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John Cassaday

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John Cassaday
Cassaday at a book signing at Midtown Comics in Manhattan
Born1971 (age 52–53)
Area(s)Artist, writer, television director
Notable works
AwardsEisner Award (2005, 2006), Scream Award (2007)

John Cassaday (/ˈkæsəd/;[1] born 1971) is an American comic book artist, writer, and television director. He is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed[2] Planetary with writer Warren Ellis, Astonishing X-Men with Joss Whedon, Captain America with John Ney Rieber, and Star Wars with Jason Aaron.

Both Marvel Comics and DC Comics include many of Cassaday's iconic images in their marketing, and in their art and poster book collections. Marvel Comics-based animated films have made extensive use of his art. He has received multiple Eagle and Eisner Awards and nominations for his work.

Early career[edit]

A self-taught illustrator, Cassaday has listed his influences as, among others, NC Wyeth,[3][4] classic pulp magazine-culture iconography, and popular music.[5]

He first attended film school and directed television news for five years. He spent one summer working a construction job while working on his portfolio.[6][7]

Cassaday's first published work appeared in 1994–1995 in comics published by independent publishers Boneyard Press and Caliber Comics.

He showed his portfolio to popular comic book writer and editor Mark Waid at San Diego Comic-Con International 1996. Soon after, Cassaday began receiving job offers from bigger publishers. He quit his construction job and left Texas for New York.[8]

In December 1996 he produced art for Dark Horse Comics' Ghost. Within a year, he was hired to be the regular artist on Homage Comics' Desperadoes.


In late 1997 Cassay was hired by DC and Marvel as artist on the Teen Titans and Flash annuals, X-Men/Alpha Flight, and Union Jack. His work on X-Men made him one of its most popular artists.[9]

Cassady quickly became an in-demand artist working on many top titles, including Gen13, Superman/Batman, The Hulk, and The Avengers.

Cassaday worked on multiple Captain America projects, including an issue of Fallen Son: The Death of Captain America written by Jeph Loeb, "Captain America Lives Again" and "Captain America: The New Deal".

He based his cover art on World War II propaganda posters. The art was popular with fans and critics alike and Marvel released the works in a series of poster art books. He has also created covers for comic books featuring The Phantom, for US publisher Moonstone Books and the European Egmont, as well as covers for Joss Whedon's Firefly spinoff comic Serenity: Those Left Behind, and Guy Ritchie's Gamekeeper. He handled covers and art direction on Dynamite Entertainment's The Lone Ranger comic-book series. Books featuring his art include Wizard's PosterMania!, Women of Marvel Poster Book, Wolverine Poster Book, New Avengers Poster Book, three editions of the Captain America Poster Book, and DC Comics Covergirls.

From 2004 to 2008, Cassaday illustrated the graphic novel trilogy Je suis légion by Fabien Nury [fr] from Les Humanoïdes Associés. The English language edition was published as an eight issue comic series I Am Legion by Devil's Due Publishing.[10] In July 2006, Humanoïdes announced a co-production deal with Pierre Spengler for a screen adaptation of the work.[11] At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, it was announced that the three picture series would be directed by Nacho Cerda with a screenplay by Richard Stanley.[12]

Cassaday has written stories for Hellboy: Weird Tales, Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream, Rocketeer Adventures, X-Men: Alpha Flight, Bela Lugosi: Takes from the Grave, and Union Jack. He also wrote drawing instruction articles for Wizard Magazine's Wizard: How to Draw.

John Cassaday appeared in the Captain America 75th Anniversary television special on ABC in 2016.[13] He is also the artist of the upcoming Captain America comics special anniversary issue.[14] Cassaday and Joss Whedon will team up on a new story featuring Sam Wilson.[15]

Cassaday headlined the highly successful 2015 Star Wars revival at Marvel Comics.[16] The book became the #1 selling comic for 2015. According to Forbes magazine, it was the top-selling comic of the last 20 years.[17] It sold approximately one million copies.[18]

Film and television[edit]


Cassaday's art appeared in an episode of HBO First Look, a 2003 documentary about the making of the Daredevil film.[19]

He worked as a concept artist on the film adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic graphic novel Watchmen.[20]

In 2009, the Astonishing X-Men animated DVD series was adapted as a motion comic from Cassaday's art for the comic book series written by Joss Whedon.[21]

Cassaday directed "The Attic", the December 18, 2009 episode of the television series Dollhouse, which aired as the tenth episode of that series' second season.[22][23]

Cassaday's art was used extensively in the Futureal Studio documentary Adventures into Digital Comics (2010).

