Monday, September 17, 2007
TOP TEN :: Best Ever Comics Artists :: #10 :: John Cassaday
I first noticed John Cassaday’s art on Captain America back in 2002. Relaunched in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Cassaday’s realistic art really captured the feel of a Cap who was more down to earth, tackling terrorist threats instead of Batroc the Leaper. Not to mention he introduced the “chunky chain-mail” look for Cap that all artists who followed him have used. I’ve since gone back and marveled over his work on Planetary and am continually amazed by his art on Astonishing X-Men. It’s nearly impossible to imagine anyone else on those titles.
What Cassaday does so well is blend his gritty, realistic style with the high-octane, widescreen action his collaborators like Warren Ellis and Joss Whedon call for. Oh, but that’s not all! I’m always impressed by how he captures smaller moments as well. One of the greatest moments from Astonishing X-Men is the return of Colossus–-but what really drives the moment home is not the splash page revealing the revived hero (although don’t get me wrong…that page is pretty freakin’ sweet), it’s the following pages, focusing on Kitty Pryde’s shock as the action continues around her, and the haunted look on Colossus’ face as he asks if he’s "finally dead."
I feel like I’ve barely hit the tip of the iceberg on John Cassaday’s talent, but I’ve rambled on enough. But this young fella’s got plenty of good years ahead of him, so I’m sure we’ll continue to see him grow and excel as an artist. And did I mention that he’s a heckuva nice guy? And I hear the ladies find him to be quite pretty, but I’ll let you all judge that for yourselves.
More info on John Cassaday is available at http://www.johncassaday.com/