I would like to take this opportunity and spotlight an artist (as well as a writer, penciller, inkist, and colorist) in the comic book world whose work stands out due to its uniqueness. Alex Ross has commissioned pieces for Marvel, DC, and a number of independent publishers.
It is said that Ross’ style is a hybrid of George Perez meets Norman Rockwell. I would say that’s pretty spot on. You definitely see the immense influence Rockwell had on Ross. Alex even spoke on that, “I idealized people like Rockwell, who drew in that photorealistic style,” Ross says. “When I was 16 or so, I said to myself, ‘I want to see that in a comic book!‘” Ross also drew inspiration from an artist you might not think… “Salvador Dali wound up being a big influence, actually,” Ross says. “He had a vivid imagination and a hyper-realistic quality that wasn’t so far removed from comic books. I began to study the classic American illustrators like Rockwell, J. C. Leyendecker. I’ve been called ‘The Norman Rockwell of comics’ more than a hundred times. I’m not going to suggest I’m on the same level as Rockwell, but attempting that sort of realism in my work has always been part of my approach.”
Alex first came to the public’s attention from his work on the 1994 miniseries Marvels, which he collaborated with Kurt Busiek. This was a departure from Ross’ usual work as a cover artist, as Marvels entire story was adorned with that Ross touch. In 1996, Alex teamed up with writer Mark Waid to put out a miniseries entitled Kingdom Come. This DC Comics publication was placed under the company’s Elseworlds imprint to show that this is not an event occurring in the regular DC continuity.
Alex has received awards for his highly detailed work. In 1997, he won the Will Eisner Award for his work on Kingdom Come. The Eisner Award is a prize given for creative achievement in American comic books. In 1998, Ross received the National Cartoonists Society Comic Book Award for Superman: Peace on Earth. Ross also won Comics Buyer’s Guide’s Fan Award for Favorite Painter… not once but seven years in a row. This domination in the category led Comics Buyer’s Guide to eliminate the category. Maggie Thompson, the senior editor of CBG, had this to say about Alex Ross,
“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.”
Below is just a sample of the cover art Alex has done for various publications. Click on each pic for a larger image and enjoy!
Be sure to check out Alex Ross’ website to see more of his work or follow him on Twitter @thealexrossart.