Onscreen appearances[edit]

Cassaday himself appeared in a Wizard World-sponsored documentary in 2002. He also appeared in Generation X: The Comic Book History of the X-Men, a 2006 DVD documentary about the X-Men franchise.

As an actor, Cassaday appeared in small roles in the 2012 horror film House on the Hill[24] and ITV Playhouse.

Technique and materials[edit]

In addition to penciling and inking his interior comics pages, Cassaday does his cover work in ink and charcoal, and digitally colors most of his covers. He credits the challenges of working on complicated books like Planetary with making him a better artist.[25]



  • 2005 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker for Astonishing X-Men, Planetary, and I Am Legion: The Dancing Faun (tied with illustrator Frank Quitely)
  • 2005 Wizard World Fan Award for Favorite Penciller (Astonishing X-Men, Planetary)[26]
  • 2006 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker for Astonishing X-Men and Planetary
  • 2006 Eisner Award for Best Ongoing Series for Astonishing X-Men (with Joss Whedon)
  • 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite Comics Artist: Pencils
  • 2007 Spike TV Scream Award for Best Comic-Book Artist



Boneyard Press[edit]

  • Bill the Bull: One Shot, One Bourbon, One Beer #1 ("Justin") (Boneyard Press, 1994)
  • Flowers on the Razorwire #5–6 (Boneyard Press, 1995)

Caliber Comics[edit]

CFD Productions[edit]

Dark Horse[edit]

  • Ghost #27 (June 1997)
    • Ghost: Black October, Dark Horse, 1999, ISBN 1-56971-377-4
  • Hellboy: Weird Tales, miniseries, #1–8 (among other artists) (2003–04)





  1. ^ "Comic-Con 2010: John Cassaday"
  2. ^ Kreiner, Rich (February 2004). "Firing Line:Planetary/Batman". The Comics Journal. 1 (258): 50–51. ISSN 0194-7869.
  3. ^ "John Cassaday, una carriera da sogno". Fumettologica. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  4. ^ Roberts, Sidra (2002). "An Interview With John Cassaday" Archived 2005-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. Coville's Clubhouse.
  5. ^ Giles, Keith (August 17, 2001). "It's official! John Cassaday takes on 'Captain America'". Comic Book Resources.
  6. ^ "PopImage". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  7. ^ Kim, Albert (April 28, 2008). "Comic Genius". Upstart Business Journal.
  8. ^ "PopImage". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2016-03-01.
  9. ^ "The Top 10 X-Men Artists". Complex Networks.
  10. ^ Phegley, Kiel (October 30, 2008). "Cassaday's I Am Legion Lands at Devil's Due". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  11. ^ Masters, Charles (July 14, 2006). "Spengler back in swing with comic-book lineup". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved March 17, 2008.
  12. ^ "Humanoids Expands Film Adaptation Business".
  13. ^ "Captain America Gets 75th Anniversary Special on ABC in January". 18 December 2015.
  14. ^ "John Cassaday Returns to "Captain America" for 75th Anniversary Story". 26 February 2016.
  15. ^ "Joss Whedon Reunites with John Cassaday for "Captain America" Anniversary Issue". 3 March 2016.
  16. ^ "Review: Marvel's New 'Star Wars' #1 by Aaron & Cassaday". Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-02-28.
  17. ^ "'Star Wars #1' is Already 2015's Top Selling Comic". Forbes.
  18. ^ "Comichron: January 2015 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops".
  19. ^ "Albert Moy: Original Comic Art - Original Comic Art by John Cassaday".
  20. ^ "Exclusive Watchmen Concept Art - IGN". 22 January 2009.
  21. ^ "Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is Getting Animated". 11 July 2012.
  22. ^ "The Attic". Dollhouse. Season 2. Episode 10. December 19, 2009. Fox Broadcasting Company.
  23. ^ Furey, Emmett (July 28, 2009). "CCI: Joss Whedon on "Dollhouse"". Comic Book Resources.
  24. ^ "What are the characters in The House on the Hill movie". actorole.com. Archived from the original on 2018-05-19.
  25. ^ Arrant, Chris (March 24, 2010). "Circling Back Around PLANETARY W/ Artist John Cassaday". Newsarama. Archived from the original on August 30, 2014.
  26. ^ "Wizard World Chicago Sets Attendance Records". Raving Toy Maniac - The Latest News and Pictures from the World of Toys (Press release). Congers, New York: www.toymania.com. Aug 7, 2006.
  27. ^ "2008 Eisner Nominations Announced". Comic Book Resources. April 14, 2008
  28. ^ Spurgeon, Tom (April 8, 2010). "Your 2010 Eisner Award Nominees". The Comics Reporter.


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