By Tim Stevens
For Italian artist Stefano Caselli, his love of drawing began at three years old.
"My dad says that when I was three years old I spent a lot of time playing with crayons, pencils and paper," he relates. "From then on, I've never stopped."
Comics did not come into the picture until much later, around the time Caselli turned 10 and discovered his father's own comic collection while very sick. Armed with a notebook and a lot of recovery time, Caselli began to produce his own comic adventures for some of his favorite characters.
In his teens, he began to fall in love with other interests, only to realize that they led right back to comics.
"I totally fell in love with movies and literature," the artist recalls. "I started working as a storyboard artist and writing a book. I realized that the perfect point between movies and literature was comic books. They're the only thing you can watch and read at the same time. So I fused my passions into one."
In merging the two interests, Caselli believes that he found his destiny and has used that to drive him ever since.
"I've always thought that each one of us has a specific gift; you can't choose these kinds of things, but sometimes you are chosen," he reflects. "The problem is that a lot of people are scared by 'the calling.' Sometimes we aren't able to listen to our deep voice and we choose to go on forgetting what we really are. This is bad. I think we're born to realize ourselves."
This gift eventually led to American shores and assignments with Marvel, including CIVIL WAR: YOUNG AVENGERS/RUNAWAYS and AVENGERS: THE INITIATIVE. While
getting the jobs thrilled the artist, surprisingly he does not look back upon his work with the fondness most feel for it.
"Ah, ah, this is a big problem I have with myself," he chuckles. "I'm never happy with what I do. Believe me, never. I've always thought that the day I like what I do I'll change work. It'll mean I don't have anything more to say."
Thankfully for his fans, Caselli has yet to reach that point and will be taking on the highly anticipated SECRET WARRIORS project, written by Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman, debuting on February 4. Due to his continued commitment to growth, readers might see something a little different from Caselli on the project, but not drastically so.
"With SECRET WARRIORS I'm trying to change something, but it'll happen slowly," he notes. "[The series] has almost a dark tone, so I've to try to mix up my cartoonist side with my realistic one as best as I can. I'm always experimenting.
"When I draw a new book, I feel like I'm entering a new group of friends," he continues. "I want to know all of them deeply. I'm going to have a lot of adventures with them, so it's better to stay close to each other!"
The artist predominantly draws his inspiration from the world around him.
"I think our eyes are the best way to get references," Caselli articulates. "Every day we watch millions of images, and when you don't expect it, those images pop up into our minds. What I usually do is looking around and memorizing things."
For his gift and his commitment, Marvel has named Caselli one of the Young Guns of 2009, an honor that caught him very much by surprise.
"Believe me, I cried like a baby," he admits. "It means a lot to me. I'm really thankful to Marvel for this. It gives me the strength to continue doing my best and repay them with good comic books. It's the only thing I can do to say thank you to the Marvel crew."
SECRET WARRIORS #1, featuring Stefano Caselli's latest, hits shelves on February 4. To see more of his work
, swing over to Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited
! And keep it here for more Young Guns Spotlights!
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