Philip Craig Russell studied painting at the University of Cincinnati, before he broke into horror genre comics in 1972. He had an 11-issue run on Amazing Adventures and made a subsequent graphic novel featuring 'Killraven' with writer Don McGregor. He then worked with Roy Thomas on a comic adaptation of Michael Moorcock's 'Elric' stories, starting with 'The Dreaming City' in 1982, and followed a year later by 'Elric of Melibone', which was scripted by Thomas and Michael T. Gilbert.
Craig Russel went on to adapt operas for comics, such as Wagner's 'Parsifal' and Mozart's 'The Magic Flute', as well as 'Pelias', 'Mellisande' and 'Salome', mostly published in the Night Music series by Eclipse Comics. He also did the art for Neil Gaiman's 'Ramadan' and the first story, Death and Venice, in 'Sandman: Endless Nights'. For NBM publishing, Russell adapted the fairy tales of Oscar Wilde and Rudyard Kipling's 'Jungle Book' to comics.