February 14, 1959
Gordon Purcell (born February 14, 1959) is an American comic book artist, perhaps best known for his Star Trek work, in particular his photorealistic renditions of the actors who play that franchise’s characters, as well as those of similarly licensed books, such as X-Files, Xena, Lost in Space, Godzilla, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, Barb Wire, and The Terminator.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, Purcell grew up reading Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and his love of drawing was sparked by watching cartoons of Spider-Man and Batman. The first comic book he read was a Disney comic book. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with Bachelor's degrees in Studio Arts and Theater Arts and has remarked that with the emphasis on costume design and directing in comics, the theater probably helped him more.
Among Purcell's first work for DC Comics was a Doctor Light story was published as a Bonus Book in The Flash #12 (May 1988). He has worked on numerous comic books, including Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: Voyager, Soulsearchers and Company, Flare, The Flash, The Fantastic Four, Superman, Wonder Man, Hulk vs. Nova, Moon Knight, What If…?, Race Warriors, Kolchak: the Night Stalker, Justice League, Ben 10, and Elvira. His most recent work is Star Trek: Year Four for IDW, written by Trek story editor D. C. Fontana and Star Trek: The Last Generation, written by Andrew Steven Harris. He has also worked on The Phantom for Moonstone and Beyond the Wall (Roman soldiers vs. monsters and barbarians) for IDW.
Purcell claims not to have a favorite company to work for, but is attracted to projects based on the editor and other creators involved with them. He cites his work on Silver Sable as a project he particularly enjoyed, saying he feels that the book was “really going somewhere” by the end of his run. Purcell also cites his work on Gammarauders, stating that having to ink his own pencils taught him a lot about what information he needed to give to his future inkers. Purcell also cites his Star Trek work because he was allowed to visit the sets of those shows, which were among his favorites. Among his favorite characters today include Thing, Robin, Teen Titans, the Metal Men, JLA, The Avengers and Metamorpho.
In other media
Purcell appeared on the October 19, 2005 episode of the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Having had only two hours of sleep, he won $50,000.00, deciding to quit when he could not answer the question of which U.S. state signed a 1790 treaty under the threat of being declared a foreign nation. (The answer was Rhode Island.) He lost on Jeopardy! on May 24, 2010.
On January 21, 2014, Purcell won a trip to Florida in the daily trivia contest that is part of TV's "Live With Kelly and Michael."