Erik Larsen on Savage Dragon #212: "I'd Be Worried For Everybody"

Malcolm Dragon faces off against a family of Demonoids while Angel and Maxine prepare for Maxine's [...]


Malcolm Dragon faces off against a family of Demonoids while Angel and Maxine prepare for Maxine's baby to be born, in the latest issue of Savage Dragon.

It's particularly relevant in a book that unfolds in realtime, because Malcolm -- the current series lead -- was born to the previous series lead on the page 18 years ago. Assuming Larsen sticks with these characters for the long haul, this baby could turn out to be the next main character.

Larsen joined for our monthly conversation about the series.

Remember that these conversations are spoiler-heavy. If you haven't read Savage Dragon #212 yet, buy a copy at your local store or on ComiXology and read along with us!

We start with Angel getting some potentially troubling news. This is one of those times that you got that out of the way right away so it didn't linger for long. Did you think about doing it the other way, and playing out the idea of nobody knowing, or at least Angel not knowing, for a while?

As a writer you have to weigh all the options and try and figure out how all of the various threads come together. But there are other factors beyond keeping readers in suspense--like what makes sense for the characters?

Angel and Maxine are good friends and so it really doesn't make a lot of sense for Maxine to keep it from her. Angel's got her own set of issues there as well because she doesn't want to tell other people that Malcolm was the father necessarily--so she has to approach the subject delicately. And if Malcolm's suspicions turn out to be unfounded--it would unnecessarily complicate Angel's life to go out there and tell the world what happened.

Can we just call at least one of those kids "Satan's Little Helper" if they grow up evil?

Maybe as a nickname. I wouldn't imagine any would call themselves that and I would think their parents already gave them proper names.

I do like that Malcolm has got to the point in his career already where when somebody describes the villain as devil-like, and the cops ask if he has any idea, he has a few.

Well, besides the Demonoids there was Torment who was another red-skinned, demonic-looking sort.

Man, it seems like Malcolm is being set up to continue having a huge chunk of his rogues gallery be women.

For a long time it seemed like all the book had were male foes so that's something of a welcome change but it does make orchestrating a battle somewhat difficult.

I feel like we get shades of the earlier Angel — when she was more cartoonish — in the shot where she is freaking out about learning the baby's alive. Was that kind of the idea you were going for?

Yeah--I like the idea of characters being somewhat more expressive than standard on-model features would allow. There's a shot of Maxine later in the book where her mouth is extraordinarily big as well. Years ago I was really into manga (before it was being translated into English, oddly enough) and I liked how manga artists just went for it. When characters reacted to stuff they could get totally bent out of shape. Super fun stuff. I apply that kind of thing as well.

I think Dr. Harold Doom is probably my favorite "fun" name in Dragon in a while.

Yeah. Why not? If "Doom" is an acceptable last name you'd think some normal people would occasionally end up with it.

Were you just ending on a traditional cliffhanger or, since we've seen the next cover and we don't get a good look at the baby there either, is there something fans should be expecting as a genuine surprise?

I'll leave that one be. It's not a surprise if I say it's going to be a surprise or if I say it isn't going to be one.

I know this book isn't exactly one where you strive to have a "status quo" to return to, but is this issue kind of a calm before the next big storm? Fighting a bad guy while the girls deal with their pregnancies feels fairly like a normal day compared to the hit-after-hit of the last few months.

True. Sometimes I like to spend an issue setting things in motion--introducing things that can be played with later on. I wanted to remind readers that the Demonoids are still out there and keep some of the other plates spinning. This early on I want to establish what Malcolm's days are like on the force. Sometimes he'll dealing with earth-shattering events and sometimes it's smaller stuff. But, yeah, the status quo in the book is really change. When Dragon rejoined the police force in Savage Dragon #145 he was back on it for six issues before things fell apart. Things can change rather abruptly.

Seemed like you were having an awful lot of fun with the "die maggot!" stuff. Apparently they teach that to kids at a very young age in Demonoid culture?

At the very least they do in this family.

At some point in the story, it seems like Angel is starting to crack a little after the shock of learning about the baby — but Maxine's water breaking snaps her out of it. Should we be worried about her?

I'd worry about everybody.