Nelson Alexander Ross (born January 22, 1970) is an American comic book writer/artist known primarily for his painted interiors, covers, and design work. He first became known with the 1994 miniseries Marvels, on which he collaborated with writer Kurt Busiek for Marvel Comics. He has since done a variety of projects for both Marvel and DC Comics, such as the 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come, which Ross co-wrote. Since then he has done covers and character designs for Busiek's series Astro City, and various projects for Dynamite Entertainment. His feature film work includes concept and narrative art for Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, and DVD packaging art for the M. Night Shyamalan film Unbreakable. He has done covers for TV Guide, promotional artwork for the Academy Awards, posters and packaging design for video games, and his renditions of superheroes have been merchandised as action figures.
Ross' style has been said to exhibit "a Norman-Rockwell-meets-George-Pérez vibe", and has been praised for its realistic, human depictions of classic comic book characters. His rendering style, his attention to detail, and the perceived tendency of his characters to be depicted staring off into the distance in cover images has been satirized in Mad magazine. Because of the time it takes Ross to produce his art, he primarily serves as a plotter and/or cover artist. Comics Buyer's Guide Senior Editor Maggie Thompson, commenting on that publication's retirement of the Favorite Painter award from their CBG Fan Awards due to Ross' domination of that category, stated in 2010, "Ross may simply be the field's Favorite Painter, period. That's despite the fact that many outstanding painters are at work in today's comic books."
Ross in 2003
|Born||Nelson Alexander Ross|
January 22, 1970
Portland, Oregon, U.S.
|Area(s)||Painter and illustrator|
Alex Ross was born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Lubbock, Texas, by his minister father, Clark, and his mother, Lynette, a commercial artist from whom he would learn many of the trademarks of his artistic style. Ross first began drawing at age three, and was first influenced by superheroes when he discovered Spider-Man on an episode of the children's TV series The Electric Company.
He would later be influenced by comics artists such as John Romita Sr., Neal Adams, George Pérez and Bernie Wrightson, and attempted to imitate Pérez' style when he did superhero work, and Wrightson's when he did what he calls "serious" work. By age 16, Ross discovered the realistic work of illustrators such as Andrew Loomis and Norman Rockwell, and envisioned one day seeing such styles applied to comic book art.
At age 17, Ross began studying painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where his mother had studied. During his years there, Ross discovered the work of other artists like J. C. Leyendecker and Salvador Dalí, whose "hyper-realistic quality", Ross saw, was not that far removed from that of comics. It was during this time that he formed the idea to paint his own comic books. Ross graduated after three years.
After graduating, Ross took a job at an advertising agency as a storyboard artist. Ross' first published comic book work was the 1990 five-issue miniseries, Terminator: The Burning Earth, written by Ron Fortier and published by NOW Comics. Ross created all of the art, from pencils through coloring for the series. He performed similar work on a variety of titles over the next few years. His first work for Marvel Comics was to have been printed in the science-fiction anthology series Open Space #5 but the title was cancelled with issue #4 (August 1990). Ross' story was printed in 1999 as a special supplement to Wizard's Alex Ross Special. In 1993, he completed his first painted superhero assignment, the cover of a Superman novel, Superman: Doomsday & Beyond.
During this time, Ross met writer Kurt Busiek, and the two began submitting proposals for series that would feature paintings as their internal art. Marvel agreed to a project that would tell much of the history of the Marvel Universe from the perspective of an ordinary person. That limited series, Marvels, was released in 1994, and chronicled the life of a photojournalist, as he reacted to living in a world of superheroes and villains.
Busiek, Ross, and penciller Brent Anderson created Astro City, first published by Image Comics in 1995 and later by WildStorm Comics. The series features an original superhero world and continues the theme of Marvels, exploring how ordinary people, superheroes and villains react to a world where the fantastic is commonplace. Ross paints the covers and helps set the costumes and the general look and feel for the series, which has been published sporadically in recent years.
