and a guy with claws, and there was that dwarf with the Wolverine hair, the list goes on..
Spawn was the only original thing that came from that bunch in the beginning.

>>>Hitler’s Brain? The Nazis should sue!<<<

This is getting more and more ridiculous. It’s not original because Larsen used Hitlers brain? The Nazis invented Hilters brain? Hey, wait a second. Did Marvel invent Spiders? EARTH should sue.

Is there ANYONE on here that can defend Marvel with something that remotely resembles an argument, for gods sake? Something more than “That Eric dude sucks and Dragon is the Hulk and I have seen Obama before Savage Dragon sometime somewhere”.
Does that fact (lets say, for the sake of the argumentation it is one) that Larsen is a big crybaby towards everything Marvel change anything on the fact that they did something very similar than Larsen did and shoehorned it in the last minute, right after Larsen announced it, in their books?

And OF COURSE Marvel is legally ALLOWED to do so and NOBODY is suing. But is it a nice and classy move by a cooperation that calls itself the House of Ideas?

@Bendrix

Given that “Obamamania” is at an all-time high and practically every major magazine has featured him on their cover, which do you think is more likely:

Marvel ripped off an idea from a low selling Image title and rushed out a story to get it to press before that low selling Image title’s book came out in February.

Or, after Obama was quoted in the press as being a fan and a collector of Spider-Man and Conan, one of those two companies rushed out a story to get it published right before OBAMA’S INAUGURATION?

And, BTW, Erik Larsen shouldn’t be complaining about stealing ideas, since Marvel has put out comics with super heroes who were cops, super heroes who had amnesia, and super heroes who were larger, HULKING, and green.

I just deleted a couple of comments. Enough with the name-calling, please.

This whole “controversey” is just absurd .

It sounds like Larsen is jealous of the level of PR and sales Marvel is getting and he is trying to get some of that spotlight. He sounds bitter that Marvel was more successful the Obama gambit than he was.

@Greg
Looking at the timing and the way it was done (variant cover, fist bump with the main character) and the fact that the low selling Image title was on every major comic related web page, web pages that Marvel uses for their promotion too and therefore very likely are being watched by people at Marvel, i would say the first.

Not really saying they rushed it out before the Savage Dragon cover (there already is a Savage Dragon Obama variant cover out, at all), the probably rushed it out before the inauguration. But that inauguration had not really been a secret. So why they need to rush it out? Because they juts “came up” with the idea after Larsen announced it.

When will people get over the whole
“Hulk with the fin” argument. It’s as valid as the Hulk being a rip-off of the Martian Manhunter.
And who was Marvels superhero cop again? Can’t really remember it right now.
Once again, more baseless accusations and, more so, ridiculous abstractions of the issue. Whats next? “Hey, Larsen made, you know, a story, with people in it. And they had limbs, and a head, with hair on it. SO DID MARVEL.”

>>>It sounds like Larsen is jealous of the level of PR and sales Marvel is getting and he is trying to get some of that spotlight. He sounds bitter that Marvel was more successful the Obama gambit than he was.<<<

Matter of fact: Larsen mentioned it, or closer to the truth, commented on it before after somebody else mentioned it, at a time when there was not much more (if more at all) media attention to this than to his Obama cover. People mentioned it (e.g. me), he talked about it.

@ Bendrix

“So why they need to rush it out? Because they juts “came up” with the idea after Larsen announced it.”

Yes. I’m sure Marvel’s world revolves around Erik Larsen and a low selling title put out by Image.
I’m sure the timing had nothing to do with an article that came out in November where it was revealed that Obama collected two comics: Spider-Man and Conan.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/10/obama-collects-comics-50_n_142755.html

Article in November. Rushed Story in December. Released in January to come out right before Obama’s inauguration. No. That couldn’t be it. It was because of Savage Dragon. Someone found a copy on a grassy knoll, rushed it back to Marvel via black helicopters, and then forged that earlier Obama article with the same tech they used to fake the moon landing.

@Greg
No need to for Marvel to revolve their whole world around Larsen. No need to “find a copy on a grassy knoll” Just catch a glimpse of it on Newsarama or CBR, the, even for Marvel, most important comic related news websites (I think you can’t deny THAT), and think “Hey, good idea, we should do this to (because Obama being a Spidey fan and all)”
Why do you need to obscure the point in acting like Marvel doesn’t know what goes on in, or at least is on the cover of, book from other companies that appeared in comic news? Like they don’t look at Newsarama or CBR? You really think so? Comics is a pretty small community. They did know, for sure.

