"I've been interested in the character almost my whole life, but have rarely seen it reach its greater potential," said Cassaday of his love for the Lone Ranger. "I see it as a challenge for us and have my fingers crossed. You're in for some surprises. And more than a few moments of, 'Oh, that's why he does that/wears that/rides that.' This is his origin. There will be mysteries and just enough answers to keep you coming back."
It's no secret that Cassaday is one of the hottest artists in demand right now, so it's almost a no-brainer to get him involved with "Lone Ranger," but the talented Cariello got involved with the book in his own unique way. "My friend Keith Champagne (writer/inker) contacted me about it on behalf of Dynamite Entertainment. He passed on some very rough sketches done on the character that I later discovered were from Cassaday. Although I was told to look at Cassaday and Steve Epting as a guide to get the gig, I decided to do my own take on the Lone Ranger tryout. I strongly believe in doing my own gut feeling stroke in any project I get involved with so I didn't try to draw like anybody else. Hey, I thought, if they want me that's who they are going to get. They liked it and then they asked me to do a four-page tryout based on Brett's script. I did them with same approach: I just had fun with it, without over thinking it but giving it the reverence it deserves, and still doing my thing in it."
Don't expect Cassaday and Cariello to be switching duties any time soon. "I'd love to, but I'm just too booked up," admitted Cassaday. "And Sergio's doing a stellar job."
For the versatile Cariello, he's been finding some inspiration in Hollywood, though he promises he won't simply be copying the looks of real people. "There was a time we were looking at Wes Bentley, 'American Beauty' meets 'Batman Year One' (before he's Batman), inexperienced, and learning. After a few email exchanges with 'the boys' - Brett and John - and some input from Dynamite, we turned in what we were looking to do. I asked what movies and actors could play the other characters as well and we set the mood for the book. 'Deadwood,' 'Unforgiven' and other movies were mentioned along with some familiar faces to help me get the idea for the rest of the crew. I've learned in my career to be careful not to make anyone in comics really resemble any celebrity in particular, unless you're doing a parody. So what you get in this book is fresh and original as it can be but influenced by existing reference."
Speaking of influences, Cariello has a wide array of inspirations that helped to form his current style of artwork. Like many artists today, the Brazilian penciller found comics and animation to be muses at a very young age, explaining, "Fred Flintstone, Mickey Mouse and other TV cartoons were my first inspirations to draw. Then comics came later. Spider Man, Batman, Tarzan and Will Eisner's the Spirit were my favorite American comics. 'Asterix' and 'Tintin' were my favorite European comics. but I enjoyed many of them and I created my own comics and stapled them just like a comic book when still a kid. I knew I wanted to do that when I grew up. I kept drawing and evolving, as I grew older. One day I saw an ad for the Kubert School in an American Batman comic. I knew I wanted to go there. One of the things that I improved while attending there was my lettering. I went to work for Marvel as a letterer during my second year in Joe's school while working on 'HP Lovecracft's Dagon' for Caliber Press as letterer and penciler/inker as well. Soon after that I went to DC and other publishers as penciler/inker. My inspirations include Will Eisner, Milton Caniff, Joe Kubert, Alex Toth, John Romita Sr, Jim Aparo, Gil Kane, Mort Drucker, Moebius, Uderzo, Jesus Blasco, Giorgio Cavazzano and many, many more."
"So I'm really content. I've enjoyed every project that has come my way. Although I had my share of low times in comics, I've been quite busy too and I must admit that every job I ever held and still have in my career as an artist were all offered to me. With the exception of trying to get work as a letterer at Marvel and getting it, every other job I initially tried to get myself ended up in a dead end street. So, I've learned to do the best I can in the projects offered to me allowing my work to generate more work. I can then sort out what is being offered, accepting only what I want or need. I believe that is the way of placing myself in the hands of the Man who is above all Men: Jesus Christ himself!
"I've had my share of drawing Super Heroes so I wouldn't mind doing the Spirit or some European characters like 'Asterix. It will be neat also to do more historical biblical characters in comic book format the way I know how! To do stories that have eternal relevance and moral values are the ultimate projects for me. Everything else can be just as fun, entertaining, very rewarding and somewhat unforgettable, but they are temporal! Getting back to the Lone Ranger's creed: 'I believe that all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever. I believe in my Creator, my country, my fellow man.'"