John Romita Sr.
John V. Romita, often credited as simply John Romita (//; born January 24, 1930), is an American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man and for co-creating the character The Punisher. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2002.
|John Romita Sr.|
John Romita Sr. at the 2006 San Diego Comic-Con
|Born||January 24, 1930|
Brooklyn, New York City, U.S.
|The Amazing Spider-Man The Punisher|
|Awards||Inkpot Award 1979|
Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame 2002
|Spouse(s)||Virginia Bruno (m. 1952)|
|Children||2, including John Romita Jr.|
Early life and careerEdit
Romita was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, the son of Marie and Victor Romita, a baker, with three sisters and a brother. He is of Italian descent. He graduated from Manhattan's School of Industrial Art in 1947, having attended for three years after spending ninth grade at a Brooklyn junior high school. Among his instructors were book illustrator Howard Simon and magazine illustrator Ben Clements, and his influences included comics artists Noel Sickles, Roy Crane, Milton Caniff, and later, Alex Toth and Carmine Infantino, as well as commercial illustrators Jon Whitcomb, Coby Whitmore, and Al Parker.
Romita entered the comics industry in 1949 on the series Famous Funnies. "Steven Douglas up there was a benefactor to all young artists", Romita recalled. "The first story he gave me was a love story. It was terrible. All the women looked like emaciated men and he bought it, never criticized, and told me to keep working. He paid me two hundred dollars for it and never published it — and rightfully so".
Romita was working at the New York City company Forbes Lithograph in 1949, earning $30 a week, when comic-book inker Lester Zakarin, a friend from high school whom he ran into on a subway train, offered him either $17 or $20 a page to pencil a 10-page story for him as uncredited ghost artist. "I thought, this is ridiculous! In two pages I can make more money than I usually make all week! So I ghosted it and then kept on ghosting for him", Romita recalled. "I think it was a 1920s mobster crime story". The work was for Marvel's 1940s forerunner, Timely Comics, which helped give Romita an opportunity to meet editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee. Romita ghost-penciled for Zakarin on Trojan Comics' Crime-Smashers and other titles, eventually signing some "Zakarin and Romita".
The collaboration ended in early 1951, when Romita was drafted into the U.S. Army. Taking the initiative prior to induction, he showed art samples to the base art director on Governors Island in New York Bay, who arranged for him to be stationed there to do layouts for recruitment posters once Romita had completed basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Romita was promoted to corporal after seven or eight months; now allowed to live off the post, he rented an apartment in Brooklyn.
When not on duty, Romita could leave the base and go into Manhattan. In mid- to late 1951, he recalled in 2002, "I went uptown one day for lunch. I stopped over at Stan Lee's [office in the Empire State Building, where Timely Comics had by now evolved into Atlas Comics], and his secretary came out ... and I said, 'Stan doesn't know my name but I've worked for him for over a year'. I was in uniform! She must've told him this GI ... wants to do some comics. She said, 'Stan said here's a four-page science fiction story'. I penciled it and struggled with my first inking. That was the first story I did on my own. I did Westerns and war stories then".
Romita went on to draw a wide variety of horror comics, war comics, romance comics and other genres for Atlas. His most prominent work for the company was the short-lived 1950s revival of Timely's hit character Captain America, in Young Men #24–28 (Dec. 1953 – July 1954) and Captain America #76–78 (May–Sept. 1954). Additionally, Romita would render one of his first original characters, M-11 the Human Robot, in a five-page standalone science-fiction story in Menace #11 (May 1954). While not envisioned as an ongoing character, M-11 was resurrected decades later as a member of the super-hero team Agents of Atlas.
He was the primary artist for one of the first series with a black star, "Waku, Prince of the Bantu" — created by writer Don Rico and artist Ogden Whitney in the omnibus title Jungle Tales #1 (Sept. 1954). The ongoing short feature starred an African chieftain in Africa, with no regularly featured Caucasian characters. Romita succeeded Whitney with issue #2 (Nov. 1954).
DC Comics romance-comics artistEdit
In the mid-1950s, while continuing to freelance for Atlas, Romita did uncredited work for DC Comics before transitioning to work for DC exclusively in 1958. His first known work for the company is the tentatively identified penciling credit for the cover of romance comic Secret Hearts #58 (Oct. 1959), and, confirmably, pencils for the seven-page story "I Know My Love", inked by Bernard Sachs, in Heart Throbs #63 (Jan. 1960). Other titles to which he contributed include Falling in Love, Girls' Love Stories, Girls' Romances, and Young Love.
