Nelson (Alex) Alexander Ross is a comic book illistrator and writer. He is known for his work with Kurt Busiek´s Astro City and works such as " Kingdom Come". He is considered one of the greates photorealists of our time and possibly of all time. He was born on January 22, 1970 to Clark and Lynette Ross in Portland, Oregon and is the youngest of four siblings. In 1978, Alex’s family moved to Lubbock, Texas, where his father, a minister, would lead a United Church of Christ ministry and where Alex would spend the rest of his youth.
Comic book illustrators who brought a more realistic appeal to comics, such as George Perez and Bernis Wrightson, are listed as inspirations for young Alex, who at a very early age, was himself writing and drawing his own comics. At 17, Alex went to Chicago's American Academy of Art, where he studied classic surrealists such as Salvador Dali who would later become influential toward Alex's comic book style. Ross has been called the photorealist of comic books, having also studied Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker.
After graduating from the American Academy of Art, one of Alexs first major works in the comic industry was a collaboration in 1993 with Marvel Comics editor Kurt Busiek to create the graphic novel “ Marvels”, which told the story of many of the Marvel superheroes from the perspective of an everyday person. Perhaps Alex Ross’s most famous piece of work so far, “Kingdom Come”, is set in the realm of DC comics heroes and is about a minister (whose very image is based completely on Alex’s real life minister father) who begins to have apocalyptic visions of a future war between the super humans and is told by a divine entity that it is his duty to decide the outcome. “Kingdom Come” is considered a modern masterpiece by some and solidified Alex as one of comics biggest icons.
In 1998, Warner Bros. Studios began promoting Ross' work with fine art prints on paper and canvas. On the 60th anniversary of Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Ross completed fully-painted, tabloid sized books that celebrated the birthday for each superhero. Ross has worked on numerous projects including the creation of a limited edition promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards, cover designs for TV Guide Magazines
Alex Ross is also associated with the comic series Astro City, which was created by Kurt Busiek and co-created and illustrated by Brent Anderson. Alex’s role with Astro City is character designs and covers
Characters created by Alex Ross
In Other Media
- DC Direct produced a series of action figures based on Alex Ross' designs from Kingdom Come.
- DC Direct later released a very expansive series of action figures based on Alex Ross' designs for the Justice maxi-series. The series included the core members of the Justice League, as well the Legion of Doom and other characters like Supergirl, John Stewart and Shazam.
- Hasbro's Marvel Legends line featured Alex Ross-designed versions of Iron Man, Captain America and Thor as part of a special sub-line designed to celebrate Marvel's 80th anniversary.
Film and Television
- Alex Ross provided insert art for the DVD release of M. Night Shyamalan's superhero film Unbreakable. Ross also provided audio commentary for one of the DVD's special features.
- Alex Ross painted special Smallville promotional covers for TV Guide in late 2001.
- Alex Ross did costume design work for Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man movie. Though his Spider-Man design ultimately went unused, it was included as an alternate costume in the film's video game adaptation.
- Ross designed a promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards.
- In 2005, Ross provided cover art for ADV's DVD release of the 70s Gatchaman anime series.
- In 2013, Ross painted a promotional poster for the fourth season of The Walking Dead.
- As mentioned above, Alex Ross' unused cinematic Spider-Man costume was included as an unlockable outfit in the film's video game adaptation. The Alex Ross Spider-Man suit was also included as an alternate costume in Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro.
- Alex Ross produced an exclusive lithograph included in the special edition release of the Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe fighting game.
- Alex Ross produced promotional art of protagonist Connor Kenway to promote Assassin's Creed III.
- Alex Ross also did promotional art for the game Watch Dogs.