I’ve always wanted to create comics. Ever since I was a kid, that’s all I wanted to do. I loved drawing, but I didn’t think to myself, “Maybe I’ll work as a storyboard artist, or be a commercial illustrator.” I was in love with telling stories with these little drawings inside these boxes. I wanted to tell stories with comics. That’s it.
I love the HISTORY of comics. Working class American kids, their parents didn’t have money to pay for a fine arts education. But they had artistic souls that needed to be expressed. Like the blues, like hip-hop, like punk. People like Eisner, Kirby, Steranko, Mazzucchelli. These people are my heroes, up there with any director, musician, or fine artist.
I love the FREEDOM comics give you. Y’know, this is a small business, it doesn’t make movie money, or video game money, but that also means you don’t have 20 bosses looking over your shoulder and second guessing your work at every turn. Aside from working in comics, my only other long-term goal in life was to have as few people as possible telling me what to do. And right now I have exactly ZERO bosses. That’s a great feeling.
I love how CHEAP it is to make comics. You need paper and a pencil, that’s it. And you don’t need an army to make comics, either. If you can write and draw, all you need is you. Or you can collaborate and do it with three or four people. And in a few months, you can have it out in the world. That makes for long, long hours, and that can be tough, but you’re doing what you love, so to hell with it. And I can think of lots of tougher things that are a lot less rewarding.
I love how much room there is to EXPLORE in comics. For a lot of our history, we’ve used the language of movies and novels to make our stories. But comics are an original language that use bits from both, and also have so many areas where we can find our OWN language. Every month on Deadly Class I’m trying to look at different ways of expressing that. And again, being able to experiment that way ties back to the freedom comics allow you.
And I love where we’re GOING in comics. It’s a long road, but I think we’re getting to a good place.
More avenues for telling our stories.
Wes Craig is the artist/co-creator of Deadly Class with Rick Remender, and the writer/ co-creator of The Gravediggers Union with artist Toby Cypress, both published by Image Comics.