In 1996, Ross worked with writer Mark Waid on the DC Comics limited series Kingdom Come, which presents a possible future for the DC Universe, in which Superman and several other classic superheroes return from retirement to tame a generation of brutal anti-heroes. The work featured Ross' redesigned versions of many DC characters, as well as a new generation of characters. Ross co-created the original character Magog, patterning his appearance and costume on Cable and Shatterstar, two characters created by Rob Liefeld. DC Comics writer and executive Paul Levitz observed that "Waid's deep knowledge of the heroes' pasts served them well, and Ross' unique painted art style made a powerful statement about the reality of the world they built."
Ross followed Kingdom Come with Uncle Sam, a non-superhero work for DC's Vertigo line, an experimental work that examined the dark side of American history. Ross drew the lenticular covers for Superman: Forever #1 (June 1998) and Batman: No Man's Land #1 (March 1999). Between 1998 and 2003, writer Paul Dini and Ross produced annual tabloid-sized editions celebrating the 60th anniversaries of DC Comics' Superman (Peace on Earth), Batman (War on Crime), Shazam (Power of Hope), and Wonder Woman (Spirit of Truth), as well as two specials featuring the Justice League, Secret Origins and Liberty and Justice.
In the early 2000s, with writer Jim Krueger, Ross plotted and designed characters for a trilogy of Marvel limited series, Earth X, Universe X, and Paradise X, which combined dozens of Marvel characters from various time periods.
When M. Night Shyamalan's film, Unbreakable was released to video in 2001, the DVD included an insert with Ross' original art, as well as a commentary by Ross, regarding superheroes, in the movie's special features.
In 2001, Ross won acclaim for his work on special comic books benefiting the families of those killed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, including his portraits of paramedics, police and firefighters. He has designed DC merchandise, including posters, dinner plates, and statues. In late 2001, Ross painted four covers to the December 8, 2001 TV Guide, which depicted Tom Welling, Kristin Kreuk and Michael Rosenbaum of the TV series Smallville, and Superman.
Ross designed a series of costumes for the 2002 film Spider-Man, though they were not used in the film. In the film's video game tie-in, as an Easter egg, it is possible to unlock a playable version of Ross' Spider-Man design. When using this, the Green Goblin will feature one of Ross' unused character outfits. Ross' design was featured as an unlockable costume and available in a white version in the PlayStation game Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.
In early 2002, Ross designed the promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards, which depicted Oscar perched atop the First National Building. The Academy loaned Ross an actual Oscar statuette for a week for him to use as reference for the painting. Ross stated that he photographed members of his family as if they were receiving it. That same year, he was one of four artists who depicted Spider-Man on one of the covers to the April 27, 2002 issue of TV Guide as a promotional tie-in to the feature film Spider-Man.
In 2003, Pantheon Books published the coffee table book Mythology: The DC Comics Art of Alex Ross, written and designed by Chip Kidd, and featuring a foreword written by M. Night Shyamalan. In late 2005, a paperback version of the book was published to include new artwork by Ross, including sketches for his Justice mini-series. Also in 2004, Ross designed 15 paintings for the opening credits of the film Spider-Man 2. The paintings presented key elements from the first film. Ross later donated the paintings to be auctioned off on eBay to benefit the United Cancer Front.
In August 2005, Ross worked again with writer Jim Krueger and penciller Doug Braithwaite on 12-issue, bi-monthly limited series Justice for DC Comics. The series focuses on the enemies of the Justice League of America banding together to in an effort to defeat them.
The cover of the "Savior of the Universe Edition" DVD of the 1980 film Flash Gordon, released on August 7, 2007, features a cover painted by Ross. An avid fan of the film, he starred in a featurette on the DVD where he discussed the movie, which he names as his favorite movie of all time.
