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Artists Biography

Ross Andru

1927-1993
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Ross Andru was an American comic book artist and editor. He is best known for his work on The Amazing Spider-Man and Wonder Woman and for co-creating the Metal Men (with writer Robert Kanigher in Showcase # 37 in 1962) and the Punisher (with writer Gerry Conway in The Amazing Spider-Man #129 in 1974).

His most frequent collaborator was inker Mike Esposito, as the two worked together on various projects over a span of four decades. Working with Esposito, Andru was the co-founder of his own comic book company, MR Publications in 1951 and dipped his hand into self-publishing two times after that with the companies MikeRoss in 1953 and Klevart Enterprizes in 1970. Another venture into self-publishing, in 1990, failed before funding could be found.

Andru's first professional comic book work was for the Tarzan newspaper strip in 1948.

In the 1950s and early 1960s Andru worked primarily on DC's war comics, contributing material regularly to titles such as All American Men of War (1953-1964), GI Combat (1957), Our Army At War (1953) (later known as Sgt. Rock), Our Fighting Forces (1955) and Star Spangled War Stories (1954-1966).

In the late 1950s he began to be assigned to more super-hero work, as he started runs on The Flash (1959), Rip Hunter, Time Master (1961) and Showcase where he drew the "Sea Devils" feature as well as co-created the Metal Men. During this period Andru also did his nine-year Wonder Woman stint, (starting at #98 in 1958 and running until 1967) where he and writer Kanigher reinvented the character, introducing the Silver Age version and her supporting cast.

In the early 1970s, Andru left DC for Marvel Comics. Initially he did short runs on such titles as Marvel Feature in 1971-1972 where he launched the Defenders and Marvel Team-Up in 1972 where he first drew Spider-Man. In 1973, he began his long stint as regular penciller on Amazing Spider-Man, which at that point was Marvel's highest-selling monthly comic.

It was during that run that Andru and writer Conway introduced the Punisher, who was conceived as an antagonist for Spider-Man. Although Andru is credited with designing the Punisher's distinctive costume, Conway has claimed that Andru worked from design sketches Conway provided. The character has gone on to become a popular star of numerous comic books as well as two movies.

In 1976. Andru pencilled the first large-scale comic book intercompany character crossover — Superman vs. The Amazing Spider-Man, in a story written by Conway and co-published by Marvel and DC.

In 1978, Andru returned to DC to work as an editor. During this period his art appeared mostly on the covers of such titles as Action Comics and Superman. Working with writer Marv Wolfman and collaborator Mike Esposito, he also co-created the syndicated comic strip The Unexplained in 1979. In the 1980s he returned to interior work, on titles including as Jonah Hex (1982-1984), Vigilante (1984) and Blue Beetle (1987).

His last work was for Archie Comics' Zen, Intergalactic Ninja in 1993, on which he was teamed once again with Mike Esposito. In 2006 both Andru and Esposito are the subjects of a major biography titled Partners For Life.

Works by this artist…

  • The Flash and his Friends!
    The Flash and his Friends!
    ( ref : 14124 )
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