John Cassaday has been Astonishing. He's been Legion. But over the past few years, one of the most apt descriptions of the Eisner-winning artist is Dynamite. Having drawn covers for the company featuring pulp heroes like Buck Rogers and the Lone Ranger, Cassaday's drawing covers for that most eagerly anticipated of characters -- the Green Hornet. Newsarama caught up with the artist for a quick conversation on process, comics versus film, and his new gig.
Newsarama: You've been doing a lot of covers for Dynamite this year, ranging from Buck Rogers to the Lone Ranger to Blackbeard to the Green Hornet. Has there been a particular cover that you've been most proud of? If so, could you tell us what sets it apart for you?
John Cassaday: My Dracula covers were especially fun to work on. I felt I was putting something unique on the shelves there. Something to sink my teeth… Oh never mind…
Nrama: Dynamite recently announced Kevin Smith's Green Hornet series -- and you're doing covers alongside Alex Ross, Stephen Segovia, J. Scott Campbell, Marc Silvestri, and more. For you, what's been your level of involvement with the project? How have you dealt with doing covers alongside this murderer's row of talent?
Cassaday: I’m serving as the cover artist for the regular series. The Green Hornet has always been a favorite. Looking forward to seeing other artists’ variant covers as well. Should be fun!
Nrama: Last month, Fox aired the episode of Dollhouse that you directed. You've worked with Joss Whedon in the past, but this literally put you behind the camera. Did this experience change the way you thought about putting together a scene or a cover onto paper?
Cassaday: Not really. I think one reason Joss gave me the opportunity behind the camera is because of the way I play scenes in the comics we’d worked together on. There may be some correlation, but one medium doesn’t necessarily change the way I look at the other.
Nrama: For all our process junkie readers, what tools do you use when you're putting together a cover or a design? Are you a pen and paper kind of guy, or do you use electronic tablets? Can you walk us through how you put these images together?
Cassaday: I do the vast bulk of the work on paper (rough cold press Bristol board) with pencils, ink brushes (Winsor & Newton Series 7 #1 brush), tech pens, charcoals, etc. I do some clean up and occasional digital effects with Photoshop and a Wacom tablet.
Nrama: Wrapping things up -- is there any teases you can give us as to what 2010 might hold for you? Any other projects, covers -- dare I say interiors? -- that you might be working on?
Cassaday: I’ll essentially only be doing covers for the near future. A few different titles… Characters that I’ve loved a long time, but haven’t had a real chance to play with. Can’t go into which characters yet, but announcements are coming soon. As far as interiors, I’m developing a few things on my own that I’ll be writing and drawing, but can’t lay out any details just yet.