Savage FINcast – Episode 16: Gary Carlson, Grandfather of Image Comics!


A new episode of the Savage FINcast rolls in with a brand new interview! This time Adam, Craig, and Jim have invited Vanguard co-creator Gary Carlson to talk about his career in comics. We have a fascinating discussion with Gary about his early days of producing the Megaton anthology comic during the 80s and working with young artist upstarts such as Erik Larsen, Rob Liefeld, and Angel Medina.  Gary discusses his years at Image Comics writing Supreme, Vanguard, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; and his creator owned line of comics, the critically acclaimed and cult classic, Big Bang Comics! Lastly, we talk in-depth about the recent 12-part Vanguard backup serial featured in the pages of Savage Dragon in which Gary wrapped up some major plots for the character.

CONTEST ANNOUNCEMENT! To celebrate the conclusion of the 12-part Vanguard backup serial in the pages of Savage Dragon, and in honor of having Gary Carlson as a guest on the show, we are working in conjunction with to conduct our first ever promotional contest! Visit to find out how you can win the “Ultimate Vanguard Signed Comic Collection” including 27 Vanguard-related comics signed by Vanguard’s creators, Erik Larsen and Gary Carlson; and artist extraordinaire Frank Fosco!!!


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  1. Awesome hearing Gary here–nice episode guys.

    You hit on the new supporting cast that Vanguard has acquired in this series but didn’t mention Galien which could set up for a real dynamic seeing he was Ethrian at one time. What role could he possibly play? Hmm. Oh the stories that could be done.

    Thanks for the kind comments regarding my work.

  2. I love big bang it’s nice to hear they’re going to reprint them

  3. Great overview of Gary’s career! I like hearing from one of the primary voices from 80s fandom, but most importantly the voice of Vanguard. Here’s looking to more stories (and Big Bang reprints, too)!

  4. Wow, I didn’t know that Rob Liefield’s Youngblood first appeared in an issue in Megaton. Glad Gary mentioned that…I’ll have to look into that. It was really cool to hear how happy Gary was to have someone to talk to about all his work in comic books! Loved it!

    • Darren Goodhart on March 25, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Virgin listener to the Fincast here and I gotta say, it’s a lot of fun. Absolutely fantastic listening e to Gary talking about the early days with everything, he’s a terrific guy and it was certainly a huge pleasure to be part of the Big Bang family. Though I wasn’t called out by name (and really, no worries), I want to give my thanks for the shout-out about Big Bang #7, I pencilled that particular story and it was a hell of lot of fun, especially considering that Jim Starlin was one of my personal artistic influences… That story was especially gratifying to draw… Awesome show, guys…

    • Nic Vinson on March 25, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    Its nice to get further confirmation that the Gully/Larsen ANT thing was really a mutual split unlike the debacle that Bleeding Cool portrayed it as.

    On the Gary Carlson front, really enjoying the Vanguard back-ups too; looking forward to the Big Bang reprints.

  5. Frank – Hopefully we see the return of the of the new cast including Galien soon. I would love to see a spce team title (or at least backup) featuring adventures with these guys. BTW Is it wrong that I dont trust the Galien character?

    Matthew and Michel – I agree, Big Bang reprints in my hands would rule!

    Guy – Yup–Youngblood, Dragon, and Vanguard all made appearences in Gary’s Megaton comic. Gary truly is the “Grandfather of Image Comics”.

    Darren – I’m so glad you took the time to listen! How did you find us? My apologies for not mentioning you by name. Big Bang #7 was a blast. I think you can tell by the way I gushed about it that I am a big fan. Do you have any new comic projects coming up or some past projects that you could post a link to? I’d love to see you do more MIghty Man or other Dragon characters as a back up story in Savage Dragon or something.

    Nic – Bleeding Cool thrives on controversy. As stated on the Fincast, I think it’s better for Erik that Mario’s stand alone issue doesn’t come out. I think it would confuse many and possibly hurt the sales of the new Larsen-driven series.

    • Darren Goodhart on March 26, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Hi Craig! First off, the talented Michel Fiffe referred me to the podcast. Michel and I recently became friends from mutually listening and being involved with the Legion of Substitute Podcasters podcast and he sent me a message about this, so while at work the next day, I just had to drop in and listen to you guys talk to Gary… And now, I’ll be making my way back and start listening to some of the prior shows. As far as new projects go, I’ve been doing some small stories that have appeared in some very small press anthologies based around the 11 O’Clock Comics podcast in recent years, and have just been exploring more things for my own fun with my digital work. If you want to see some of it, I’ve got some stuff posted on my Facebook page in the Photos section and if you still can’t see it, just send me a Friend request and hopefully then it’ll come up. Thanks for the interest, and I gotta say, looking forward to catching up on the past episodes…

  6. Darren – Michel is a great guy. We had a great chat with him on the previous Fincast episode. It’s awesome that he spread the word.

    I just took a gander at your Facebook page. I especially liked your pages for the 11 O’Clock Comics Podcast. I”l have to go check out the podcast now!

    • tom perry on March 26, 2013 at 7:13 pm

    very cool to see (or rather hear) gary getting some respect. megaton was one of the best super hero books of the 80s and its awesome to see vanguard still around. cant wait to get the big bang reprints too!

    • Adam P. on March 26, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I *did* mention you, Darren, but my mic was muted at the time. I am genius!

    Also–I need to get back to you about that other thing. Just waiting to hear back from other folks first. 🙂

  7. Adam, if “that other thing” is what I think it is, that would be amazing.

    Don’t mind me I’m just speculating here…

  8. Tom – I didn’t get my Megaton back issues until the 90s but I love them and still bust them out from time to time. For a young guy diving into the publishing end of things, Gary did a great job putting out a quality book right off the bat.

    Adam – Please make “that other thing” another Mighty Man Bronze Age-style story as a backup!!! 🙂

    • Darren Goodhart on April 2, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Guys, just chiming in again, but yeah, I’m going back now and listening to all of the past episodes, and really this is a lot of fun. Just finished the first episode with Frank Fosco and man, that was a real pleasure to listen to- always loved Frank’s work, just beautiful stuff. Also, great to hear the talk around the Next Issue Project, personally maybe my own pick for the best anthology comic in recent years (and something that I think would be fun to be part of). Anyway, my total compliments guys, and yes, I’ve totally subscribed to the show…

  9. Darren. Thank you so much for giving our past episodes a listen! The podcast is a great way for the 3-4 of us to get together every month to chat about our favorite comic and gives us a chance to talk to some of our favorite pros as well. While we would probably still enjoy doing this if nobody listened, we do put a lot of time into prepping the shows so it is VERY satisfying to hear that other people enjoy listening to our ramblings and have subscribed to the show.

  10. Also, this is for everyone out there:

    We are actually trying to get the listeners more involved to build a little Fincast community. In the next episode we will be debuting a new segment in which we ask a Larsen-related trivia question per episode. We are also asking for more fan input, whether it be comments or rebuttals to what we have stated on the show, or suggestions for show topics. all comments can be made in the episodes comment section of by email at savagefincast (at) Write in! If we get some emails we will most likely read them on the podcast.

  1. […] For our previous interview with Gary where we discussed his Megaton anthology, his Vanguard backup serial featured in the pages of Savage Dragon, and more Big Bang Comics; check out episode 16: […]

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