P. Craig Russell

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P. Craig Russell
P Craig Russell Portrait.jpg
P. Craig Russell by Michael Netzer
Born Philip Craig Russell
(1951-10-30) October 30, 1951 (age 62)
Wellsville, Ohio
Nationality American
Area(s) Writer, Penciller, Inker

Philip Craig Russell (born October 30, 1951[1] in Wellsville, Ohio[2]), also known as P. Craig Russell, is an American comic book writer, artist, and illustrator. His work has won multiple Harvey and Eisner Awards. Russell was the first mainstream comic book creator to come out as openly gay.[3]


Early life and career[edit]

Russell broke into comics in 1972[4] as an assistant to Dan Adkins.[5] Russell first became well known with his 11-issue Amazing Adventures run and subsequent graphic novel featuring Killraven, hero of a future version of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, collaborating with writer Don McGregor.[6] Comics historian Peter Sanderson wrote that, "McGregor's finest artistic collaborator on the series was P. Craig Russell, whose sensitive, elaborate artwork, evocative of Art Nouveau illustration, gave the landscape of Killraven's America a nostalgic, pastoral feel, and the Martian architecture the look of futuristic castles."[7]

Withdrawing for a while from mainstream comics, Russell produced a number of experimental strips, many of which were later published in his Night Music series and in Epic Illustrated.

Elric (1982-1997)[edit]

Russell's first Elric story, the Roy Thomas scripted "The Dreaming City", was published by Marvel Comics in 1982 as Marvel Graphic Novel #2, following initial publication of the first half of the graphic novel in Epic Illustrated. For the next series, "Elric of Melnibone", also written by Roy Thomas, Russell shared art duties with Michael T. Gilbert. This story was published by Pacific Comics as Elric issues 1-6 in 1983-1984. Russell did not return to Elric until 1997 when he collaborated directly with Michael Moorcock on Elric: Stormbringer co-published by Dark Horse Comics and Topps Comics.

Night Music (1984-1990)[edit]

In 1984, Russell began Night Music, an ongoing anthology series for Eclipse Comics featuring some of his most heralded literary and operatic adaptations. Russell has previously used the same title for a black and white collection of the earliest of these works, published by Eclipse Comics. Included in this series was "The King's Ankus", adapted from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Russell had previously inked a number of Jungle Book adaptations drawn by Gil Kane, published in Marvel Fanfare. The series included "Pelleas & Melisande", adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's play of the same name which had been turned into an opera by Claude Debussy, and "Salome" adapted from Oscar Wilde's play of the same name. Opera would continue to resurface in Russell's work, including a four-part adaptation of The Magic Flute, taken from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's opera.

Other work[edit]

On his Web site, Russell describes his adaptation of Wagner's operatic cycle, The Ring of the Nibelung, published by Dark Horse Comics in two volumes, as his "magnum opus". He has adapted the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde into comic-book albums from NBM Publishing.

Russell has collaborated with writer Neil Gaiman, illustrating issue #50 of Gaiman's comic series Sandman, titled "Ramadan",[8][9] later included in the collection The Sandman: Fables and Reflections. Russell illustrated the first story in Gaiman's later Sandman graphic novel, Endless Nights, and adapted both Gaiman's short story "Murder Mysteries" and his children's book Coraline into comics form.[10] He has adapted another Gaiman Sandman work, Sandman: The Dream Hunters, and a Robert E. Howard Conan the Barbarian story, "The Jewels of Gwahlur".

In December 2007, Desperado published The Art of P. Craig Russell, a 256-page retrospective of Russell's career. It was nominated for the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Comics-Related Book.[11]

A documentary feature about the artist, Night Music: The Art of P. Craig Russell, premiered at the 2008 Mid-Ohio Con in Columbus, Ohio.[12]

In 2012, Russell released P. Craig Russell’s Guide to Graphic Storytelling[13] a masterclass video tutorial about the process of comic-book storytelling. A second volume was produced in 2012 and a third volume was successfully funded via Kickstarter on March 21, 2013.[14]


Throughout his career, Russell has numbered his works in the order in which they were drawn, similar to the treatment of works by classical musical composers. The works are usually labeled somewhere within the art with the word "Opus" (or an abbreviation thereof) and its corresponding number.[15]

