Andrea Castellan (* 23 April 1967 in Gorizia, Italy), known by his nickname Casty, is an Italian comic writer and artist. He started his professional career in 1993 by working for the Italian monthly comic book "Cattivik", writing over 200 stories and drawing some of them. In 1999 he also started writing for "Lupo Alberto", but it is his work for Disney Italia (which he started in 2002) that made him an international star of the comic scene.
Casty had been writing and drawing comics with Disney characters already in his school days, giving them to friends and classmates and "publishing" them as if it were official Disney comics. Yet, he didn't actually start working for Disney Italia until 2003, when his first four Mickey comics were published on the weekly Topolino (Mickey Mouse) magazine. He very quickly achieved a lot of recognition and got older Italian comic legends Massimo De Vita and Giorgio Cavazzano to draw his stories. The first Cavazzano collaboration, The Lost Explorers' Trail, introduced the new character Eurasia Toft (Eurasia Tost in the Italian original). This adventurous character was well received and became a popular character, appearing in four more Casty stories to date (Gift of the Sun Lord, Shadow of the Colossus - which also introduced The Horde of the Violet Hare - , Dark Mines of the Phantom Metal and The Fire Eye of Atlantis) and two by other writers. Shortly afterwards, Casty created another strong female figure, the marine biologist Estrella Marina, who only appeared in two Casty stories so far (both drawn by Cavazzano) but was recently revived by another author. 2004 also saw the debut story of antagonist Charlie Doublejoke in the story The Magnificent Doublejoke. He got four more appearances, two of which were drawn by Massimo De Vita. Around this time, Casty started to do a 'revival course' for The Phantom Blot with a series of stories (including The Big Fat Flat Blot Plot) that made the well-known villain more interesting again and brought him back to his roots. Between 2006 and 2012, he only used him once (Mickey Mouse and the Orbiting Nightmare) but picked him up again in 2012 for the start of the "Darkenblot" project. This futuristic series was drawn by PKNA veteran Lorenzo Pastrovicchio and featured the Blot taking advantage of robots and the infrastructure of "the city of tomorrow". The series was continued with Darkenblot 2.0 in 2013 and finalised with 2.1 and 3.0 (with a length of 153 pages, his longest comic to date) in 2017.
The first Disney comic that was also drawn by Casty was released in 2005, but even then he mainly concentrated on writing comics and designing covers. It wasn't until 2007 when he started drawing Disney comics regularly himself, and even did the art for a story that he had not written himself. One of these stories (which also features the last use of the Magnificent Doublejoke) introduced classic character Eega Beeva to Casty's work. Casty admitted he wasn't in love with this figure until he read the early stories by Bill Walsh and Floyd Gottfredson. So, once again he considered it his mission to revitalise a classic character and Eega Beeva has since appeared in several Casty stories such as Mickey Mouse and the World to Come, The Terrifying World of Tutor, Plan Dine from Outer Space and The Clones of Channel 3000. The World to Come was Casty's first really long comic with its 72 pages and didn't only mark his second use of Eega Beeva, but also counts as a sequel to a classic Walsh/Gottfredson story, since the "big villain" is The Rhyming Man from The Atombrella and the Rhyming Man.
In 2007, Casty introduced yet another interesting female character, the future agent Uma, in The Menace from the Future. She has appeared in another long Casty story. Mickey's rival Montmorency Rodent was also used a lot by Casty recently. However, the project that Casty admitted was the dearest to his heart, was the revival of Atomo Bleep-Bleep, a Romano Scarpa creation and Mickey's ally in classic stories such as The Delta Dimension, The Sacred Spring of Seasons Past and The Chirikawa Necklace. The second long Atomo story has met massive praise and is not only Casty's highest rated story on the Inducks, but in fact the highest rated of *all* Italian comics created in the new millennium.
All of Casty's published Disney comics take place in the "Mouse universe" and feature Mickey as one of the main actors - with two exceptions, both of which star Scrooge McDuck (and in one case also Gyro Gearloose and the Beagle Boys). Given that the Duck universe is usually seen as more popular (and favoured by many artists), this sets Casty aside from many other Disney creators.
While he has been working on non-Disney projects, he doesn't seem to mind making Disney comics on an indefinite basis.
Casty has drawn around 30 comics himself (which amounts to roughly 1/5 of his work so far), but only four that weren't written by him (plots by Rodolfo Cimino and Carlo Panaro plus contributions to the series Topolinia 20802, written by Fausto Vitaliano).
Of the collaborations with other artists, the work done with Massimo De Vita is by far the most important, since De Vita drew 13 of Casty's plots. In 2007, Casty was asked whether they had stopped working together because of De Vita's habit of changing scripts (something that put an end to the legendary team-up of Giorgio Pezzin and De Vita), but Casty denied such rumours and also explained that De Vita had not changed his scripts, only once written a script with Casty's consent because Casty was too busy working on other stories. And indeed, they would continue to work together, the last De Vita drawn Casty comic dating from 2014.
Nine comics come from the collaboration with Lorenzo Pastrovicchio, whose vaguely futuristic style made him the perfect fit for the Darkenblot cycle.
Giorgio Cavazzano, being a real legend (the leading figure and main influence to the majority of younger Italian Disney artists), has illustrated eight Casty plots, including the first three Eurasia Tost stories and the two with Estrella Marina. Casty said he feels "honoured" to have been allowed to work with legends such as De Vita and Cavazzano.
Marco Mazzarello has drawn seven Casty stories, while Enrico Faccini has only drawn five but has also been working on the plot with Casty for a story that ended up being drawn by Casty himself. Other noteworthy artists are Roberto Vian (four collabs), Silvio Camboni (three), Alessandro Perina, Andrea Ferraris, Vitale Mangiatordi and Luigi Piras (two each). Only one collaboration so far has been made with Claudio Sciarrone, Ettore Gula, Giuseppe Zironi, Marco Gervasio, Paolo Mottura and Stefano Zanchi.
As a writer, Casty's work can roughly be divided into two categories - criminal stories and adventures. While he has often used fantasy and sci-fi elements, in the same vein as Bill Walsh, one of the most notable examples of which are surely his additions to the Atlantis mythos, he doesn't see himself as particularly capable of writing in those genres. The detective stories usually feature wrong tracks and clever schemes that challenge Mickey as a detective, whereas the adventure stories often have him accompany somebody fighting on the good side against an evil antagonist.
As an artist, Casty mainly shows the influence of Romano Scarpa and Bill Walsh/Floyd Gottfredson. While the Italian Mickey Mouse was never as adult and as (deadly) serious as e.g. the Mickey of Paul Murry, Casty's Mickey is still noticeably jauntier and more carefree than in most other Italian comics (except those that explicitly refer back to Gottfredson). More recent drawings of his have been notable for including impressive splash panels, very detailed and realistic art. Casty also mentions Carl Barks, Rodolfo Cimino and Giorgio Pezzin and from outside the Disney realm, writers such as Jules Verne, H.G. Wells or Isaac Asimov, as influences.