In this feature I explore the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments!
Today we look at some teasing from Peter David about Erik Larsen’s Savage Dragon…
In the early days of Image, Peter David and Erik Larsen had a few different disagreements in the press (I believe mostly Comic Buyers Guide, but possibly Wizard, as well) about various things, most notably a disagreement over the role of the artist in the creation of characters. A few years back I posted one example of David poking fun at Larsen (that time was specifically over Larsen’s depiction of the Hulk during a guest spot in Spider-Man, which Larsen was writing and drawing at the time). That was in 1992. Here, three years later, David poked some more fun in an issue of the Hulk. In Incredible Hulk #431 (art by Liam Sharp and Robin Riggs), David has Betty Banner express interest in the Hulk trying to disguise himself (this was during a time when the Hulk was laying low after his split from the Pantheon, a paramilitary group he was involved with for some time)….
This, of course, was a reference to Larsen’s popular Savage Dragon series…
It’s kind of an oddly late reference, since Savage Dragon had been around for three years at that point.
That’s it for this time – short and sweet!
If you have an idea for a Meta-Message, feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com.
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