Alex Ross and Jim Lee
Alex Ross was born in Portland, Oregon, and raised in Lubbock, Texas. He made his artistic debut at three when, according to his mother, he grabbed a piece of paper and drew the contents of a television commercial he’d seen just moments earlier. Comic book illustrators George Perez and Berni Wrightson are listed as inspirations for Alex, when, at an early age, he began to draw his own comics. At 17, Alex went to Chicago’s American Academy of Art. There, he studied classic surrealists such as Salvador Dali who would later become influential toward Alex’s comic book style. Having been called the photorealist of comic books, Alex also studied Norman Rockwell and J.C. Leyendecker. After graduating the American Academy of Art, Alex, in 1993, collaborated with Marvel Comics editor Kurt Busiek to create Marvels, a graphic novel, which examined the Marvel superheroes from the perspective of ordinary men. The book’s critical success demonstrated Alex’s affection for the characters through both detail and believability. Marvels in addition to Alex’s Kingdom Come and Uncle Sam – have been collected into a single volume that remains in print today. In 1998, Warner Bros. Studio Stores Galleries began promoting Alex’s work with fine art prints on paper and canvas. On the 60th anniversaries of Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, Alex completed fully painted, tabloid-sized books that celebrated the birthday for each superhero. Alex’s talents have also allowed him other projects, namely the creation of a limited-edition promotional poster for the 2002 Academy Awards. The demand for Alex’s work has grown steadily. Without a doubt, he is one of the most gifted talents in comic fine art today. It is said comics represent nearly every facet of life. The superior, the downtrodden, the out-of-luck and lucky rub shoulders with the rich, powerful, helpless and of course alien. If the Ivy League needed representation in comics, this would come in the personage of Jim Lee. Graduating from Princeton with a degree in medicine, Jim, who originally is from South Korea, decided to try his hand at comic book art. This was a good decision, for In 1986, while working for Marvel Comics, Jim created Alpha Flight. This series regarded Jim as a critical success, and quickly put his name on the comic book map. But by no means could Alpha Flight compare to the success Jim garnered with the X-Men, a series which today remains as the best-selling comic of all time. With these successes under wing, Jim left Marvel in 1992 to form Wildstorm Productions, where he created and illustrated WILDC.A.T.S, Stormwatch, Deathblow, Union, Backlash, Team 7 and GEN13. Jim additionally was the co-founder of Image Comics. In 1998, Wildstorm became part of DC Comics, where Jim continues to act as editorial director. Known for his distinct “cross hatching” style, Jim’s pieces have been defined as moody and insightful. It is as if one can actually see the characters thinking. Earning much respect from his peers, Jim’s efforts have gone onto import itself into such newer comics as Divine Rights, while also revitalizing Marvel Comics’ Heroes Reborn series, featuring Captain America, Avengers, Iron Man and the Fantastic Four.