World’s Finest Comic Book Artists: Alex Ross
World’s Finest this week brings you one of the most accomplished artists to have ever graced the comic book medium – Alex Ross. Alex’s style is unique amongst his peers, with a painterly,realistic form that manages to bring these fantastic other worldly characters to life like never before.
Nelson Alexander Ross, was born in Portland, Oregon in January 1970, though he was raised from a very young age in Texas by his minister father and his mother who was a commercial artist, from whom he received his initial inspiration and love of the arts. Alex started drawing from the age of 3, the artists he cited as having the biggest impact for his unique style were John Romita, Neal Adams and especially George Perez, whose technique he attempted to imitate when he started to draw on a more serious level when he hit his teen years.
Alongside these masters of comic art, Alex also had a love of more realistic artists such as Norman Rockwell, his work has often been cited as being very much a cross between both Perez and Rockwell, giving us an almost unmatched hyper-realistic form of extraordinary comic art. His first comic book work after graduating from the American Academy of Art in Chicago was for Now Comic’s ‘Terminator: Burning Earth’, a five issue mini-series released in 1990. Alex created the entirety of the artwork for the series from the initial pencils, through the inking and colouring. He met comic writer Kurt Busiek in this early period of his career, who, impressed with his visual style brought him on board as lead artist for Marvels and later for Image Comics’ Astro City.
In 1996, Alex teamed with Mark Waid on the DC Comics’ mini series Kingdom Come, an alternate version of DC’s universe, Alex’s work featured his own redesigns of the popular heroes and villains, and was a massive hit with the fans, propelling Alex into an almost overnight sensation of the comics world. Alex continued to work on some of DC’s biggest names including, Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman, and also did some work for their Vertigo line of comics.
Alex continues to work in the comic book industry today, with his adroit style in huge demand amongst various publishers such as, DC Comics, Image, Dynamite and Marvel.