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Artist Spotlight John Romita

John Romita – The Crying Game

John Romita’s artwork is pretty much a staple of romance comics from the 1950s on, and for good reason. Here’s a quick sampling…


When Romita took over drawing Spider-Man from Steve Ditko, it was inevitable his strength for the Sturm und Drang of romance comics would be thrown into the mix.

The following examples are from the Spider-Man newspaper strip.
Click on artwork for larger image.


So when I needed to up the ante for Hil and Nona in the March 25, 2017 Sally Forth strip I leaned heavily on Romita for inspiration.

So much so I even snuck his name into the last panel as a tip of the hat.


Need more of a Romita fix? Check out the following…

For more of Romita’s Spider-Man comic book work: John Romita

For more comic strip art: Holiday Greetings – Stan Lee & John Romita

And last but not least, for some video of Romita at the drawing board…

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Flash Gordon John Romita

John Romita Draws Flash Gordon

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Flash Gordon Sunday page for December 1, 2002.
Art by John Romita Sr.

John Romita was the artist that as a kid I recognized as THE Spider-Man artist. It was around that time that instead of buying a comic book because of the character (Spider-Man, Batman, etc.) I started following the artists.

The following is a pic from 1993 when I was on staff at King Features. It was at some cartoon art exhibit (I forget where). My friend Jerry Craft made a point of taking the picture as I could barely get out the words, “Me like your art good.”

Fledgling artist, Jim Keefe,  with John Romita Sr. - May 1993
Fledgling artist, Jim Keefe, with John Romita Sr. – May 1993

Jump ahead to 2002 and I’m the writer/artist of the Flash Gordon newspaper strip, and being that I had decided not to renew my contract, my tenure on the feature was winding down. I was able to get some pretty high profile artists in the past to do a guest spot with the art chores (George Evans and Al Williamson), so for my final year I solicited a few more of some of my favorites.

As King didn’t pay me much for Flash I couldn’t offer Mr. Romita much money – his decision to do it pretty much hinged on the fact he grew up on Alex Raymond’s Flash Gordon Sunday page. To grease the wheels some more I also mentioned that Joe Kubert had done the strip just a few weeks prior. (More on that in a previous post.)

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Flash Gordon Sunday page for November 10, 2002.
Art by Joe Kubert

Romita’s Flash Gordon Sunday page came out shortly after the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie came out in 2002. In one of our talks over the phone he mentioned that one of the things he really took pride in was the prominent role Mary Jane had in the movie as he was the artist that brought that character to life in the pages of the Spider-Man comic book. (More on that in a previous post as well.)

As mentioned, I grew up on Romita’s artwork. His graphic design sense and storytelling ability is a constant source of inspiration. And to work with him on a Flash Gordon page was one of those high water marks that professionally just can’t be beat.

-Jim Keefe

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Artist Spotlight John Romita

John Romita

January 24th is John Romita’s birthday (born 1/24/1930).

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To celebrate, here’s just a few of the iconic Spider-Man images he’s drawn over the years, grabbed off the web from ComicArtFans, Heritage, Romitaman.com and elsewhere.

(Click on pics to see larger.)

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Calender39.1


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Iconic moment from Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967) used for the 2004 Sam Raimi movie, Spider-Man 2.
Iconic moment from Amazing Spider-Man #50 (July 1967) used for the 2004 Sam Raimi movie, Spider-Man 2.

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Marvel.Treasury.01

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Spectacular_Spider-Man.02

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A legend in the field (and one of my personal favorites),
here’s wishing John Romita a Happy Birthday!

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For more John Romita art, check out…
John Romita – Creating Mary Jane
Holiday Greetings – Stan Lee & John Romita
John Romita Artist Edition Volume 2

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Artists - Cartoonists John Romita

Holiday Greetings – Stan Lee & John Romita

When the Spider-Man newspaper strip came out in the late 1970s I was 11 years old. Out came the scrapbook and scissors and I started collecting.

The following are a few of the holiday strips Stan Lee and John Romita did for the strip. Please excuse the slight yellowing that comes with age and rubber cement.

The first is dated 12/18/1977.

1977.12.18


The second one is for 12/25/1977 – Christmas day.
This one, which was shot from the original, I found over at ripjaggerdojo.blogspot.com

1977.12.25


And last but not least…

So remember when Peter was a DJ for Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn’s disco night club, Perdition? This one is from December 24, 1978 – when disco was king.

Amazing Spider-Man - December 24, 1978


I always loved how Stan Lee and John Romita touched base like this in real time on the holidays. It was a great way to connect to the readers.

And with that said – Happy holidays web-slingers all!

spidey

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John Romita

John Romita Artist Edition Volume 2

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Just got this in the mail the other day.

Designed by Randall Dahlk, it’s another home run as far as IDW’s Artist Editions go. Check out Randall Dahlk’s blog for a behind the scenes look.

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This particular edition got me to thinking about the time frame that Romita did this work.

The issues in this collection are from around 1972. Jack Kirby has been gone not even two years and Romita is now the go-to guy for Marvel, jumping from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four to Captain America and then back to Spider-Man…

Amazing Spider-Man #69 - February 1969
Amazing Spider-Man #69 – February 1969

Fantastic Four 103 - October 1970
Fantastic Four #103 – October 1970

Captain America - June 1971
Captain America #138 – June 1971

Amazing Spider-Man #108 -  May 1972
Amazing Spider-Man #108 – May 1972


During this time in the early 1970s, Romita is also doing art direction and handling spot and sequential art on a myriad of other projects.

Aurora Comic Scenes mini-comic drawn in 1973 to go with the model kit it depicts.
Aurora Comic Scenes mini-comic drawn in 1973 to go with the model kit it depicts.


What amazes me about the work spotlighted in this Artist Edition is that you can tell the speed he has to attack these issues because of deadlines (blue line, white out, paste-ups). At that speed you’re walking the high wire without a net, and the artwork is still stellar!

Amazing Spider-Man #114 -  November 1972
Amazing Spider-Man #114 – November 1972


If you’re a Romita fan, than this is definitely a book you want to pick up – I can’t recommend it highly enough.

And if you want to check out more of Romita’s artwork online, be sure to check out Mike Burkey’s web site: Romitaman.com

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A wealth of Romita art, and where most of the art in this Artist Edition came from!

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Ending with a pic of John Romita and his wife Virginia hard at work in the mid-1970s.

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Here’s wishing them peaceful deadline free days from here on in!