Alex Schomburg

Alex A. Schomburg,[1] born Alejandro Schomburg y Rosa (/ˈʃɒmbɜːrɡ/; May 10, 1905[2] – April 7, 1998),[1] was an American commercial artist and comic-book artist and painter whose career lasted over 70 years.

Alex Schomburg
Alex Schomburg
Alex Schomburg, circa 1940s
BornAlejandro Schomburg y Rosa
May 10, 1905
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
DiedApril 7, 1998 (aged 92)
Beaverton, Oregon, United States
Area(s)Penciller, Inker


Alex Schomburg was born on May 10, 1905 in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico,[2] into a Jewish family,[3] and moved to New York City in the early 1920s, where he began work as a commercial artist with three of his brothers. In 1928, the brothers' partnership ended and Schomburg found work with the National Screen Service, creating lantern slides and working on movie trailers there through 1944.

Alex Schomburg - Harl Vincent - Marvel Science Stories for April-May 1939 - Illustration for Newscast
Illustration for Harl Vincent's Newscast in Marvel Science Stories (May 1939)

During the 1930s, in addition to working for the NSS, Schomburg freelanced Better Publications, producing interior line art for Thrilling Wonder Stories and others of the company's pulp magazines. His skill at drawing anything mechanical soon had him illustrating aviation covers for Flying Aces and electronic equipment for the Hugo Gernsback pulp Radio Craft. Schomburg's first science fiction-themed cover was for the September 1939 issue of Startling Stories.

The following decade, Schomburg freelanced primarily for Timely Comics, the 1940s forerunner of Marvel, displaying his talent for slam-bang action tableau. In dynamic covers featuring Captain America, the Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch, other Timely superheroes or any combination thereof, Schomburg filled every square inch with flamboyant characters, flames, knives, guns, explosions, Nazis, Japanese, and pretty girls in need of rescue. He mastered the use of the airbrush, signing many of his airbrushed covers "Xela". Schomburg drew between five and six hundred covers during this Golden Age of Comic Books.

In the early 1950s, Schomburg left comics and spent the remainder of his career on covers and illustrations for science fiction magazines, astrology publications, and books, including the Winston juvenile series.

In 1977, Schomburg and a few of his fellow Golden Age comic book artists collaborated on the Invaders Annual #1, written by Roy Thomas. Schomburg penciled and inked a 6-page chapter featuring the Golden Age Human Torch. This issue's story, set in the 1940s, contained his first work for Timely/Marvel Comics since the 1940s.

Late in life, Schomburg resided in Hillsboro, Oregon, and died in Beaverton, Oregon on April 7, 1998.[4]


Fantastic October 1961 front
Fantastic (Oct. 1961). Cover art by Schomburg

Critical assessments

Stan Lee wrote:

I've always felt that Alex Schomburg was to comic books what Norman Rockwell was to The Saturday Evening Post. He was totally unique, with an amazing distinctive style. You could never mistake a Schomburg cover for any other artist's. ... I remember hearing Timely Comics publisher Martin Goodman tell me time and again how great a cover illustrator Alex was, and how he wished we had more like him. ... [D]espite the quantity of work we gave him, despite the care and effort that went into every Schomburg cover, I cannot remember Alex ever being late with any illustration.[5]

See also


  1. ^ a b Alexander A Schomburg at the United States Social Security Death Index via Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Alejandro Schomburg Y Rosa at Puerto Rico Civil Registration via Retrieved on March 21, 2015. Note: Pulp historian David Saunders (cite below) gives name as Antonio Alejandro Schomburg.
  3. ^ Leonard Jay Greenspoon & Ronald Simkins, American Judaism in Popular Culture, Creighton University Press (2006), p. 189
  4. ^ Saunders, David (2009). "Alex Schomburg (1905-1998)". Archived from the original on June 21, 2014. Retrieved March 22, 2015.
  5. ^ Lee, Stan. "Full text written by Stan Lee ... about Alex Schomburg". The Official Estate of Alex Schomburg Site: Press. Archived from the original on February 5, 2015. Retrieved March 22, 2015.

Further reading

  • Gustafson, Jon, ed. (1986). Chroma: The Art of Alex Schomburg. Poughkeepsie, New York: Father Tree Press.

External links

1905 in art

The year 1905 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1998 in comics

Notable events of 1998 in comics. See also List of years in comics.

All Select Comics

All Select Comics is an American comic book series published by Timely Comics, the 1940s predecessor of Marvel Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books. An omnibus series with several different superhero and other features each issue, it primarily starred Captain America and the original Human Torch, two of Timely's most popular characters, as well as fellow Timely star the Sub-Mariner in several.

