FOR TOMMY: JOHN CASSADAY
By Richard Johnston
- first time I saw his work on Desperadoes, a western adventure
comic for Wildstorm, it didn't exactly do much for me. Looked
too artificial, no flow, bleeaauugh. Ditto for Union Jack, this
was clearly not my kind of artist.
So when I heard
Warren Ellis was drawing for him for some Authority-spinoff
called Planetary, I wasn't exactly over the moon. After all,
he was up against Bryan Hitch, and clearly there was no contest.
Shows you how
unwise it is to prejudge. In a style totally consistent with
his previous work, Cassaday created a spectacular world for
Wildstorm, filled with the most remarkable creatures and an
eye of the greatest director in the world. Each panel could
take you days to appreciate - handy, given Planetary's upcoming
schedule. His work on Captain America reinvented the character
again, and his chainmail/scalemail never looked finer and
set a precedent for all artists who followed him.
And when I learnt
he was drawing Astonishing X-Men with Joss Whedon for Marvel,
well, I could hear dollar signs light up in every retailers'
eyes in the USA.
is at the top of his game. He only has peers, no superiors.
So where does he go from there? How will his work fit in with
the new editorial edicts at Marvel? And what is the future
get on and ask him, hadn't I?
JOHNSTON: X-Men Reload is promising a return to a more
traditional looking X-Men. Indeed, Joss explicitly states
the case for spandex in the first issue of Astonishing. As
someone who's trod both paths (Planetary AND Union Jack) and
given a new weight to Captain America's look, what role do
you believe the costume has in modern superhero fiction? Does
it make your job any easier?
JOHN CASSADAY: Initially comic artists put heroes in
tights to speed up the process; Draw a hero in his shorts,
draw a line across his neck and he's done! Few artists work
that way anymore and even fewer heroes are in tights. Although
a character may be in tights, there are still wrinkles and
folds in the material. There's a texture and weight to everything.
I do my best to at least hint at that. I want the heroes to
be fantastic, but believable. I want it to look like a guy
in a suit, costume or uniform. But I'm not looking for ultra-realism,
I want style. I definitely don't want the characters to look
like "just another comic-book superhero."
Do you think the leathers worked against that?
JOHN: I did like the leather look, but that's done
and gone now, isn't it? Time for change. And you'll see, the
costumes return for a reason.
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