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Ant, Mario Gully, Erik Larsen And A Case Of Crotch-Tongue

Ant, Mario Gully, Erik Larsen And A Case Of Crotch-Tongue
Last year, after a series of increasingly unbelievable personal setbacks, Mario Gully sold the rights to his sexploitation comic Ant to Erik Larsen. Larsen is now planning to publish a new version… and hired Gully to draw it. So Gully posted his first page on Facebook.

ANT..the return! Hey here is a page
From the new ANT I'm doing. I'm doing it in between projects. Hyper detail!!

But then…

Hey Gang. I'm thinking outloud but this new Ant I am doing may not see the light of day. It apears that Erik wants a all ages book and I don't do all-ages anything. The strangulation with his tongue out on ANT's pussy..he said he couldn't publish. So-I'm's pretty much over from here. I hate rules. what a shame….

I got a new character..female that I'm doing. I truely believe you guys won't miss my Ant at all. In my opinion its everything what Ant should have been. I'm gonna do my book my way and at minimum you will get the best art I can get and nothing nice a kiddy. I'm going hard on grit and very nasty…sexy dirty content..violence and all the shit we love.

Erik Larsen then posted;

I like Mario's work–make no mistake–and this is sexy as all shit–but panel two would mean this book would be on the porn shelf. Retailers would hit the roof if this showed up without having been told about it. I'm not saying the book needs to be suitable for a six-year old–but I don't want retailers being sued for selling adult material to minors either. It can be sexy–WitchBlade is sexy–but it can't be obscene and panel two with a tongue out at her crotch and panel three with a dripping cooch is asking for trouble.

When asked what would happen if the tongue were removed, he replied;

That would at least make it publishable. But honestly–the action is very awkward. See the layout here:

Ant, Mario Gully, Erik Larsen And A Case Of Crotch-Tongue

In panel one ANT uses an enemy as a shield–in panel two she knocks him unconscious with a kick to the head–in panel three she runs away.

Mario's edit has Ant going from using her enemy as a shield to sitting on his shoulders and pressing her crotch against his face–it's an awkward transition–and the subsequent panel edit means losing the beat panel, which means she hasn't moved and there's no progression.

But–yeah–if her enemy was gritting his teeth and clearly in pain it would at least make the page publishable. It would be awkward–but not as obscene.

What did this mean? It meant Erik Larsen was selling out to the man.

Oscar Saavedra So wait…. I'm confused? Image has become the new "Marvel/DC" suits now? I thought they all left to get away from all that bullshit? WTF? So we fans that happen to love ANT we get assed out because we have to make some fuckin' douche retailer happy? Retailers can be such slags of shit, Erik, come on….maybe they can put the book in a brown paper bag or maybe at the very least the retailer can say "Hey kid, listen, theres some racy shit in this book" give them the option of buying it or not…this blows ass bro…I think Mario should not be censored…WTF Erik ur "SpiderWoman" character shoots webs from her cunt, bro…just sayin'

Erik Larsen Which I never show.

Oscar Saavedra You never show but you still do it bro and the gratuitous vagina shots of all the bitches you draw….come on bro…I love your work, I really do…but I hate hypocrisy…Erik don't get eaten by the machine bro

Erik Larsen I know where the line is and I go up to it but never over.

Oscar Saavedra Regardless Erik…you guys left because the big 2 became incorrigble assholes to artists and you guy were the trailblazers for the rest of us to say FUCK YEAH we can do our shit how ever we want….Erik your work has always been the top in my book when you guys formed Image… Dragon was doing great storylines and art was fuckin' amazin'….and you drew fuck scenes in a hospital for example come on dude how is that not going over when a touge out of a crotch is the same shit….its like being in the adult industry and not actually doing penetration or eating some broad out…..whatever bro…I still like your books but this is not cool bro…and by the way, as a side bar here because I don't want to get off the current subject….FUCKIN' ROB LIFELD sucks BALLS….why on GOD's GREEN EARTH he's in the biz is still a fucking mystery of the ancients….censore Mario…but keep a no talent hack that draws TITS on CAP…makes sense bro

Erik Larsen This isn't a case of me "censoring Mario"–it's a case of him not following the script. If you're writing a story and ask for a shot of a character kicking a bad guy and you get back a shot of the bad guy licking her crotch–it's unreasonable for the guy who made the change to argue censorship. He's censoring me–not the other way around.

