Get Graphic: Wes Craig Takes Readers on a New Fantasy Adventure in KAYA

Troy-Jeffrey Allen
5 min readOct 3, 2022

Art by Wes Craig

Interview by Troy-Jeffrey Allen

After the destruction of their village, a young girl with a magic arm and a fighting spirit is tasked with delivering her little brother to a faraway safe haven in an effort to overthrow the all-powerful empire that destroyed their home.

Discover an astonishing new ongoing fantasy-adventure series about siblings surviving in a world of monsters and mutants. All from the mind of the artist and co-creator of the hit series, Deadly Class.

In the following interview, Kaya artist Wes Craig invites readers into a new world of fantasy …

Firstly, what is KAYA?

Kaya is a tough young girl, raised as a hunter and with a mysterious magic arm. Her half-brother is royalty and destined for great things. But when their home is destroyed, Kaya is tasked with getting her brother to safe harbour where it’s said he’ll discover the secret to overthrowing the kingdom that destroyed their home. The dangerous world they have to navigate, to get to that safe harbour, that’s the story of the book.

It’s an adventure that combines fantasy and science fiction. It’s got a lot of heart, fun, and action.

Tell us about Kaya’s little brother. How is he important to the larger story?

Jin was raised as a pampered prince, destined too overthrow their tribe’s enemy, the all-powerful Robot Empire. Meanwhile, Kaya was raised by her uncle as a humble hunter. But, like I said, that all changes when the Robot Empire destroys their home, and Jin is forced to live like Kaya, just trying to survive. Jin still acts like he’s a prince though, and that brings the siblings into conflict. Like most brothers and sisters, they get on each others nerves, and that’s part of the drama of the series. They’re trying to reach safety, but can they get along long enough to get there?

The solicit mentions Conan, Lord of the Rings, Bone, and Adventure Time. Can readers expect a plenty of world-building and fantasy-adventure settings?

Yeah, I’ve got a big ol’ map that Kaya and Jin have to cross on their journey. Lizard-Riders, the Mutant lands, Pirates, an Alien kingdom, all while being hunted by the Robot Empire. They’re gonna have a lot to deal with, some dangerous, some wondrous.

How did KAYA comes about as a project?

It’s something I’ve had in my head for a long time, in various forms. I pitched it to Image a loooong time ago as a very different story. I was just a novice at the time, not ready for professional work, I mean I thought I was ready of course, but I wrong, haha. That world stayed with me over the years, a world kind of like Adventure Time or Jack Kirby’s Kamandi, a world so far in the future that it looks more like our distant past, except instead of ancient Persia and Sumeria, it’s kingdoms of Robots, Mutants, etc. It was a cool world, but it didn’t have a story yet, that happened when Kaya and Jin marched into this world and I saw it could be a story about a brother and sister, about refugees in a strange world. The story grew out of there.

You’ve drawn DEADLY CLASS as a co-creator, you’ve written GRAVE DIGGERS UNION as a co-creator — what made you want to be both artist and writer here?

It’s very close to my heart. All the stories I come up with are like that, but some of them, they feel like it’d be fun to see what someone else would do with it. That was the case for Gravediggers Union with the incredible Toby Cypress (and for a few other ideas I have that’ll be seeing the light of day next year). But some, like Kaya, I can’t imagine anyone drawing it but me.

Looking forward, what can readers expect from KAYA?

Lots of fun and adventure. Some wild creatures and lands. In the first arc we have Kaya dealing with the Lizard-riders and hunting a dangerous monster. In the second arc Kaya and Jin have to venture into the Poison lands ruled over by the Mutants. All while having the usual big sister / little brother drama.

In terms of audience, who is KAYA for?

I’d like to say “everyone” but that’s a little vague, I know. I’d say, like a good Pixar movie, I’m hoping it’ll be enjoyable to a kid and adult alike. I’m not putting anything ultra-violent in there (I think I got that out of my system after ten years on Deadly Class). When I was a kid, stuff like Lord of the Rings, Robotech, Teen Titans, I loved that stuff because I could enjoy it as a kid, but it didn’t speak down to me. And as an adult, it works on a slightly different level. Another inspiration for Kaya, this is gonna sound strange, but “Stand By Me” and “The Wonder Years” helped me figure the story out, because Jin acts as a narrator to the adventure when he’s much older, just like in those works. So you can appreciate it from the perspective of a kid, or from an older reader thinking back on their youth. That’s the idea anyway.

If you want to discover more of Wes Craig’s work, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Instagram.

KAYA (AUG220055) hits comic shops on October 5, 2022. It will be released monthly from Image Comics.

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Troy-Jeffrey Allen is the producer and co-host of PREVIEWSworld Weekly. He is also the Consumer Marketing Manager for Geppi Family Enterprises. Troy’s comics work includes MF DOOM: All Caps, Public Enemy’s Apocalpyse ’91, the Glyph Award-nominated Fight of the Century, the Harvey Award-nominated District Comics, and the Ringo Award-nominated Magic Bullet.