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BACKSTAGE - INTERVIEWS

Comic artist Wes Craig is no stranger to The Batman Strikes!. As part of the fill-in team for the fan-favorite The Batman Strikes! #10, Matthew Manning and Wes Craig teamed up again for The Batman Strikes! #15, which goes deeper into The Batman vs. Dracula story.

The World's Finest (WF): First off, Can you provide us with a quick background on yourself, mojoblender.com, and how you got involved in The Batman Strikes?

Wes Craig (WC):
I've been working in comics for two years, three months, nine hours and five minutes; Muchos Gracias to Matt Idelson and Nachie Castro who got me the gig as penciler on the DC series Touch. From there I moved on to a cracked-out story by Jon Lewis for a fill-in issue of Catwoman last year, which unfortunately won't be coming out because it just won’t fit in with any current story arc. Now I’m doing fill-in pencils on The Batman Strikes!! And I’m lovin’ it. mojoblender.com is an online portfolio for our studio to show off its work. The site was just updated so check it out, and I’ll be putting up The Batman Strikes! illustrations shortly after #15 comes out.

When you work on a comic like The Batman Strikes!, with their own set of designs, how do you approach it? Is it the mindset of staying true to the designs they've done, or just going all out?

Well if you've seen my other stuff you know I don't draw like the cartoon, but I'm highly skilled in the deadly Chameleon-style and Nachie knows and fears this so he asked if I could do fill-ins.

In issue #10, I stuck very close to the style of the show; in #15 I took a few more chances and experimented a little. What I like about working in an animated style is you get to focus more on composition and dynamics, and not have to worry about anatomical perfection because the shapes are simplified.

So to answer the question, stay true and go all out.

For The Batman Strikes!, what's it like to be contributing to a piece of Batman lore?

Cooler than a polar bear's toe-nails.

Bats is going to be around in one form or another for centuries, like Dracula or King Arthur or Ashton Kutcher. So to contribute something to that, however small, is swell.

Were there any added complications from doing The Batman Strikes #15, a comic that's directly tied to the movie release? Did you see the movie and if so, what did you take from it (ie: tone, ideas, etc) to help you complete the issue?

Unfortunately I didn't get to see it before I started drawing the pages but Nachie was feeding me plenty of Character sheets from the show so it all went surprisingly smooth, though I knew I had to have it done pretty fast.

What can we expect in The Batman Strikes #15?

You saw Strikes #10, this one kicks ten's butt and steals its girlfriend, it's that good. You've got Matthew K. Manning, my fellow butt-kicker on The Batman Strikes! #10. There's more mystery, more action, there's Vicki Vale, and there's even some off-panel blood sucking.

Finally, what other projects do you have coming that you'd like to inform us about?

Again, I'd like everyone to check out mojoblender.com and besides that I might be doing something pretty cool at one of the major companies but it's in such preliminary stages I really don't have much to say, but if it all comes together like I hope, you'll hear about it, trust me.

Also, I'll be sharing a table in artist alley with Mr. Manning at the NYCon in February, so if you're in New York City February 24th to the 26th, come check us out.

Thanks to everyone for their support of the comic!

For additional art from The Batman Strikes! #15, check out the Backstage Gallery. Thanks to Wes Craig for the art and interview!

[Back to Backstage]


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