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  • Erik Larsen – Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Comics Magazine

    Erik Larsen – Fantastic Four: World’s Greatest Comics Magazine
    Interview with Erik Larsen about book "Fantastic Four: World's Greatest Comics Magazine".

    In a few words will you be able to explain how Kirby/Lee FF hit you while you first read them?
    I loved the Lee/Kirby run on the FF. I always wish I could have been there to read it as it was coming out but I was too young. I read it piecemeal through various reprints and eventually got some back issues to augment that. I just think it was an amazing, inventive and entertaining run.

    Graphic journalism, autobiographism, mature readers comic books… instead of these “new” trends, entertainment and superhero are your preferred genre of comic books (the one you prefer to do, I mean). Why?
    Visually, I find it more stimulating but I read a lot of things and just because I don’t personally create it–it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I dunno. You know when you watch those computer generated films like the Polar Express where they try hard to be all real and instead come off super creepy–or those claymation movies where they try to look as real as possible? I look at those and can’t help but feel that they’re missing out on the potential of those art forms. Then I look at a movie like the Incredibles or Wallace and Grommet and think–well, that’s more like it.
    Comics can be really awesome. Stan and Jack showed us just how awesome they can be and too many of them are trying too hard to be too real and they just seem somewhat lifeless to me. I can see reality outside my window and I think, for a lot of stories, there are other storytelling forms which do the job as well as comics. But nobody has done a Jack Kirby movie or cartoon that is anywhere near as good as a Jack Kirby comic book.
    Which is not to say good work hasn’t been done and there will forever be exceptions that are so breathtakingly outstanding that it makes that argument seem ridiculous but there you go. I actually find that, with a lot of superhero books it’s gone too far. I don’t need to see how Captain America’s outfit is stitched together or see every link in his chainmail.
    At some point more become superfluous and distracting. But I’m going off on a tangent here. Stan and Jack got it very right.

    You had the chance (in this mini) to “re-do” classic FF drawing in Kirby style. I always noticed in some of your “splash page” and action  drawings a few “references” to Kirby art. It was easy to realize this books or not at all for you?
    I laid out much of it and while I had a decent enough feel for it–I could not pull off drawing like Jack and staying on model. I recall doing a better job as a kid. The guys who followed my layouts often swayed a bit to include swipes but that wasn’t the original intent. We were trying to create essentially a new Lee/Kirby comic and I think, in many ways, that we fell far short of that.

    Same as above… but regarding Lee “speech”…
    I think we got a bit closer here but even so–it wasn’t quite Stan’s voice and even Stan’s issue didn’t sound quite like the Stan of old.
    It was a tribute–and it was hard work–and I wish we had successfully pulled it off–but we really didn’t. It was a sincere effort and a lot of fun in places but nothing measures up to a real Stan and Jack Fantastic Four comic book. They were the real deal–the rest of us were pale imitations.

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