  1. The Chimera (1973)
  2. Doctor Strange Annual #1 (1976)
  3. Killraven (1974–1976)
  4. Dance on a Razor's Edge (1977)
  5. Parsifal (1976–77)
  6. The Avatar and the Chimera (1978)
  7. Siegfried and the Dragon (1978)
  8. La Somnanbula (1979)
  9. Breakdown on the Starship Remembrance (1979)
  10. Elric: The Dreaming City (1979–80)
  11. Isolation and Illusion (1981)
  12. Elric: While the Gods Laugh (1981)
  13. Killraven: Last Dreams Broken (1982)
  14. King of the Castle (1982–83)
  15. Elric: Elric of Melniboné (1982–84)
  16. The Drinking Song of Earth's Sorrow (1984)
  17. The Insomniac (1971–84)
  18. Unto this World (1984)
  19. Jungle Book: The King's Ankus (1984–85)
  20. Eine Heldentraum (1985)
  21. Pelléas & Mélisande (1985)
  22. Elric: The Dreaming City (2nd version, 1986)
  23. Salomé (1986)
  24. Batman: Robin 3000 (1986–92)
  25. Jungle Book: Red Dog (1987)
  26. Ariane and Bluebeard (1988)
  27. Human Remains (1989)
  28. The Magic Flute (1989–90)
  29. From Beyond (1994)
  30. The Golden Apples of the Sun (1992)
  31. The Gift of the Magi (1990)
  32. A Voyage to the Moon (1991)
  33. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant (1992)
  34. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Star Child (1992)
  35. Batman: Hothouse (1992)
  36. The Sandman: Ramadan (1992)
  37. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Young King (1993)
  38. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Remarkable Rocket (1993)
  39. X: Devils (1994)
  40. Jungle Book: Spring Running (1996)
  41. Elric: Stormbringer (1993–95)
  42. Elric: One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock (1996)
  43. Dr. Strange: What is it that disturbs you, Stephen? (1996)
  44. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Birthday of the Infanta (1997)
  45. The Clowns (1997)
  46. Star Wars: Episode 1 - Queen Amidala (1999)
  47. The Ring of the Nibelung (2000–2001)
  48. Buffy the vampire slayer: Tales of the Slayers - Presumption (2002)
  49. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Devoted Friend (2004)
  50. In Flanders Field (2002)
  51. Murder Mysteries (2002)
  52. Between Two Worlds (2002)
  53. The Sandman: Death and Venice (2003)
  54. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: Nightingale and the Rose (2004)
  55. Gone (2003)
  56. Fables: The Last Castle (2003)
  57. Hellboy: Weird Tales: Command Performance (2003)
  58. The Godfather's Code (2004)
  59. Lucifer #50 (2004)
  60. Daredevil, vol. 2, #65 (2004)
  61. Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur (2005)
  62. Coraline (2008)
  63. Hellboy: The Vampire of Prague (2007)
  64. Sandman: The Dream Hunters (2008)
  65. The Spirit: Art Walk (2011)
  66. Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Happy Prince (2012)
  67. Fables: A Delicate Balance (2012)
  68. The Graveyard Book (2013)
  69. From Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire: Beheading (2013)
  70. Little Nemo in Final Slumberland (2013)

Awards and nominations[edit]


  1. ^ Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Archived from the original on October 29, 2010. 
  2. ^ "P. Craig Russell, Papers and Publications, 1974-1992". Kent State University. 2011. Archived from the original on September 21, 2011. Retrieved December 27, 2013. "P. Craig Russell, a native of Wellsville, Ohio" 
  3. ^ "P. Craig Russell Interview", The Comics Journal (Fantagraphics Books), December 1991: 44–73 
  4. ^ "Philip Craig Russell". Lambiek Comiclopedia. 2013. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  5. ^ Howard, Peter (July 15, 2013). "Peter Howard Interviews P. Craig Russell". Sequentialhighway.com. Archived from the original on August 21, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  6. ^ Sanderson, Peter; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1970s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. Dorling Kindersley. p. 161. ISBN 978-0756641238. "McGregor began his memorable collaboration with artist P. Craig Russell in issue #27." 
  7. ^ Sanderson, Peter (1998). Marvel Universe. Harry N. Abrams. p. 175. ISBN 978-0810981713. 
  8. ^ Bender, Hy (1999). The Sandman Companion. DC Comics. pp. 155–158. ISBN 978-1563894657. 
  9. ^ Burgas, Greg (January 7, 2013). "Comics You Should Own – Sandman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on April 10, 2014. 
  10. ^ Smith, Zack (August 19, 2008). "P. Craig Russell - Adapting Coraline and More". Newsarama. Archived from the original on December 27, 2013. 
  11. ^ "2008 Eisner Nominations Announced". Comic Book Resources. April 14, 2008. Archived from the original on November 8, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Night Music: The Art of P. Craig Russell to screen at Cleveland Museum of Art Wednesday". The Plain Dealer. August 23, 2009. Archived from the original on October 10, 2012. 
  13. ^ Gordon, Joe (August 21, 2012). "Comics: P Craig Russell’s Guide to Graphic Storytelling". Forbiddenplanet.co.uk. Archived from the original on December 5, 2013. Retrieved December 27, 2013. 
  14. ^ "P. Craig Russell's Guide to Graphic Storytelling Volume 3: Time To Get To Work". March 22, 2013. Archived from the original on December 3, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Russell's Opus List". Artofpcraigrussell.com. 2013. Archived from the original on December 1, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013. 
  16. ^ a b c d "1990s Eisner Awards Recipients". San Diego Comic-Con International. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d "2000s Eisner Awards Recipients". San Diego Comicon International. 2013. Archived from the original on 23 August 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2013. 

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