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 John Romita, Sr.  (1930 - )

About: John Romita, Sr.


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: comic strip

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Ad Code: 2
John Sr Romita
from Auction House Records.
Amazing Spider-Man #121 "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1973).
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
John Romita Senior started drawing after spending a year in commercial art. Romita drew mostly horror and romance stories, but also several war, crime and Western features. His best-known work contains the 'Avengers', 'Daredevil' and 'Spider-Man', in which his son John Romita Jr. followed him.

An unofficial biographical entry places John Romita's birthday in 1932, if this is correct, his career began early in his life. His run of art on Amazing Spider-Man placed him in the latter half of the Marvel Comics Silver Age.

Stan Lee gave the position of illustrating the Amazing Spider-Man to Romita when Steve Ditko, the character's co-creator and artist, left Marvel Comics. Marvel chose John Romita Senior, to replace Ditko, and the transition, in some ways, represents a shift from the late-fifties monster-comics-and-surrealism of Earliest Marvel to the passionate days of soap-operatic, tear-jerking, pathos-laden High Silver Age Marvel. Romita's style was quite different using a different anatomical style, altogether different body language; and his handling of facial expression did not have much in common with Ditko's.

In the beginning Romita began to portray his subject in as "Ditko-like a manner" as possible for the sake of the fans. Romita, fortunately, abandoned this misconception early, and rapidly proceeded to redefine the character visually. "Spider-Man originally represented a hopeless and mistreated nebbish bludgeoned by circumstance and bullied by all manner of predacious alpha males. Romita's treatment, however, took away a few points of the character's outsider essence; his pencil seemed unable to make even ugly things ugly, so the new art gradually turned Peter Parker into a vigorous and handsome alpha male himself, plus invested him with a female companion (Mary Jane)"(

Romita's look for the characters he inherited from Ditko would predominate in the various Spider-Man titles (at least three by 1975) and continue until the 1980s. Dr. Octopus, the Lizard, the Vulture, and the Green Goblin, all foes of Spider-Man were created under him.


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