Clayton Crain has been known for his realistic art and fantastic comics covers for some time, but few know the true evolution of the artist or his art.
But they soon can as Crain kicks off a Kickstarter project for his compilation of a life’s work called Evolver.
To find out more about the treasure trove of Crain art, Cosmic Book News Managing Editor Byron Brewer chatted exclusively with the artist.
Cosmic Book News: Clayton, your most recent work has been with Valiant, but tell us how this unpublished collection of yours came about?
Clayton Crain: It started off as a basic sketchbook. As I added more and more, it became a personal retrospective of my progress. There is very little mainstream work in this book.
Clayton Crain: I used it last year. I wasn't sure what to expect so I made little effort to promote it. This time I believe I have a solid project with 90 percent of the work already completed. I have modest expectations of getting 300 pledges. As for hope, my hope is infinite.
Clayton Crain: My work as a teenager up to the submission that got my foot in the door which, by the way, was with Valiant (AKA Acclaim Comics). Evolver includes works that show my transition from penciler to penciler/inker/colorist, to digital painter. The content is mostly the paintings I made for my own amusement as I worked for Marvel and Valiant. If all goes well, I’d like to make new additions with the input of my backers before the final product.
Clayton Crain: When I was 15, Todd McFarlane was the man who inspired me to take my art into comic books. I had an art teacher, Henry Stinson, who was influential in my study of life/figure drawing. I admire the work of Greg Capullo, Norman Rockwell and Frank Frazetta. I'm also influenced by the cinematography in movies like Star Wars, Goonies, or Fight Club.
Clayton Crain: The New Mutants for the youth aspect, Spawn for the horror, or Deadpool, he's just strange.
Clayton Crain: I enjoyed working with writers Craig Kyle and Chris Yost on X-Force. As far as editors, I liked working with Warren Simons and John Barber.
Clayton Crain: I've been working on covers on Valiant's Eternal Warrior (among others) and covers for Marvel's new Carnage book. All other projects are under wraps.
Cosmic Book News would like to thank Clayton Crain for discussing his ongoing Kickstarter project. We also thank Hunter Gorinson of Valiant Comics who helped make this interview possible.