In 2008, Ross embarked on projects focusing on Golden Age characters: Project Superpowers with Jim Krueger for Dynamite Entertainment. That same year, Ross wrote and illustrated Avengers/Invaders. It features Marvel characters but was published by Dynamite Entertainment. The story pits World War II versions of Captain America, Namor, and other classic war characters against the modern Avengers groups. Late 2008 saw the release of two Ross prints that were made into T-shirts: one, "Bush Sucking Democracy Dry", featuring George W. Bush as a vampire sucking the blood from Lady Liberty, and the other, "Time for a Change", featuring Barack Obama as a superhero. The latter was made into a T-shirt, with which Obama was seen posing at a public event. Ross painted the "Kollectors Edition" cover for the console game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. The artwork was released on October 9, 2008, as was a video chronicling Ross' process of painting it. Ross is featured in his own segment on the Blu-ray/DVD included in the package.
Other Ross projects for Dynamite include acting as the creative director on The Phantom comic book series. and teaming with Kurt Busiek on Kirby: Genesis, an eight-issue miniseries which debuted in 2011. The series was their first full collaboration since Marvels 17 years previous, and features a large group of Jack Kirby's creator-owned characters, the rights to which were acquired by Dynamite, such as Silver Star, Captain Victory, Galaxy Green, Tiger 21 and the Ninth Men. Ross handled the series' co-plotting, designs, and covers, apart from overseeing the book overall with Busiek, who was the writer.
In 2012 Ross drew promotional artwork of Ratonhnhaké:ton, the main character of the video game Assassin's Creed III, used on the cover of the April 2012 issue of Game Informer and the collectible steelbook case provided with certain editions of the game. that same year, Ross returned to interior painted art with Masks, a story in which the Shadow, the Spider, the Green Hornet, Zorro and others join forces to combat a mutual threat.
In 2013 Ross created an exclusive GameStop pre-order poster for the video game Watch Dogs, which was scheduled for debut November 19 of that year, but has since been delayed to 2014. The game is set in Ross' home of Chicago, which Ross emphasized in the image by placing the Willis Tower and the elevated train tracks in the background.
With Marvel's "All-New, All-Different Marvel" relaunch, Ross did a variety of covers for the main comics in the relaunch such as the cover for The Amazing Spider-Man and Squadron Supreme.
In 2015, following the conclusion of that year's "Secret Wars" storyline, Ross designed the high-tech variation of Spider-Man's costume that the character wore during Dan Slott and Giuseppe Camuncoli's run on The Amazing-Spider-Man.
DC Direct, the collectibles division of DC Comics, has produced three sets of action figures from the comic book Kingdom Come based on Alex Ross' artwork. The first set of figures included Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Hawkman. The second set included Batman, Red Robin, Captain Marvel, and Kid Flash. The last set included Magog, Flash, Armored Wonder Woman, and Deadman. An exclusive figure of Red Arrow was released through ToyFare magazine. DC Direct also released several other Ross-designed characters through their Elseworlds toylines. These figures included the Spectre, Norman McCay, Jade, Nightstar, Aquaman, and Blue Beetle. Ross designed the costume the current incarnation of Batwoman wears; this character has been released in action-figure form by DC Direct as part of its "52" line of toys.
Ross won the Comics Buyer's Guide's CBG Fan Award for Favorite Painter seven years in a row, resulting in that publication's retirement of that category. Comics Buyer's Guide Senior Editor Maggie Thompson commented in regard to this in 2010, "Ross may simply be the field's Favorite Painter, period. That's despite the fact that many outstanding painters are at work in today's comic books."
I was personally influenced by what John Romita or Neal Adams brought to art.
Marvels was a four-issue prestige-format graphic novel, written by Kurt Busiek, illustriously painted by then relative newcomer Alex Ross, and printed on high-quality paper.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Under the limitless possibilities of DC's Elseworlds label, Ross and Waid crafted a tale of biblical proportions.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
From 1998 to 2003, [Paul Dini and Alex Ross] produced a series of fully painted oversized books featuring DC's biggest heroes.
Set in its own Elseworlds-like alternate reality, this 12-issue series became the next big project for show-stopping painter Alex Ross.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
Alexander Ross (15 September 1879 – 25 June 1952), generally known as Alec Ross and sometimes as Alex or Aleck, was a Scottish professional golfer. He was a native of Dornoch and learned his golf in his home country, but like many British professional golfers of his era he spent many years working as a club professional in the United States. While employed by the Brae Burn Country Club, near Boston, he won the 1907 U.S. Open at the St. Martin's course at Philadelphia Cricket Club. He competed in the U.S. Open seventeen times in total, and finished in the top-10 five times. His other tournament wins include the North and South Open six times (1902, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1910, 1915), the Massachusetts Open six times (1906, 1907, 1908, 1909, 1910, 1912) and the Swiss Open three times (1923, 1925, 1926).