I called Quesada (almost wrote Obama, haha) out on ripping of Larsens idea right after he announced it on Twitter, and he, for sure, didn’t reply like he did NOT know what i was talking about. Quite the opposite, his reply had “Methinks thou dost protest too much” written all over it. Defending himself with silly arguments like “Larsen doesn’t own Obama” and all kind of other weak arguments (If you read this, Joe, next time, a calm, polite “Sorry, looks like two people had the same idea. Coincidence. We didn’t mean it” would be far more convincing than that passive-aggressive BS)

So, Marvel wanted to put Obama in Spidey, too. Nothing wrong with it. Really. But why doing a variant cover? Why doing the fist bump? Why change the background color of the cover on the second printing (even though i might be wrong on this one, but i thought i seen it like that)? Would that be the only possible way to do it. And mind you, all in a certain degree of certainty that somebody at Marvel involved in it has seen the announcement of those things for the pages of Savage Dragon.
I agree, all those are not really new ideas. Nor are those ideas on which Larsen has something like a copyright on. But the sum of it all, (even leaving out the plot point with the impostor) looks a lot like Marvel took some “inspirations” from Savage Dragon.

Whatever, this is getting tiresome. You got your opinion, I got mine. And we will never find out the truth, because, and I think we can agree of that, IF Marvel looked at Savage Dragon and thought “Let’s do something like this”, the will not admit it.

Hey there-

Just a quick note from a retailing perspective. We’ve known for over a month that this was coming. What seems like a rush decision from Marvel (because of when it was announced publicly) actually resulted in a need to change our ordering structure for this book, as the sales conditions to have availability to order the variant required us to increase our numbers for the regular version of the issue to higher quantities than the recent JR JR issues. They announced as late as they did because the short term memory of the average non-comic reader for a comic related news story is going to be about 10 days, and rightfully so. Erik went the traditional route, solicited his book in Previews months ahead of time. Even if it HAD gotten press, by the time the book ACTUALLY came out, interest from the people who called us for the Obama variant would have waned very quickly when they were told they’d have to wait two months for the comic they just heard about. People, in general, don’t like to wait, and our whims are fickle to say the least. The number of people who get excited about something they see or hear about who have no interest in waiting even three days for us to fill a special order is probably over 20 people a week, because “we can have it for you on Friday” is just too late.

@ Bendrix

“So, Marvel wanted to put Obama in Spidey, too. Nothing wrong with it. Really. But why doing a variant cover?”

LOL!

Yeah. They should put Obama in the comic and NOT put him on the cover. Nice one. Maybe you should start up your own comic book company with thinking like that. Okay, we’re done here. If you don’t get it by now, you never will.

slott and guggenheim are always trolling around the comic websites. there is no way the supposed brain trust didn’t know about the savage dragon obama cover. they stole the idea. period

Erik Larsen makes some great comics. Everyone should go read some Savage Dragon right now. Before Spider-Man and Ms. Marvel. If fact, don’t read those at all.

Variant. Variant. VARIANT. VARIANT!!!
Why no cover blurb on the regular cover. Why not on the regular cover at all. A flip cover would be some other thing that comes to my mind.
I have the feeling you keep dodging the points you don’t feel comfortable to comment on. Once again you picked one isolated point out, leaving the sum of the similaritys uncommented.
And why you keep ridicule things and be all snarky? Not really need an answer to that. And, honestly, need no answer at all.

Erik, when is the 4th printing of Savage Dragon #137 coming out? I just sold my last 2 copies of the 3rd printing for $10.00 each.

Can you Please have Savage Dragon whipping his sneaker at someone on a future cover? You the man!

Larsen,

Get revenge by writing a better story featuring the president. Im going to buy it.

Secondly, I thought it was odd Marvel co-opted the “CHANGE” mantra for Skrull propaganda during the SI crossover.

Get over it and buy the book you like. Bitching is for bitches.

oh please. None of these people were the first to have this cheesy marketing idea. I love how these guys are trying to argue over who is the more shameless marketer. They should both go buy a commemorative plate and drink a nice cold Pepsi (the new kool-aid.)

