Larry Todd (born June 4, 1948) is an American illustrator and cartoonist, best known for Dr. Atomic and his other work in underground comix.
Born in Buffalo, Todd studied art at Syracuse University and then created comics for Galaxy Science Fiction. He collaborated with Vaughn Bodé for a series of cover paintings for Galaxy and Warren Publishing.
After a brief period in New York, Todd moved in 1971 to San Francisco, where he created Dr. Atomic, initially for The Sunday Paper and then a comic book series. Comics historian Don Markstein described the character:
- He first appeared in some of the transient underground newspapers of the early 1970s, where his first task was to build his robot assistant. Dr. Atomic #1, published in 1972 by Last Gasp Eco-Funnies (Mickey Rat, Cherry Poptart), reprinted those newspaper episodes and added a couple of new adventures. The character's back story included having been a lieutenant in the Luftwaffe in 1941, which would make him a good deal older than most of his 20-something readers. (Another clue was his bald head and thick, white beard.) Still, he had more in common with Billy Kropotkin, the dope-smoking hippie next door, than with Hank the heavily armed redneck, next door on the other side. Billy and Dr. Atomic had one drug-addled sci-fi adventure after another, for six issues. The last came out in 1981. There were also T-shirts and suchlike—no lunch boxes or Underoos, of course, but one spun-off product was absolutely unique. Dr. Atomic's Marijuana Multiplier, which was published in 1974, provided instructions for a chemical process that allegedly enhanced cheap, low-quality pot. The chemicals are said by others to have been fairly dangerous if handled by non-professionals. Nonetheless, people bought a great many copies, and it's still in print.
Illustrating Robert Silverberg and Harlan Ellison
In 1978, Last Gasp published Harlan Ellison's Chocolate Alphabet, illustrated by Todd.
Todd and Bodé collaborated on Cobalt 60 (1980), reprinted in 1992 by Tundra. Rip Off Press published Miami Mice in 1986.
In 2010, cartoonist Larry Welz wrote:
- After a seven-year hiatus, I have returned to painting carnival rides: funhouses, mirror mazes & dark rides at Owen Trailers in Riverside, California, where they build such things. I’m actually working for Duncan Designs Inc. of Santa Rosa, California. Working with Larry Todd, who’s been doing it all along since I hooked him up.
Big Wow! in 2012
The Big Wow! ComicFest announced Todd as a guest for "The World of Underground Comics" (May 20, 2012) at the San Jose Convention Center.