John Cassaday

John Cassaday (/ˈkæsəd/;[1] born 1971) is an American comic book artist, writer, and television director, best known for his work on Planetary, Astonishing X-Men, Captain America and Star Wars. He has received multiple Eagle and Eisner Awards and nominations for his work.

John Cassaday
Cassaday at a book signing at Midtown Comics in Manhattan
Notable works
Astonishing X-Men
Captain America
Awards2006 Eisner Award for Best Penciller/Inker

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.

Early workEdit

A self-taught illustrator, Cassaday attended film school and directed TV news for five years. He spent one summer working a construction job while working on his portfolio.[2][3]

In 1995, Cassaday's first published work appeared in Caliber Comics Negative Burn[citation needed]. Other early work includes Flowers on the Razorwire #5-6 (1995), and No Profit for the Wise (1996).

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.[4]

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


In late 1997 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.[5]

Cassady quickly became an in-demand artist working on many top titles including Gen 13, Superman/Batman, The Hulk, and The Avengers.

He is best known for his work on the critically acclaimed[6] Planetary with writer Warren Ellis, Astonishing X-Men with Joss Whedon and Captain America with John Ney Rieber.

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.[7] In July 2006, Humanoïdes announced a co-production deal with Pierre Spengler for a screen adaptation of the work.[8] 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.[9]

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.

Film and televisionEdit

Cassaday directed "The Attic", the December 18, 2009 episode of the TV show Dollhouse, which aired as the tenth episode of that series' second season.[10][11] His art also appeared in an episode of HBO First Look, a 2003 documentary about the making of the Daredevil film.[12]

The Astonishing X-Men animated DVD series was adapted as a motion comic from John's art for the comic book series written by Joss Whedon.[13] Cassaday also appeared in Generation X: The Comic Book History of the X-Men, a 2006 dvd documentary about the X-Men franchise.

Cassaday also worked on the film adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' classic graphic novel Watchmen as a concept artist.[14]

He appeared in a Wizard World sponsored documentary in 2002, and his art was used extensively in Adventures into Digital Comics.

As an actor, Cassaday appeared in small roles in the 2012 horror film House on the Hill[15] and ITV Playhouse.

Current workEdit

John Cassaday appeared in the Captain America 75th Anniversary television special on ABC in 2016.[16] He is also the artist of the upcoming Captain America comics special anniversary issue.[17] Cassaday and Joss Whedon will team up on a new story featuring Sam Wilson.[18]

Cassaday headlined the highly successful 2015 Star Wars revival at Marvel Comics.[19] The book became the #1 selling comic for 2015. According to Forbes magazine, it was the top-selling comic of the last 20 years.[20] It sold approximately one million copies.[21]

Art processEdit

Comics art is often created by a team, but Cassaday, well known as a perfectionist, draws his art himself in pencil, then creates the final ink art by hand. He digitally colors most of his cover art over his hand-drawn work. He also does cover art in ink and charcoal. He credits the challenges of working on complicated books like Planetary with making him a better artist.[22]

His influences include NC Wyeth,[23][24] classic pulp magazine-culture iconography, and popular music.[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)
  • 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



Dark HorseEdit

  • Ghost #27 (1996–1997)
    • 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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2016-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Kim, Albert (April 28, 2008). "Comic Genius". Upstart Business Journal.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2016-03-01.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The Top 10 X-Men Artists".
  6. ^ Kreiner, Rich (February 2004). "Firing Line:Planetary/Batman". The Comics Journal. 1 (258): 50–51. ISSN 0194-7869.
  7. ^ Phegley, Kiel (October 30, 2008). "Cassaday's I Am Legion Lands at Devil's Due". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved October 30, 2008.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ "Humanoids Expands Film Adaptation Business".
  10. ^ "The Attic". Dollhouse. Season 2. Episode 10. December 19, 2009. Fox Broadcasting Company.
  11. ^ Furey, Emmett (July 28, 2009). "CCI: Joss Whedon on "Dollhouse"". Comic Book Resources.
  12. ^ "Albert Moy: Original Comic Art - Original Comic Art by John Cassaday".
  13. ^ "Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men is Getting Animated". 11 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Exclusive Watchmen Concept Art - IGN".
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Captain America Gets 75th Anniversary Special on ABC in January". 18 December 2015.
  17. ^ "John Cassaday Returns to "Captain America" for 75th Anniversary Story". 26 February 2016.
  18. ^ "Joss Whedon Reunites with John Cassaday for "Captain America" Anniversary Issue". 3 March 2016.
  19. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-11. Retrieved 2016-02-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  20. ^ "'Star Wars #1' is Already 2015's Top Selling Comic".
  21. ^ "Comichron: January 2015 Comic Book Sales to Comics Shops".
  22. ^ "Newsarama | GamesRadar+".
  23. ^ "John Cassaday, una carriera da sogno". Fumettologica. Retrieved December 30, 2016.
  24. ^ Roberts, Sidra (2002). "An Interview With John Cassaday" Archived 2005-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. Coville's Clubhouse.
  25. ^ Giles, Keith (August 17, 2001). "It's official! John Cassaday takes on 'Captain America'". Comic Book Resources.
  26. ^ "2008 Eisner Nominations Announced". Comic Book Resources. April 14, 2008
  27. ^ Spurgeon, Tom (April 8, 2010). "Your 2010 Eisner Award Nominees". The Comics Reporter.


External linksEdit