Bleeding Cool has reported on retailers upset that the Image Comics FCBD title this year is Savage Dragon, ahead of the spinoff launch of Savage Dragon: Legacy. They are still complaining and, odds are, will be complaining at the ComicsPRO meeting as well.
One of the Image Comics launch titles from Image founder Erik Larsen, it recently celebrated 200 issues. Sales however are not exactly high. ICV2 estimates sales to North American retailers as under 5000, with the recent anniversary issue not touching 7000. What is left is a core fanbase of Savage Dragon fans and it rather reminds me of Cerebus in that way.
The retailer complaint is that other comics have a chance of finding and attracting new audience, but Savage Dragon has already been tried and has failed.
But picking up the new issue this week, I am struck by how Larsen continues to be pushing the envelope, conceptually, structurally and topically. From creating comics from different times, to using characters such as God, The Devil, Adolf Hitler and Jesus – then trying to copy them, from ripping on his peers from John Byrne to Neil Gaiman and constantly changing the nature of the title again and again and again, creating a brand new kind of comic every two years or so.
Recently I wrote a piece about how issue #200 was basically going to be known as The Threesome Issue
… and this week it seems that Larsen really wanted to top that.
Because two issues later we got the Foursome issue. Though he doesn’t stop all this sex getting in the way of a good superhero fight scene. Not completely in the way…
Spider-Man used to quip about a bad guy’s choice of clothes. Savage Dragon and Angel dissect teir complicated sex lives mid-bout.
Larsen has already been willing to explore the superpowers of a biological or lavatorial function that make Mark Millar look tame. And this week he did that again.
Yes. Exactly. But for all that, Larsen still brings on the schmaltzy charm. Oh yes, because this is a Christmas issue. Should have mentioned that but I got distracted by all the sex.
Savage Dragon is a ridiculous title that is too often dismissed as the nineties superhero title that it hasn’t been for decades. And given the success of Sex Criminals, Sex, Black Kiss, even Chew at Image, I’m wondering, maybe the solution to getting more people trying the new Savage Dragon again is a little rebranding?
Or may, just maybe, that Free Comic Book Day version might just do the trick…
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