But as lame as both of these ideas are (and really they are pretty close to the vagina flash of publicity) I got to give the big L for Lame Loser to Larsen. He is just jealous because Marvel is getting more publicity from this because their book actually has readers. Plus people who don’t even read comics know Spidey. Nobody outside of the comic world has even heard of Savage Dragon. Larsen is just trying to gin up more shameless publicity by manufacturing a feud with the big guys so people actually may realize his book exists. Lord knows word of mouth isn’t in his favor. C’mon Larsen. Just have Savage Dragon show his vagina or go into rehab. Really Larsen, shouldn’t you just be giddy like a school girl that your Lord Messiah Barak Obama (the Most Merciful One) is getting more fawning publicity?

The winner? DC and every other comic Co. that hasn’t sold their soul…….. yet.

First of all, Marvel didn’t do this BEFORE his inauguration because if theydid, it would look as if they effectively endorse Obama, which would be unfair to McCain. So they waited until after the election.
Secondly, do you know how long it takes phil jiminez to draw? he’s not the fastest artist. Not to mention that do to thricely publishing schedule, they plan things ahead of time.
Third, there is no factual evidence that suggests marvel copied to Erik Larsen at all. Suggestions like that hurt Zeb Wells. who finally got a real big break with this title. And Todd Nauck, a consistent and always on time artist. Just because you have anti-marvel tirade is no reason to act like that two these great creators. You are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to make up your own facts.
Fourth, who is the real winner? Obama. Everyone wants him on their cover and anything with his face sells like hotcakes. Not a bad way to start a presidency.

can somebody tell Erik Larsen to stop crying?… I have toiler paper with obama’s face on it, is he gonna get mad at the people who printed that too?

can somebody tell Erik Larsen to stop crying?… I have toilet paper with obama’s face on it, is he gonna get mad at the people who printed that too?

Okay let’s go back, 12 years ago there was a Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode where Shape shifting aliens take the place of President Clinton and Bob Dole. 4 years ago Erik Larsen writes a story where some shape shifter takes the place of the president. The people who have written the Treehouse of Horror episode nor any of the other impersonating the president stories bother to complain.

September 2008, Erik releases Savage Dragon #137. The issue has a one in five variant cover of Dragon endorsing Barack Obama. Inside Obama is not featured, instead Dragon and Madman are fighting an ape with Hitler’s brain at an Amazing Joy Buzzards concert.

Savage Dragon #137 sold approximately 27% more than 136 giving a total number sales of 7,935. Good for 202nd place. 10 places behind Uncanny X-men 500 in it’s third month of release.

(BTW Savage Dragon #138 sold 6,278 146 issues less than Savage Dragon #136 so not only did he fail to keep any readers he seemed to alienate 150 of his old readers)

Savage Dragon #137 sold 1,657 more copies than the previous issue. The difference in sales between ASM #571 and #572? 1,482 ASM near matched Savage Dragon’s increase without even trying.

(Why am I going through the numbers? to point out that Wacker and Marvel wouldn’t need to be paying attention to Savage Dragon.)

Also before Savage Dragon #137 appeared Obama and McCain have appeared in Secret Invasion or at least Skrull versions had, either way they was acknowledgement that Obama was part of the Marvel Universe.

Obama gets elected. I’m not sure what the timeline is on the Spiderman story. But I get the feeling there was thoughts running through Quesada’s head ever since Obama mentioned he read Spiderman comics.

Given that Marvel is a public corporation they probably felt they couldn’t endorse Obama before election.

Or you accept Larsen’s version which is that Marvel decided that Savage Dragon selling 1700 more copies because it put Obama on the cover was so amazing they had to copy it. Of course upon reading said issue they discover that Obama is not inside, so as per Larsen’s implication, they either read previous issues of Savage Dragon until they found something they could use, or that someone on the Spidey writing staff is so familiar with Savage Dragon they could remember a 4 year old issue and relate the plot to Wacker, who then used it almost exactly. Changing speech to inauguration not being very important at all.

So now we have Spiderman all over the news people lining up to buy it. Larsen somehow feels ‘very betrayed’ as if Marvel had somehow promised him to never come close to something he did, as opposed to Marvel simply taking advantage of Obama connecting himself to Spiderman by making that connection more well known.

Instead of Larsen simply saying that he was pissed off because Marvel stole his thunder by dint of their character being 50 billion times more well known then his character, he chooses to imply plagiarism.

He implies that if he hadn’t done it Marvel would never have come up with the idea on their own. Quesada and Wacker would have heard Obama say he read Spiderman comics, and said ‘Wow that’s neat wish there was some way we could use that to sell more books. Oh well, back to reading Image comics to see if we get some ideas.

It’s beyond ridiculous, but Wacker has to come on and defend the Plagarism charge. Larsen’s response was to either completely misread the post or deliberately misstates what was said.

