John Romita Sr., the influential comic artist who illustrated Spider-Man in the early days of superheroing and helped create some of Marvel’s most beloved characters, including Mary Jane Watson and Wolverine, has died. he was 93 years old.
His death was announced by his son, John Romita Jr., who is also a cartoonist, who said his father died in his sleep on Monday.
“He’s a legend in the art world and it’s an honor to follow in his footsteps,” said Romita Jr. said on Instagram.
“Millions have come to know Marvel through his art, and millions more have come to know Peter Parker through the undeniably bold strokes that Romita brings to the page.” said in a statement.
John V. Romita was born on January 24, 1930 in Brooklyn, the eldest of five children. According to a 2007 biography by Sue L. Hamilton, Romita’s interest in drawing was encouraged both at home and at school. In 1938, he purchased two of his first Superman comics, keeping one safely in his bag and another of his to use as a drawing guide.
After graduating from high school in 1947, Romita began working as a commercial artist. But a chance encounter with a friend and high school classmate who worked for cartoon revolutionary Stan Lee led to his first big break. Mr. Romita began secretly sketching a cartoon in pencil for his friend, who later inked the cartoon and advertised it as his own work.
In an interview, Romita said he had his own career in the 1950s, revealed the deal to Mr. Lee, and Mr. Lee gave him the opportunity to work. Partnered with Comic Reporter in 2002.
Romita’s career as a comic artist began in 1966 when he began drawing “The Amazing Spider-Man,” taking over from Steve Ditko, who co-created the character with Lee in 1962. It will become some of Romita’s most famous works.
Arlen Schumer, author of The Silver Age of Comic Art, told The New York Times in 2017 that Romita was a worthy successor to Ditko, and that his “unique skills” as art director were “visible.” ‘ added. It was used on everything from the cover to the inner panels and pages, effectively replacing the Marvel style once dominated by Jack Kirby in his ’60s. “
Romita said in a 2017 Syfy interview. He said he was most proud of his work on two issues in the early 1970s when he began to differentiate between Spider-Man’s artistic vision and Mr. Ditko’s.
“I always felt like a Spider-Man visitor,” Romita said. “Like I’ve always been Dikko in some way. I tried to keep the characters consistent.” he was approaching the work from a new angle. “You’re going to see more black people than ever in Spider-Man, and more people tearing up clothing lines. There’s a scene that I’m very proud of.”
Romita is also credited with creating the look and demeanor of Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man’s lover.Romita he said he based the character on Actress and singer Ann-Margret is also partly covered. “We were trying to create a girl who was very contemporary and very modern,” Romita said.
Under his leadership at Marvel, many other memorable characters have emerged, including Kingpin, Luke Cage, and Wolverine.
Romita retired in 1996, but continued to work on specific projects at both Marvel and DC.
Romita told Comic Reporter in 2002 He said he regretted not becoming a first-generation professional cartoonist and thought he was following in the footsteps of others.
“No matter what success I’ve had, I’ve always considered myself someone who can improve other people’s concepts,” Romita said. “Writers and other artists can make something and I can make it better.”
A complete list of survivors was not immediately available.