P. Craig Russell
|P. Craig Russell|
P. Craig Russell by Michael Netzer
|Born||Philip Craig Russell
October 30, 1951
Philip Craig Russell (born October 30, 1951 in Wellsville, Ohio), 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.
Early life and career
Russell broke into comics in 1972, and 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. 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."
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 Magazine.
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 Magazine. 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 didn't return to Elric until 1997 when he collaborated directly with Michael Moorcock on Elric: Stormbringer co-published by Dark Horse and Topps.
Night Music (1984-1990)
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 Star*Reach). 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 also included "Pelleas & Melisande", adapted from Maurice Maeterlinck's play of the same name (which had also 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.
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 also adapted the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde into comic-book albums from NBM Publishing.
Russell has also collaborated with writer Neil Gaiman, illustrating issue #50 of Gaiman's comic series Sandman, titled "Ramadan", later included in the collection The Sandman: Fables and Reflections. Russell also 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. 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 2012, Russell released P. Craig Russell’s Guide to Graphic Storytelling  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.
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.
- The Chimera (1973)
- Dr. Strange, vol. 2, Annual #1 (1976)
- Killraven (1974–1976)
- Dance on a Razor's Edge (1977)
- Parsifal (1976–77)
- The Avatar and the Chimera (1978)
- Siegfried and the Dragon (1978)
- La Somnanbula (1979)
- Breakdown on the Starship Remembrance (1979)
- Elric: The Dreaming City (1979–80)
- Isolation and Illusion (1981)
- Elric: While the Gods Laugh (1981)
- Killraven: Last Dreams broken (1982)
- King of the Castle (1982–83)
- Elric: Elric of Melniboné (1982–84)
- The Drinking Song of Earth's Sorrow (1984)
- The Insomniac (1971–84)
- Unto this World (1984)
- Jungle Book: The King's Ankus (1984–85)
- Eine Heldentraum (1985)
- Pelléas & Mélisande (1985)
- Elric: The Dreaming City (2nd version, 1986)
- Salomé (1986)
- Batman: Robin 3000 (1986–92)
- Jungle Book: Red Dog (1987)
- Ariane and Bluebeard (1988)
- Human Remains (1989)
- The Magic Flute (1989–90)
- From Beyond (1994)
- The Golden Apples of the Sun (1992)
- The Gift of the Magi (1990)
- A Voyage to the Moon (1991)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant (1992)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Star Child (1992)
- Batman: Hothouse (1992)
- The Sandman: Ramadan (1992)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Young King (1993)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Remarkable Rocket (1993)
- X: Devils (1994)
- Jungle Book: Spring Running (1996)
- Elric: Stormbringer (1993–95)
- Elric: One Life, Furnished in Early Moorcock (1996)
- Dr. Strange: What is it that disturbs you, Stephen? (1996)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Birthday of the Infanta (1997)
- The Clowns (1997)
- Star Wars: Episode 1 - Queen Amidala (1999)
- The Ring of the Nibelung (2000–2001)
- Buffy the vampire slayer: Tales of the Slayers - Presumption (2002)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Devoted Friend (2004)
- In Flanders Field (2002)
- Murder Mysteries (2002)
- Between Two Worlds (2002)
- The Sandman: Death and Venice (2003)
- Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: Nightingale and the Rose (2004)
- Gone (2003)
- Fables: The Last Castle (2003)
- Hellboy: Weird Tales: Command Performance (2003)
- The Godfather's Code (2004)
- Lucifer #50 (2004)
- Daredevil, vol. 2, #65 (2004)
- Conan: The Jewels of Gwahlur (2005)
- Coraline (2008)
- Hellboy: The Vampire of Prague (2007)
- Sandman: The Dream Hunters (2008)
- The Spirit: Art Walk (2011)
Awards and nominations
- 1985: Best Finite Series Kirby Award for Night Music (Nominated)
- 1986: Best Finite Series Kirby Award for Night Music #4-5, "Pelleas and Melisande" (Nominated)
- 1986: Best Artist Kirby Award for Night Music #4-5, "Pelleas and Melisande" (Nominated)
- 1987: Best Single Issue Kirby Award for Night Music #6, "Salome" (Nominated)
- 1993: Best Penciller/Inker,Color Publication Eisner Award for Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde; Robin 3000; Legends of the Dark Knight: Hothouse (Winner)
- 1994: Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team Eisner Award for The Sandman #50 (Winner)
- 1994: Best Graphic Album-New Eisner Award for Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde Vol. 2 (Winner)
- 1998: Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team Eisner Award for Elric: Stormbringer; Dr. Strange: What Is It That Disturbs You, Stephen? (Winner)
- 1999: Best Single Issue Eisner Award for The Clowns (Nominated)
- 2001: Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team Eisner Award for Ring of the Nibelung (Winner)
- 2001: Best Finite Series/Limited Series Eisner Award for Ring of the Nibelung (Winner)
- 2004: Best Short Story Eisner Award for "Death and Venice" in The Sandman: Endless Nights (Winner)
- 2009: Best Publication for Teens/Tweens Eisner Award for Coraline:The Graphic Novel (Winner)
- "P. Craig Russell", BookRags.com, retrieved 2007-10-29
- "P. Craig Russell Interview", The Comics Journal, December 1991: 44–73
- Sanderson, Peter. Marvel Universe (Harry N. Abrams, 1998) ISBN 0-8109-8171-8, ISBN 978-0-8109-8171-3, p. 175
- P. Craig Russell - Adapting Coraline and More, Newsarama, August 19, 2008
- 2008 Eisner Nominations Most Diverse Yet, Official San Diego Comic-Con website
- "'Night Music: The Art of P. Craig Russell' to screen at Cleveland Museum of Art Wednesday". Cleveland.com. 23 August 2009.
- "Comics: P Craig Russell’s Guide to Graphic Storytelling". forbiddenplanet.co.uk. 21 Aug 2012.
- "Time To Get To Work". http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/251462428/p-craig-russells-guide-to-graphic-storytelling-vol/posts/434465. 22 Mar 2013.
- "Russell's Opus List". Artofpcraigrussell.com. 2013-07-18. Retrieved 2013-12-05.