"I was following the DC [house] style", he recalled in 2002. "Frequently they had another artist do the first page of my stories. Eventually I became their romance cover artist". He would "swipe"—an artists' term for using existing work as models, a common practice among novices—from movie stills and from the Milton Caniff comic strip Terry and the Pirates. Bernard Sachs and Sy Barry inked some of Romita's romance work, but "by the late '50s and early '60s, I was inking my own stuff".
Shortly afterward, however, romance comics began declining in popularity, and by 1965, DC had "stopped buying any new [romance] art", Romita recalled. "They had a large inventory of stories and continued with that and reprints. The other departments just never used me. I didn't go push myself in their face, either". Romita's last known DC story work was the six-page "My Heart Tricked Me", inked by Sachs, in Girls' Romances #121 (Dec. 1966), though his spot illustrations, some or all of it reprints of earlier work, continued to appear on one-page "beauty tip" and other filler pages, as well as on letters pages, through early 1970, as did the occasional reprinted story.
Joining Marvel ComicsEdit
Even before his final original DC story was published, Romita had already returned to freelance for what had now become Marvel Comics. His first work for Marvel was inking Jack Kirby's cover and Don Heck's interior pencils on the superhero-team comic The Avengers #23 (Dec. 1965).
Romita directed most of his efforts, however, toward finding advertising storyboard work. He obtained a position at the large ad agency BBDO through his friend Al Normandia, one of the firm's art directors. "They were going to pay me $250 a week. I'd made just over $200 a week with the romance [comics] but only by killing myself" with long hours of work. "It had become very hard for me to come up with new ideas. ... So I said, 'If I do any comics ... I'll do inking only. ... "
Marvel editor Stan Lee, however, had heard of Romita's leaving DC, and asked to see him. At "a three-hour lunch", Romita recalled, Lee promised to match the agency salary if Romita would come work for Marvel, and to give him flexibility to work at home or at the office on any given day at Romita's discretion. Though Romita felt he no longer wanted to pencil, in favor of being solely an inker, Lee soon enticed him otherwise:
I had inked an Avengers job for Stan, and I told him I just wanted to ink. I felt like I was burned out as a penciler after eight years of romance work. I didn't want to pencil any more; in fact, I couldn't work at home any more — I couldn't discipline myself to do it. He said, "Okay," but the first chance he had he shows me this Daredevil story somebody had started and he didn't like it, and he wanted somebody else to do it. [He] showed me Dick Ayers' splash page for a Daredevil [and] asked me, 'What would you do with this page?' I showed him on a tracing paper what I would do, and then he asked me to do a drawing of Daredevil the way I would do it. I did a big drawing of Daredevil ... just a big, tracing-paper drawing of Daredevil swinging. And Stan loved it.
Romita began a brief stint on Daredevil beginning with issue #12 (Jan. 1966), initially penciling over Jack Kirby's dynamic layouts as a means of learning Marvel's storytelling house style. Sales perked; while the title had a smaller print run than Marvel flagships The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, it briefly had the company's highest percentage of sales compared to print-run. It also proved to be a stepping-stone for Romita's signature, years-long penciling run on The Amazing Spider-Man. "What Stan Lee wanted was for me to do a two-part Daredevil story [issues #16–17, May–June 1966] with Spider-Man as a guest star, to see how I handled the character".
The reason for the tryout was the growing estrangement between Spider-Man co-creators Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. When Ditko abruptly left Marvel after completing The Amazing Spider-Man #38 (July 1966), Lee gave Romita the assignment. This followed Romita's eight-issue Daredevil run, the cover of the subsequent issue #20 (Sept. 1966), and an incidental Hulk and two Captain America stories (in Tales to Astonish #77, March 1966, and Tales of Suspense #76–77, April–May 1966, respectively). While Romita's depiction of Spider-Man would eventually become the company mascot and the definitive look to the general public, the artist had trepidations:
I was hoping against it, believe it or not. People laugh when I say this, but I did not want to do Spider-Man. I wanted to stay on Daredevil. The only reason I did Spider-Man was because Stan asked me and I felt that I should help out, like a good soldier. I never really felt comfortable on Spider-Man for years. ... I felt obliged to [mimic] Ditko because ... I was convinced, in my own mind, that he was going to come back in two or three issues. ... I couldn't believe that a guy would walk away from a successful book that was the second-highest seller at Marvel. ... After six months, when I realized it wasn't temporary, I finally stopped trying to [mimic] Ditko. ... I was doing these nine-panel pages and the thin line, and I was doing Peter Parker without any bone structure — just like Ditko was doing, I thought.
