Epic and Iconic: Essays on the Work, Influence, and Legacy of Alex Ross

Due Date: 12-31-2021

Nelson Alexander Ross, better known as Alex, has exerted nearly thirty years of profound influence upon sequential art storytelling. Ross emerged into the comics world in the early 1990s with his work on Terminator: Burning Earth, Marvels, and Kingdom Come, immediately establishing his photorealistic style of painting, influenced by Norman Rockwell, Salvador Dali, and Andrew Loomis, among others.

In the years since, Ross has drawn and painted nearly every recognizable character in the Marvel and DC universes, expanded the storytelling capacity of the graphic novel form, and taken home numerous Eisner and Harvey awards. His prolific output can be found across media platforms, from traditional comics to art galleries, from film and television to magazines, toys, and video games.

Given Ross’s substantial and acclaimed level of production, it is no exaggeration to consider him among the most important commercial artists of his generation—yet his work has garnered little academic interest. In this collection, we hope to curate the first definitive set of scholarly perspectives on Ross’s creative approach, his interventions into sequential art narrative and aesthetics, and his lasting influences upon popular culture and the creative community.

To this end, we invite abstracts proposing analyses and essays composed from a wide variety of disciplinary perspectives, including, of course, comics and sequential art studies, but also art history; visual studies; media studies; narratology; critical and cultural studies; digital humanities; political economy; media history; semiotics; game studies; film studies; studies of myth, religion, or literature; and studies of fandom and material culture, among many other possibilities.

• Abstracts (500 words max.): 31 December 2021
• Full articles/essays (5,000–6,000 words): 1 April 2022
• Article revisions (1–2 rounds): May–September 2022
• Delivery of full manuscript to University Press of Mississippi: 1 January 2023

To Submit
Please e-mail your abstract (500 words max.) and a biography of no more than 150 words to coeditor Rob Peaslee at no later than 31 December 2021. Abstracts should demonstrate the author’s capacity to engage deeply and meaningfully with one or more dimensions of Ross’s work, influence, background, or reception.

Please direct questions to the coeditors, Rob Peaslee (robert.peaslee@ttu.eduand) and Rob Weiner (