ISSUE #62: Clayton Crain Video Interview – HeroesCon 2019

 

Welcome back, everyone, to another edition of the Cover Tunes Video Interview special features . It looks as though many of you enjoyed seeing Jenny Frison again, in last week’s edition. If you missed it, check it out, here. She is always wonderful to speak with and incredibly gracious with her time.

I also sat down at HeroesCon 2019 with another stupendous cover artist who rarely does interviews and does very few conventions: Clayton Crain. Much like Frison, Clayton was very much at HeroesCon for his fans. He never left his table and signed for everyone who came up to him, chatted with them and seemed genuinely thrilled to be there despite what I am sure was a tiring weekend. So, this week, I give you that interview.

If you’re like me, you’ve admired Crain since the days of his work on Carnage and X-Force. To this day, many of my favorite Crain covers come from those years. With that said, though, he has done some outstanding work since then. Most notably, his recent string of “B” covers on DC’s Justice League Dark.

With his unique painted style that falls somewhere between Dell’Otto and Mattina, Crain brings a flavor all his own to his cover work with both his acrylic work as well as with his digital work. I’ll let him tell you all about it in the interview, but suffice it to say, his singular take on “caricature” is easy to spot from across the room and I for one am a fan.

Please, do scroll down past the video for a few of my favorite Crain covers over his career. Without further tangents, here is Clayton Crain…

 

 

 

 

Justice League Dark #5B (2018 Series)

PUBLISHED: DC Comics – January, 2019

ARTIST: Clayton Crain

Hyper-modern though it may be, this may be one of Crain’s best pieces of work. Ensemble covers are tough to pull off while making sure each character has an actual personality. Crain does it exquisitely on this cover. It has all of the macabre beauty that the title deserves and pays respect to each character’s likeness. It is a layout masterpiece, as well. While technically a variant, it was a cover priced “B” cover on release day. Be sure to check out all of his covers on this run. Each is as good or better than the next.

 

X-Men Blue #23B (2017 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – May, 2018

ARTIST: Clayton Crain

Well, this one got completely looked over when it came out, but this is probably THE best Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) cover, ever. X-Men Blue was not a great seller, so you may never have seen this if your LCS didn’t order them. However, this is just a feral and nasty cover and rendered beautifully. I’m biased since I love the New Mutants, but this is still a cover price grab even though it was a regularly priced “B” cover. Again, one of Crain’s best. The moonlit backdrop is the key to this one and it makes the yellow uniform pop which, along with the “camera” angle of the trees, creates superb depth. A genius cover.

 

Carnage #2 (2010 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – February, 2011

ARTIST: Clayton Crain

 

Not a whole lot to say about this entire run of covers (Carnage, Superior Carnage, Carnage: Minimum Carnage, Carnage USA, etc…) that hasn’t already been said. Clayton is probably best-known for these and for good reason as they are the quintessential Carnage covers. Most of these (even the regular, non-variants) will run a little over cover, but should never top $10-$15. However, be aware that a few of the variants are little pricey. With Carnage getting hotter and hotter, these may be good spec plays as a new Venom movie approaches.

 

X-Force #5 (2008 Series)

PUBLISHED: Marvel Comics – September, 2008

ARTIST: Clayton Crain

 

The run that got me reading again. This set of covers is also one of my favorite all-around runs in modern comics. Each one is graphic, has dark, brooding emotion and is full of action. This particular one is my favorite in the run, but one cannot go wrong with any of them, to be honest. They are all fantastic. Again, these might run a touch over cover, but never more than $10-ish. Keep in mind that many of these had “bloody variants” which were a 50/50 split with the “clean” “A” covers (this #5 is one of those that had one).

A few of Crain’s variants are rather scarce, though, and will cost you (especially the vampire movie homages like the X-23/Underworld homage on #23B which is one of my favorite modern covers of all time). With other artists like Finch, Choi, Sienkiewicz and Granov in this run, it is a cover collector’s dream come true.

 

*****

 

With that. I leave you all for yet another week. I hope you enjoyed hearing Clayton chat with me as much as I did interviewing him. Until next time, be well, thanks for reading and happy hunting.

 

 

 

 

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