Lee later commented that this transition in Romita's style actually worked out for the benefit of the series, as it gradually weaned readers off of the Ditko look while ultimately allowing Romita to work in the style he most excelled at. Romita took over The Amazing Spider-Man with issue #39 (Aug. 1966). His first inker on what would become Marvel's flagship series was Mike Esposito, who initially used the pseudonym "Mickey Demeo" to conceal from his regular employer, rival DC Comics, that he was moonlighting at Marvel. After three issues, Romita inked himself for issues #43–48 (Nov. 1966 – May 1967), before Esposito returned — uncredited for issue #49 (June 1967), then as Mickey Demeo until finally taking credit under his own name with issue #56 (Jan. 1968). Except for one issue (#65) inked by his successor, Jim Mooney, the Romita-Esposito team continued through issue #66 (Nov. 1968), establishing the new look of Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man had been Marvel's second-best-selling title at the time Romita began drawing it. Within a year, it overtook Fantastic Four to become the company's top seller.
Romita designed the look of Mary Jane Watson, a supporting character in the Spider-Man series who would later become the lead character's romantic interest. Romita has stated that in designing Mary Jane, he "used Ann-Margret from the movie Bye Bye Birdie as a guide, using her coloring, the shape of her face, her red hair and her form-fitting short skirts." Mary Jane Watson made her first full appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #42 (Nov. 1966), although she first appeared in #25 (June 1965) with her face obscured and had been mentioned since #15 (Aug. 1964). Peter David wrote in 2010 that Romita "made the definitive statement of his arrival by pulling Mary Jane out from behind the oversized potted plant [that blocked the readers' view of her face in issue #25] and placing her on panel in what would instantly become an iconic moment." Other characters that debuted in the Lee-Romita era include the Rhino in #41 (Oct. 1966), the Shocker in #46 (March 1967), and the Kingpin in #50 (June 1967). Lee and Romita's stories focused as much on the social and college lives of the characters as they did on Spider-Man's adventures. The stories became more topical, addressing issues such as the Vietnam War, political elections, and student activism.
Romita, increasingly called upon to do art corrections and touch-ups, and to interface with artists for ever-busy editor Lee, became Marvel's de facto art director. Cutting back on his Spider-Man workload, Romita began doing only layouts, with finished pencils by Don Heck or Jim Mooney for nearly every issue for a year-and-a-half (#57–75, Feb. 1968 – Aug. 1969). Romita then stepped back for six issues, drawing only covers while John Buscema laid out issues #76–81 (Sept. 1969 – Feb. 1970) for others to finish.
These steps at reducing Romita's Spider-Man workload had mixed results, Romita recalled in 2001, saying, "Stan was always trying to speed me up. He had Don Heck pencil over my breakdowns for a while. ... Then, when Don had finished the pencils, [Lee would] call me in to fix up anything ... that he didn't like. Even after it was inked, he'd have me changing what the inker had done. I told him, 'This was supposed to save me time, but it isn't!' ". Romita's initial run on the title, abetted by the three other artists,[Note 1] lasted through issue #95 (April 1971). Gil Kane succeeded him as Spider-Man's regular penciler through issue #105 (Feb. 1972). Romita then began a second stint, doing full pencils for issues #105–115 and #119 (Feb.-Dec. 1972, April 1974), and providing occasional inking and most of the cover art through issue #168 (May 1977). Romita suggested to writer Gerry Conway that supporting character Gwen Stacy should die at the hands of the Green Goblin in "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" in issue #121 (June 1973). Her demise and the Goblin's apparent death one issue later formed a story arc widely considered as the most defining in the history of Spider-Man.