What we do get is perhaps what Larsen is really upset about. Marvel got a huge amount of publicity and they didn’t use any of it to help him. He wanted Marvel to say oh btw Savage Dragon had Obama on too back in September. Larsen’s upset that Marvel did it after him and got more publicity.

They stole nothing.

Bendrix: Variant cover yes because before Erik Larsen no one ever did a variant cover before. The Obama Cover is pretty much set the same way as the Stephen Colbert cover. it was an incentive they set it up the way they did to try and get people to order more copies. That’s why there’s no flip cover. (granted Marvel screwed up the incentive by making it too complex.)

As for the Fist bump? Be serious. That was Iconic. It got talked about in fox news used on the New Yorker. it was a key visual about how modern he is.

Mephisto did what?!

Maybe one of the Obamas is a clone?

Also, the fist-bump is trademarked ™ by Larsen.

And once again, somebody defends Marvel by adressing the points as if they here not connected.
Sure Larsen was not the first who did a variant, and not the first who did the shapshifter as president. And yes, one can come up with fist-bump. And yes, everybody has the right to use Obama in his comic book. But using Obama, on a variant, with the fistbump after another book has announced it in public few week before that? All a coincident?
And now you start crunching numbers, sounding all informed, as if it would ad anything to the issue. What does it have to do with anything? Sure Marvel, as anyone, would know that that Spidey/Obama would gain more interest than Dragon/Spidey.

I didn’t even know Savage Dragon was still around . . . I asked my local comic store and they haven’t carried it for years . . .

I guess Erik Larsen once posted on CBR . . . I went back and read a few . . . what an angry man . . . if he is that worried about SPider-man – do something about it . . . pitch a better idea . . . which can’t be that hard since BND sucks.

How about Savage Dragon vs Spiderman? And you can have Obama watching! Perhaps as a one shot, or in a Savage Dragon issue or in a Amazing Spiderman issue, I’m in and ready to buy the issue if you decide to make it , let’s do it!

Dragon & Spidey met in “Savage Dragon / Destroyer Duck” — it’s a hell of a read, check it out.

I’m sick of this.I’m sick of the Satanic Spider-man. I’m sick of the Dragon. I’m sick of Larsen and Wacker… and yes, I’m sick of President movie star.

So Marvel ripped a idea of of Erik Larson who cares?

Obama is a Spidey Fan so its only logical that Marvel would make a book with him.

The Savage Dragon stuff i don’t get. I doubt that Obama actually knows that Savage Dragon exists.

Lets be honest both where a publicity stunt but the Marvel one made more money, so now Erik Larson wants a piece of it and comes with this crap.

Erik should go back to his hole he ‘s been hiding under for the last few years and get some art lessons cause your Obama looks like crap.

One question:

How can you be an editor at Marvel and DON’T know an issue of Savage Dragon!?

Chris

who cares?

Michaeljjt; you’re right, Wacker didn’t come across well in his reply, but if you’re going to criticise someone for coming across negatively in an internet post, could you do it in a style a little less patronising? It’s a tad hypocrytical. But Larsen is even more consistent at making himself look like an ass on the internet than Wacker.

Chris
January 19, 2009 at 3:28 am

One question:

“How can you be an editor at Marvel and DON’T know an issue of Savage Dragon!?”

Wow… I’m glad that you’re not involved in editing at all… leaving aside your idea that any editor working from Marvel should know Savage Dragon (which is fairly naive)… that sentence you typed (and chose to post); it doesn’t make sense.

Why should a Marvel editor read or know even Savage Dragon, its not like it has been a good book since like issue 96

Larsen has no right to claim any one ripped him off. He has been “sampling” Marvel characters n his work for years.

@Catluck, Pierre has it right.

Savage Dragon big green and mean, The Hulk big grean and mean get the picture?

Larsen is the only guy left who reads his book. ‘NUFF SAID

Joe Q knew when a fan acused him, without even saying OBAMA, on January 8th: http://www.imagecomics.com/messageboard/viewtopic.php?t=44465&start=150

[...] ließ das natürlich nicht auf sich sitzen und so kam über Robot 6 folgende Antwort von Spidey-Editor Stephan Wacker: I’ve been watching for a couple days as a guy [...]

[...] his thunder when Spidey met Obama. You can read his rant here and a Marvel editor’s rebuttal here. What’s my take? Well I pretty much loathe all gimmicky [...]

Leave a Comment

 


Browse the Robot 6 Archives