Erik Larsen on Savage Dragon #230, Punching Nazis, and A LOT More Happening in Toronto

Malcolm Dragon took on a group of Neo-Nazis while launching his own reality show (coincidence?) in this week's Savage Dragon #230, the third part of the "Oh, Canada" storyline which has seen the Dragon family relocate to Toronto following the events of "The Merging of Multiple Earths."

There were plenty more things that happened this month -- in the third issue released to stores in about six weeks -- and plenty to parse out, although it's likely the biggest point of discussion will be the Nazi punching.

Series creator Erik Larsen joined go discuss the issue, which is in stores now.

Spoilers ahead for Savage Dragon #230. You can get a copy at your local comic shop, or you can buy a digital copy now and read along with us.

So: Nazis. Was it as simple as responding to current events bringing them in?

Yeah—to a degree. "Ripped from the headlines" type stories can be a mixed bag though as once things cycle out of the news, things seem to fade. I wish I could have tackled this right after Charlottesville when the wounds were still fresh.

(Photo: Image Comics)

Maxine’s current path — wanting Malcolm to take a less dangerous way of making a living — totally makes sense, but feels like it would upend the book completely. But with SAVAGE DRAGON is that a reason to think that it IS or IS NOT more likely?

Malcolm’s does what he does because he can do it. It’s not just a matter of earning a living. His dad instilled on him a healthy dose of responsibility. Regardless of which way Maxine pulls him he’s still going to do the right thing if the situation presents itself. We’ll have to wait and see how much strife that brings to the table.

Are you playing at a particular theme with bringing the sexuality up in both the A and B plot? For a while it seemed mostly driven by Maxine but now it very much feels like this is just what you are exploring with the title at the moment.

It comes and goes. I like the idea that this book just goes in whatever direction I feel like at the moment. It’s not going to become a “fuck book” per se but there are certainly aspects that I may explore. It’s nice to not have there be any guidelines to speak of.

Is it safe to assume that Walden Wang is a nod to Walden Wong?

It really wasn’t, no. That never even crossed my mind. If it had, I probably would have chosen something else. I just wanted something alliterative and comic book-y.

I kind of feel like putting a TV camera in a house where kids routinely punch one another through walls could prove a real problem for the Dragons down the line. Am I overthinking that?

There’s not THAT much punching through walls going on. The kids do get a bit rambunctious at times but they’d go broke if they had to get walls fixed and re-plastered every day. But—yeah—not an ideal place to have expensive cameras sitting around—but then—people take cameras into war zones. So there’s that.

Was it always part of the plan to get both Maxine and Mei pregnant at the same time or did that evolve with the Kevin thing?

No. It wasn’t always the plan at all. Originally I was just going to have Maxine’s mother move up so she could be close to the kids and have Kevin move up out of desperation and leave it at that. I didn’t think the two would hook up but when I was drawing #228 it just seemed right. Even with Maxine, really. When I drew #228 the thought was to put a lid on Malcolm and cut it at three kids but things changed. I was thinking ahead and I liked the idea of a younger sibling.

Have you thought about how they will deal with Maxine’s pregnancy “complications” this time around, since Lorella isn’t here to help her survive the labor?

She’ll likely have the baby early so it can’t do any damage. That, or Lorella could be flown in. It’s not as though she’s on another planet or anything. In any case—I have options.

Will the reality show be around longer-term, or was this a one-and-done once Malcolm realized that Wang was playing it fast and loose with everyone’s safety?

The thought was to do a season and see how it went. It’s another thing to play around with. Something to explore. If it’s a fun thing to play with and it leads to more story ideas I can do more—if it’s a creative dead end I can leave it at that.

Does it make things awkward that Maxine’s half-sibling will also be her husband’s niece or nephew? This feels a bit like the conversations we used to have about Angel and Malcolm potentially getting together.

It is weird, to be sure but after everything else—it’s not THAT weird and certainly the most awkward part was Malcolm and Maxine walking in on them. Compared with that shock the rest is a walk in the park.

What can you tell us about Rapture’s return? Does she have our Rapture’s memories, since we had the Merging of Multiple Earths?

I’d established a while back that Jennifer, Alex and Angel stumbled across some empty suspended animation tubes. Darklord had been hoarding those over the years and a few had been absconded with at some point. Rapture would have been in one of those (her tube is a shrine of sorts, seen in panels two and six on page 18). She should have the memories of other versions of Rapture from other realities following the Merging of Multiple Earths.