All Winners Comics

All Winners Comics was the name of two American comic book series of the 1940s, both published by Marvel Comics' predecessor, Timely Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. A superhero anthology comic in both cases, they variously featured such star characters as Captain America, the original Human Torch, and the Sub-Mariner. All Winners Comics was also the venue for two full-length stories of Marvel's first superhero team, the (hyphenated) All-Winners Squad.

Daring Mystery Comics

Daring Mystery Comics is an American comic-book series published by Timely Comics, a predecessor of Marvel Comics, during the 1930-1940s period fans and historians call the Golden Age of Comic Books. Primarily a superhero anthology, it ran eight issues from 1940 to 1942, and is notable for work by Carl Burgos, Bill Everett, Alex Schomburg, and the team of Joe Simon & Jack Kirby.

Daring Mystery Comics #8 (Jan. 1942) features the first appearance of the Golden Age superhero Citizen V, who decades later appears in flashback in the Marvel series Thunderbolts, where his family and the Citizen V identity play a major part. A small handful of other Daring Mystery superheroes have been revived or have made guest appearances in modern-day titles, such as the World War II-set flashback series The Invaders and the feature "Liberty Legion" in Marvel Premiere.

Judy of the Jungle

Judy of the Jungle is a fictional character from the Golden Age of Comics; she appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. She first appeared in print in Exciting Comics #55 (May 1947).

Marooned on Mars

Marooned on Mars is a juvenile science fiction novel written by American writer Lester del Rey. It was published by John C. Winston Co. in 1952 with illustrations by Alex Schomburg.

Marooned on Mars was commissioned as one of the first five volumes in Winston Science Fiction, a series of 35 novels published in the 1950s for a readership of teen-aged boys. The typical protagonist in these books was a boy in his late teens who was proficient in the art of electronics, a hobby that was easily available to the readers.

Miss Masque

Miss Masque is a fictional masked crime-fighter. She originally appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics, and was later revived by AC Comics, America's Best Comics, and Dynamite Entertainment.

Missing Men of Saturn

Missing Men of Saturn is a juvenile science fiction novel, published first in 1953, by astronomer and author Robert S. Richardson (as Philip Latham) with cover illustration by Alex Schomburg. The story concerns Dale Sutton's mission to the dreaded planet Saturn from which no one has ever returned. Missing Men of Saturn is a part of the Winston Science Fiction set, a series of juvenile novels which have become famous for their influence on young science fiction readers and their exceptional cover illustrations by award-winning artists.

Phantasia Press

Phantasia Press Inc. was an American small publisher formed by Sidney Altus and Alex Berman publishing short-run, hardcover limited editions of science fiction and fantasy books. It was active from 1978 to 1989. The company was based in West Bloomfield, Michigan. The publisher specialized in limited quality first hardcover editions of authors prominent in the field, particularly Philip José Farmer, C. J. Cherryh, L. Sprague de Camp and Alan Dean Foster. Some of its offerings were true first editions; others, the first hardcover editions of works previously published in paperback. In a few instances there had been previous hardcover editions.

The press started publication with a reprint of Wall of Serpents (L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt) and then The Reign of Wizardry (Jack Williamson).

Authors published by Phantasia were Poul Anderson, Isaac Asimov (2 books), Steven Barnes, David Brin (2 books), Fredric Brown, Orson Scott Card, C. J. Cherryh (7 books), Arthur C. Clarke, Catherine Crook de Camp (2 books), L. Sprague de Camp (5 books), Harlan Ellison (2 books), Philip José Farmer (9 books), Alan Dean Foster (5 books), William Gibson, Stephen King, Larry Niven (3 books), Jerry Pournelle, Fletcher Pratt, Mike Resnick (2 books), Spider Robinson, William Shatner, Robert Silverberg, Jack Williamson (2 books), and Roger Zelazny.

Artists contributing cover art to Phantasia editions included Randall Asplund, Wayne D. Barlowe, George Barr (3 covers), Doug Beekman, David A. Cherry (7 covers), Alex Ebel (3 covers), Stephen Fabian, Frank Kelly Freas (2 covers), Kevin Eugene Johnson (6 covers), Eric Ladd, Paul Lehr (4 covers), Carl Lundgren, Jane Mackenzie, Chris Miller, Rowena Morrill (2 covers), Phil Parks, John Pound, Victoria Poyser (3 covers), Kirk Reinert, Romas, Alex Schomburg, Barclay Shaw (2 covers), Darrell K. Sweet, Vaclav Vaca, Ed Valigursky, and Michael Whelan.

Princess Pantha

Princess Pantha is a fictional jungle heroine that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. The character was revived twice; first by AC Comics, and second by writer Alan Moore for his Tom Strong spin-off, Terra Obscura. She first appeared in Thrilling Comics #56 (October 1946).


