With his grandfather making wooden toys and his mother working as a commercial artist, Alex Ross was brought up within an artistic family. His life changed forever after watching an episode of the TV program 'The Electric Company' which featured the Spider-Man. The bright coloured characters performing good and fantastic deeds inspired him to be part of their creation and bringing them to life through art.
Alex Ross also credits his own father for showing superhero qualities through performing selfless deeds towards the ones in need. Helping in homeless shelters, running a children shelter and contributing to charities, Alex Ross's father Clark reinforced the idea that someone does not become a superhero through physical strength, but through the acts they perform for others.
Growing up, Alex Ross began to read comics and took his artistic abilities seriously. Admiring the works by book illustrators George Perez and Berni Wrightson, Alex Ross describes them as the opposite ends of the spectrum with Wrightson, creator of 'Swamp Thing' using delicate lines, shadow and tone whilst Perez had an open style and contour lines with very little shadow. Imitating Perez's style for superheroes and Wrightson's for 'serious' work, Alex Ross soon discovered that there wasn't only one way to go.
Following in his mother's footsteps, Alex Ross went to Chicago at the age of 17 to study painting at the American Academy of Art. Discovering the hyper-realistic quality of the works by Salvador Dali and J.C Leyendecker, influenced Alex and made realise that the connections with comic book art where not so different after all. Referred as 'The Norman Rockwell of comics', Alex still attempts his work with a realistic approach, which has led him to be praised for his life-like human depictions.
During his three years at the American Academy, Alex Ross began drawing his own comic books using the fine art painting and drawing skills he'd learned in his course. After graduating and whilst working in an advertising agency, Alex Ross's work was noticed by Marvel Comics editor Kurt Busiek who approached him and suggested that they collaborated on a story which would become the 'Marvels' graphic novel released in 1993 which took a realistic point of view of an ordinary man on superheroes. From this, Alex Ross found himself in the media spot light and eventually make him into the artist he is today.
Since Alex Ross has won several awards including the Will Eisner Award for the limited series Kingdom Come (1997), the National Cartoonists Society Comic Book Award for Superman: Peace on Earth (1998) and the Comic Buyer’s Guide’s CBG Fan Award for Favourite Painter seven years in a row (1994 - 2000).