Ross's older brother Donald also moved to the U.S. and was one of the most celebrated of all golf course designers. Alec was the professional at the Detroit Golf Club in Detroit, Michigan for 31 years. He died in Miami, Florida.Alex Ross (American football)
Alex Ross (born September 25, 1992) is an American professional gridiron football quarterback playing for the San Diego Fleet of the Alliance of American Football. He previously played for BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He played college football at Coastal Carolina.Alex Ross (cricketer)
Alexander Ian Ross (born 17 April 1992) is an Australian cricketer. The son of a cricket coach, Ross started playing domestic cricket for South Australia in 2012, having moved to the state in 2009 with his father. He began to rise to prominence in the 2014-15 season when, after improved form in both first-class and List A cricket, he began playing for the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League. In his first match of BBL|05 he scored 65 runs off 31 balls, making excellent use of the sweep shot and earning the moniker "sweepologist". He currently represents South Australia in first-class and one-day cricket and plays for the Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League.Alex Ross (music critic)
Alex Ross (born 1968) is an American music critic. He has been on the staff of The New Yorker magazine since 1996, and he has written the books The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century (2007) and Listen to This (2011).Alex Ross (rugby union)
Alec Ross (4 November 1905 – 30 August 1996) was an Australian state and national representative rugby union player who captained the Wallabies in thirteen Test matches in 1933-34.Alex Ross Perry
Alex Ross Perry (born July 14, 1984) is an American film director, screenwriter and actor.Cyclone (DC Comics)
Cyclone (real name Maxine Hunkel) is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe. She is the granddaughter of the original Red Tornado and a member of the Justice Society of America. Cyclone was created by Mark Waid, Alex Ross, Geoff Johns and Dale Eaglesham.For All Kings
For All Kings is the eleventh studio album by American thrash metal band Anthrax, released on February 26, 2016. It is the band's first studio album to feature Jon Donais on lead guitar, replacing Rob Caggiano. The album artwork was designed by Alex Ross.Justice (DC Comics)
Justice is a twelve-issue American comic book limited series published bimonthly by DC Comics from August 2005 through June 2007, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, with art also by Ross and Doug Braithwaite. Its story involves the superhero team known as the Justice League of America confronting the supervillain team the Legion of Doom after every supervillain is motivated by a shared dream that seems to be a vision of the planet's destruction, which they intend to avoid.Kid Flash (Iris West)
Kid Flash (Iris West II) is a fictional superheroine in the alternate future of Kingdom Come in the DC Comics universe. She first appeared in Kingdom Come #3 (July 1996).Kingdom Come (comics)
Kingdom Come is a four-issue comic book miniseries published in 1996 by DC Comics under their Elseworlds imprint. It was written by Mark Waid and Alex Ross and painted in gouache by Ross, who also developed the concept from an original idea. This Elseworlds story is a deconstructionist tale set in a future that deals with a growing conflict between the visibly out-of-touch "traditional" superheroes, and a growing population of largely amoral and dangerously irresponsible new vigilantes, in many cases the offspring of the traditional heroes. Between these two groups is Batman and his assembled team, who attempt to contain the escalating disaster, foil the machinations of Lex Luthor, and prevent a world-ending superhuman war.Lightning (DC Comics)
Lightning is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Not pinpointed with direct reference, Lightning first appears in the miniseries Kingdom Come in 1996, written by Mark Waid and illustrated by Alex Ross. The character is given official introduction in Justice Society of America vol. 3 #12 (March 2008), written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Dale Eaglesham in the Modern Age of Comic Books.