Pyroman is a fictional superhero that appeared in comic books published by Nedor Comics. His first appearance was in Startling Comics #18 (December 1942), with art by Jack Binder. This character was latter revived by both AC Comics and Alan Moore (for America's Best Comics).

Rocket Jockey (novel)

Rocket Jockey is a juvenile science fiction novel by Philip St. John (a pseudonym of Lester del Rey) with cover illustration by Alex Schomburg. The story follows the heroic efforts of young man Jerry Blaine in his efforts to win the famous rocket race, the Armstrong Classic. Rocket Jockey is a part of the Winston Science Fiction set, a series of juvenile novels which have become famous for their influence on young science fiction readers and their exceptional cover illustrations by award-winning artists.

Rocket to Luna

Rocket to Luna is a juvenile science fiction novel by prolific author and screenwriter Evan Hunter (as Richard Marsten) published in 1953 by The John C. Winston Company with cover illustration by Alex Schomburg. The story follows the adventures of the main character Ted Baker after he mistakenly replaces a member of the first lunar expedition at the last moment before the rocket leaves for the moon. Rocket to Luna is a part of the Winston Science Fiction set, a series of juvenile novels which have become famous for their influence on young science fiction readers and their exceptional cover illustrations by award-winning artists.


Schomburg may refer to:

a family name

Alex Schomburg (1905–1998), prolific American commercial and comic book artist and painter whose career lasted over 70 years

Arturo Alfonso Schomburg (1874–1938), Puerto Rican historian, writer and activist in the United States

Jan Schomburg (born 1976), German film director and screenwriter

Wolfgang Schomburg (born 1948), the first German Judge at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslaviaa company

SCHOMBURG GmbH, Detmold, Germany - an internationally organized group that offers products and services for buildingsa place

the tiny village around a former castle called Schomburg, close to Wangen im Allgäu in southern Germany

Shock Gibson

Shock Gibson is a fictional comic book superhero who first appeared in Speed Comics #1 (Oct. 1939), from Brookwood Publications (a company later absorbed by Harvey Comics). He was created by artist Maurice Scott, who drew it through issue #11, and an unknown writer. His 1939 introduction makes him one of comic books' earliest superheroes.

In the debut story, "The Human Dynamo", scientist Robert Charles Gibson perfects a formula that allows people to directly store, generate, and control electricity, and tests this formula on himself. The formula increases his strength, gives him the power to fire bolts of lightning, and grants him the power of flight.

He is one of the several superhero characters to join the U.S. Army in the wake of World War II, fighting the Japanese military forces both in and out of costume. Shock Gibson teams up with other Harvey Comics characters such as the Black Cat, Captain Freedom, Tedd Parish, and the Girl Commandos (mostly in two-page text stories). The character remained in print in various Harvey publications through 1948.

Other artists associated with the character includes Al Avison, Arthur Cazeneuve, and the possibly pseudonymous Peter Jay, who introduced a new costume in Speed Comics #12 (March 1941).

Shock Gibson is among the public domain characters Image Comics revived in anthology title The Next Issue Project in 2007.

U.S.A. Comics

U.S.A. Comics was an American comic-book series published by Marvel Comics' 1930-1940s predecessor, Timely Comics, during the period fans and historians call the Golden Age of comic books.

A superhero anthology running 17 issues cover-dated August 1941 to Fall 1945, it showcased early work by industry legends Jack Kirby and Stan Lee, and famed cartoonist Basil Wolverton, introduced the Whizzer and other characters, and for much of its run starred Captain America during that long-running character's World War II height of popularity.

Winston Science Fiction

Winston Science Fiction was a series of 37 American juvenile science fiction books published by the John C. Winston Company of Philadelphia from 1952 to 1960 and by its successor Holt, Rinehart & Winston in 1960 and 1961. It included 35 novels by various writers, including many who became famous in the SF field, such as Poul Anderson, Arthur C. Clarke, Ben Bova, and Lester del Rey. There was also one anthology, The Year After Tomorrow, edited by del Rey and others. There was one non-fiction book Rockets through Space: The Story of Man's Preparations to Explore the Universe by del Rey which details the factual science and technology of rocket flight. Many of the dust jackets became science fiction classics; the artists included Hugo Award winners Ed Emshwiller and Virgil Finlay along with Hugo nominees such as Mel Hunter and Alex Schomburg.


Xela may refer to:

Xela (musician), an electronic-music artist.

Quetzaltenango, a Guatemalan city which is more commonly referred to as Xela.

XELA-AM (1941–2002), a Mexican classical music radio station.

Xela, the signature that American artist Alex Schomburg used for his airbrushed covers for comic books.

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