Mario Gully I'm a keep this shit real. Erik, first off..I was helping you out. My storytelling isn't flawed, its that you don't know Ant at all. First.. Ant is bulletproof. Her Suit is her SKIN harden to armor. She is bulletproof to small and heavy gunfire bro. She blocks bullets because she can. I'ts fun for her. So, Having her use a "human shield" is cute but I decided to put some stank on it. For your info.. she jumped on his shoulders/ blocked bullets and broke his neck… and yes his tongue slobbered on her Pussy. That's ANT bro. Are you serious? In the following panel.. where she is running…Ant don't run bra. She fought a whole army remember? Issue 5? I guess you guys– think I was just bullshitting huh? Why would she run from a few guys with gun?? Instead, I appealed to your ego and made her get a better position. I don't run from fights. She don't either. Now about the Pussy licking? Who in here don't eat pussy? Honestly..RAISE YOUR HANDS IF YOU EAT PUSSY!! We all do. If you don't either are a lie or pussyless. I hate censorship and this is a sad example how far Image has fallen. I not changing your book. BTW didn't even get my imput on it which in itself is dumb. You don't know Ant better then I do. Just like that time you drew a tumbnail of Ant and Spawn cover#3. I drew it flawed for me to not correct my idol and drew a bad ass ANT IN SPAWNS LAP!! Same thing happening here ..yeah, And it's funny how a few post ago how that very cover was posted here by Joshua Entin! My last point. I think people are tired of seeing the same old shit. I KNOW i'm tired of looking at it. I also tired of be underestimated. I think nobody can draw Ant better then I can. Because Ant has soul. I've had letters from ministers and from single parents that got her. I don't think you get it Erik and that's cool. You will find out like the rest. Now. Respectfully I would like very much to draw this book and end with Image with a conclusion and teaming up with you will be nice. But I'm O.M.G man…Mario been gone for some time. So if I draw Ant..your story of not, I got to do my thang. Breaking a neck instead of shooting a guy is still killing him. If you think that I'm really going left then we do have a problem. I got to play my way. Shit, if I can't keep it real then comics are doomed. None of ya is a real as I am and one of these days you will appreciate it. Erik you can make Ant like a all ages Spiderman if you want to. But I know the bitch! People remember when in Ant unleashed her roomate sucking dick. If you turn Ant into a billiondollar girl it will forever trickle down to O.M.G. and I'm raw and uncut so…yeah. They want to see that shit. What gets me the most is everyone passed on Ant and thought it was a bad idea. You even said that " Ant was "too urban" and "Ant was the worst book at Image"! After me proving everyone wrong a million…lets say Thousands times over you guys still think you are right? I hope you are. I hope you can make a sucessful ANT without me. Nobody else did. It's you who should ask me how to make an Ant book. Not the other way around. You'd fuck it up.

And after a bit of back and forth…

Mario Gully Honestly I'm over it. Especially now. I'm a do my own books my own way and see how it goes. Tongues?? Shit it gets way worst then that!?! I'm way beyond all this. Erik do Ant the best you can and I wish you the best.

Erik Larsen Thanks, man. Sorry it went down this way.

Mario Gully I love the way guys think most of us artist is an idiot. "Haunt" has a white guy getting his dick sucked with 3 bitches. No disclaimer or anything. All naked.. Don't forget the fact I did research when Ant Unleased dropped. I called countess retailers and did the numbers. Ant– under my writing and an unknown artist sold better then the late Image ones. I guess I'm making this shit up huh? I've been telling you guys what's hot for years. You still won't listen because your horse is to high. You guys know everything Erik. If I took have the advice I've gotten from people Ant wouldn't have got published at all. What I'm really pissed off about is that people think I'm lucky or something. I prove over and over again that I'm right when you guys look around scratching your head. You point one direction while the world is going the other way. I've also followed your advice. You would be wise to listen to me anything about Ant. But I'm a idiot.

Erik Larsen I do think folks deserve something of an explanation: Mario sold the character Ant to me last year. The book hasn't been published in years. Mario was NOT going to continue working on the book. He was done. He was going elsewhere to start something new. I was going to restart the book fresh–and do a new series that I would write and draw.

Mario offered to do a last issue of his series to tie up the loose ends. I'd already laid out a bunch of pages for an issue #12 some years back and he agreed to work from those.

So–this wasn't a situation where it would have been an ongoing book with Mario back onboard. He was moving on. All this would have done is a single issue. We'd finish off the old series and honestly–it was an odd fit–an odd publishing choice on our part. It really didn't make a lot of sense to do a final issue of a series that had been discontinued long ago just to give it closure and then restart it. But I hate dangling plots and Mario seemed willing to do it so off we went.

But the book was a general audience title and the book will be a general audience title and it makes even LESS sense to do an isolated mature readers issue to cap off a book that ended a few years ago.

In any case–it is what it is. I'm not going to force Mario to draw my story and he's not going to force me to change my story so that's the end of that. As far as I know Mario's drawn just the one page so it's hardly the end of the world.

In any case–no hard feelings on this end.


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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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