Born Jennifer Pierce, she was born a metahuman in the DC Universe. She is the second child of superhero Black Lightning and the younger sibling of Anissa Pierce, the heroine known as Thunder. Forbidden to use their abilities until completing their educations, Pierce was put in contact and later becomes a member of the superhero team the Justice Society of America. Her father orchestrates this so Jennifer would not endure the hardships her sister did while transitioning into crimefighting. She possesses abilities similar to her father's of electrical generation and manipulation as well as flight. Thus far in her narrative, Pierce has not gained full control of her abilities.
Along with comic books, Lightning has made appearances in various television shows and the character is portrayed by China Anne McClain in the live action series Black Lightning.Magog (comics)
Magog is a fictional character in the comic books published by DC Comics, generally as an enemy and foil personality of Superman. He first appeared in Kingdom Come #1 (May 1996), and was created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. In 2009, Magog was ranked as IGN's 75th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time. In Kingdom Come, Magog's lack of conventional heroic qualities of idealism puts him at odds with Superman's morality. After taking over Superman's place within the world's superhero community, his reckless actions with other would-be superheroes ultimately caused a nuclear disaster in the Midwestern United States; overwhelmed by guilt, he then realizes that Superman was right and seeks to atone for his crimes. In 2008, a parallel universe version of the character is introduced in DC Comics' main continuity; his destiny seemingly parallel to the original version's and some fear him due to their awareness of his counterpart's actions, yet granting him a benefit of doubt to prove himself as a true hero differing from his doppelgänger.Music of Mass Destruction
Music of Mass Destruction is Anthrax's second full-length live album, and is packaged as one CD and one DVD. The songs were recorded on December 5 and 6, 2003, during performances at Chicago's Metro.
Cover art for the album was done by famous comic artist Alex Ross.Red Robin (comics)
Red Robin is a name that has been used by several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. In current DC Comics continuity, Red Robin is Tim Drake (under the alias of Tim Wayne). Tim Drake was the third Robin before assuming the Red Robin persona.
In the future timeline of the 1996 miniseries Kingdom Come, a middle-aged Dick Grayson reclaims the Robin mantle and becomes Red Robin. His uniform is closer to Batman's in design than any previous Robin uniform. Red Robin then reappeared in promotional material for the DC Countdown event; eventually, it was revealed that this Red Robin was not Dick Grayson, but rather Jason Todd, who appeared under the cape and cowl. During the "Scattered Pieces" tie-in to the Batman R.I.P. storyline Ulysses Armstrong briefly appears as Red Robin. In 2009, a new ongoing series was introduced titled Red Robin.Superman (Kingdom Come)
The Superman of Kingdom Come (usually referred to as Kingdom Come Superman) is a fictional character, an alternate version of Superman in the DC Comics universe. First introduced in Kingdom Come #1 (May 1996), Kingdom Come Superman was created by Mark Waid and Alex Ross.We've Come for You All
We've Come for You All is the ninth studio album by American thrash metal band Anthrax. It was released on May 6, 2003 through Nuclear Blast in Europe and Sanctuary Records in North America. This was the first Anthrax record to feature Rob Caggiano on lead guitar and their final studio album with John Bush on vocals. The album was recorded over a one-year span at the BearTracks Recording Studio in Suffern, New York. The cover art was designed by comic book artist Alex Ross, while the production was handed by Scrap 60 Productions team. The Who vocalist Roger Daltrey and Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell made guest appearances on the album.
The album received positive reviews by contemporary music critics, with About.com crediting it for "getting the band back on track". Despite this, the album only reached number 122 on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 10,000 copies. To date, We've Come For You All has sold over 62,000 copies in the United States. It was nominated for Outstanding Hard Rock Album at the 2004 California Music Awards, but lost to Blink 182's self-titled album.Windhill and Wrose
Windhill and Wrose (population 14,541 - 2001 UK census) is a ward within the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council in the county of West Yorkshire, England, named after the districts of Windhill and Wrose around which it is drawn.
The population as of the 2011 census had increased to 16,408.
As well as Windhill and Wrose, the ward includes the districts of Owlet, Bolton Woods, West Royd and Wood End.