Tito W. James: The latest issue has my favorite cover I’ve seen from you so far. It’s a great portrait of Saya contrasting against a red backdrop. It’s very different from other Deadly Class covers which are bisected so the top mirrors the bottom. What prompted this change?
Wes Craig: The trade paperback covers are always that same thing; There’s the top that’s got the main illustration and the bottom is a black area with something else going on.
The ‘Saya’ cover is for one of the single issues that kind of go off in different directions. It hard to do the segmented design over and over and find new ways of doing that. I’ve kind of painted myself into a corner with that.
Depending on how many trade paperbacks come out I’ll have to find a new way of doing the cover each time. But for the single issues I just have fun with and whatever pops into my head.
TWJ: We were introduced to a new ‘Class’ in Vol 5. Who are some of your favorite new characters to draw?
WC: I like Helmut, he’s like a Heavy Metal guy from Germany. He’s a lot of fun! Similar to the way I draw the Russian guy, Victor, they’re a little more cartoony. The jaw is a bit more exaggerated. He makes all these funny scowls that make me crack up as I’m drawing him.
I also like Quan, he’s this Asian rockabilly guy. When I was a kid growing up I was into rockabilly music and punk music. All the fashion that Quan wears is the same as the fashion I wore as a kid. I know exactly where the zippers and pockets are on those leather jackets because it’s what I wore. It’s second nature.
TWJ: The Deadly Class show premiered and is well received. What did you think of the animated sequences especially in that trippy Las Vegas episode?
WC: I had seen an earlier version of that episode which was crazy but the final version was even crazyier!
The shifting colors, echoey voices, all made the episode seem hallucinogenic. You’re inside Marcus’ head as he’s loosing his mind. I think that was my favorite episode.
I had a buddy who hadn’t seen any of the episodes– and I’m at my brother’s house and he’s like ‘you want to see Deadly Class?’ And he played the Vegas episode. So I’m like ‘This is not representative of the whole series.’
TWJ: I’ve talked to several comic creators on the subject of independent comics being adapted into animation. Do you have any thoughts on the subject?
WC: Awe man. I’d love to see more of it. I think it could happen. I think it would depend on the people with the money seeing that as a profitable thing for them to do.
I think Into The Spider-Verse helped in that way. The film got acolytes and it made money. It did all the things any studio would want from their property. I don’t know if Sony knew Spider-Verse was going to be that big. I think the success of the film will help other things get made.
The same thing could be said for Deadly Class. If the show is successful it could help other indie comics get adapted. Unfortunately there are people at the top that don’t look at the creativity of something; they only look at what’s come before and whether its made money or not. That’s how a lot of them think. If you meet someone with power who also seeks out projects that are creative and original you’re super lucky.
I’d like to thank Wes Craig for this lengthy interview. Deadly Class is now available at your local comic shop and new episodes air on the SyFy channel.