Ross Tesoriero/ Underground Comic Book Artist/ Computer Wizard

“The comics are where all the crazy subconscious stuff comes out.”

Robert Crumb

I met Ross at art school in the late nineties at College of Fine Arts in Sydney. I was finishing my masters in sculpture while he was doing his undergrad in painting. I met Ross through mutual friends but the real bond didn’t begin until we both exhibited in a comic art exhibition at TAP Gallery in Darlinghurst. It was organised by Kathy as part of her art theory course to organise a show. She went on to become my second girlfriend.

After studying her undergrad course at COFA in art theory she was offered to do an honours year but decided to go on to study prop making at the prestigious dramatic arts school NIDA.

Kathy and Ross were already close friends and she got Ross to design the image for the exhibition invite and I think it was a robot on Mars.

It was one of the most crowded openings I have ever been involved in. I remember Ross sold a few of his paintings on opening night.

However, it was his underground comic zine Radiation Sickness that left an impact on not only me but also the Sydney arts scene and the underground comic zine movement in Sydney.

We went onto collaborate on a mini zine together.

After COFA Ross went on to study a cert four in multimedia at Crowsnest TAFE and since has worked in the industry at first for others and now as a freelancer with a very creative bend.

I followed Ross’s footsteps and did this course the cert four in multimedia at Crowsnest TAFE the following year with Sean who is also still a close friend. Sean didn’t finish the course as he was offered a place in the JET program as an English teacher for a year in regional Japan half way through.

Now Ross has two kids: Rocco and Minnie and a beautiful wife named Wiz. They have recently bought a house in the inner west of Sydney.

Ross is also working on an animation at the moment for a film festival when he’s not working long hours as a freelancer and at the end of this essay shall be a still from this animation. I have seen other animations by Ross that were fantastic so I am excited about seeing this new one.

Whenever I visit Sydney me Ross and Sean meet up to go for a walk and have a meal.

Ross built my website and didn’t even charge me and is always updating it for me but I send him gifts that I know that he would like sometimes such as art books.

I think our mutual favourite comic book artists are all American and include: Robert Crumb, Daniel Clowes and Raymond Pettibon whose art started as zines but has crossed over to high art drawings.

Comic book cover by Robert Crumb

Another illustration/comic book artist is Anton Emdin who was best friends with Ross at art school and he had a comic zine called Cruel World and they went on to live together after studying painting together at COFA. Now Anton has gone on to be very successful and famous as an illustrator and web developer.

I also made comic zines at this time but they were kind of experimental and not in the grid format of regular comics.

I think everyone I went to art school with and in the comic movement in Australia would agree that Ross is one of the nicest guys. Everyone agrees that his comics and illustrations are amazing. He has so much raw talent.