In his original run on The Amazing Spider-Man, Romita contributed a string of over 50 covers and an almost unbroken run of story layouts or full pencil-art for 56 issues[Note 2] as well as a 21-page story in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3 (Nov. 1966), the covers of Annuals #5–7, and the covers and stories for the two issues of the magazine-format title The Spectacular Spider-Man (July and Nov. 1968) that themselves totaled 110 story pages, the equivalent of five-and-a-half issues.
Comics-art historian Daniel Herman assessed of Romita's Spider-Man work,
Romita's transformation of the character redefined the character's look and took the strip in a different direction. It also made him a star artist in the comic book world. The trouble was, Romita took Spidey away from his roots and firmly planted him in the mainstream ... Marvel staffers would joke that Romita "took Spider-Man uptown". Romita reinvented the character and made it possible for [Spider-Man] to appeal to a wider audience, even if he removed the qualities that had made the strip a surreal standout.
Romita was the artist for the Spider-Man newspaper comic strip from its launch on January 3, 1977 through late 1980. He continued in his role as Marvel's art director during this time, suspecting that the strip would not last.
Marvel Comics art directorEdit
After editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee assumed the positions of publisher and president in 1972, he promoted Romita to the position of art director in July 1973 after Romita had been in that position unofficially but on staff since 1972. In that capacity through at least the late 1980s, Romita played a major role in defining the look of Marvel Comics and in designing new characters. Among the characters he designed or helped design are the Punisher, Wolverine, Luke Cage, Bullseye, Tigra, and Brother Voodoo. In 1976, Romita did uncredited art corrections on the large-format, first DC/Marvel intercompany crossover, Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, over the pencils of Ross Andru. Later that same year, Romita inked Jack Kirby's pencil work on Captain America's Bicentennial Battles, a one-shot story published in an oversized treasury format.
Romita inked the debut of new Captain Marvel Monica Rambeau in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #16 (1982) and the first appearance of the Hobgoblin in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 (March 1983). He was one of six pencilers on Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #121 (Dec. 1986), and he penciled the nine-page story "I Remember Gwen" in The Amazing Spider-Man #365 (Aug. 1992, the 30th-anniversary issue) and an eight-page backup story starring the hero and supporting character the Prowler in Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man Annual #13 (1993).
He both penciled and inked the 10-page backup story "The Kiss"—a flashback in which Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy share their first kiss—in Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1 (Jan. 1999). He drew an alternate-universe version of the Spider-Man characters in the one-shot Spidey: A Universe X Special (2001), and penciled the final four pages of the 38-page story in the milestone The Amazing Spider-Man #500 (Dec. 2003). Romita drew one of four covers to the April 27 – May 3, 2002 issue of TV Guide.
Additionally, Romita contributed to multi-artist jams in commemorative issues. He did a panel in Captain America vol. 3, #50 (Feb. 2002), starring the first Marvel superhero he had drawn; a portion of Iron Man vol. 3, #40 (May 2001), although the hero was not one of the artist's signature characters; a panel for Daredevil vol. 2, #50 (Oct. 2003); and a few pages featuring Karen Page in Daredevil vol. 2, #100 (Oct. 2007), done in the style of the romance comics he had drawn decades earlier. Romita both penciled and inked the cover of Daredevil vol. 2, #94 (Feb. 2007) in that same romance comics style. The following year he drew a variant cover of his signature series, for The Amazing Spider-Man #568 (Oct. 2008), doing so again with #642 (Nov. 2010).
A Romita image of Spider-Man and a Hulk image penciled by Rich Buckler and inked by Romita were among the "Marvel Super Heroes" set of commemorative stamps issued by the U.S. Postal Service on July 27, 2007.
Stan Lee interviewed Romita and his son for the documentary series The Comic Book Greats.
John Romita Sr. married Virginia Bruno in November 1952. They lived in Brooklyn's Bensonhurst neighborhood until 1954, when they bought a house in the Queens neighborhood of Queens Village. Some years later, the family would move to Bellerose, New York, on Long Island.
- DC 100 Page Super Spectacular #5 (1971)
- Falling in Love #31, 35, 50, 53–55, 70, 81 (1959–1966)
- Girls' Love Stories #82–88, 90–99, 101, 116, 120, 138, 140, 162, 165, 170 (1961–1972)
- Girls' Romances #23, 62, 76, 85, 93–95, 114, 121, 129, 159–160 (1953–1971)
- Heart Throbs #63, 65–67, 77–86, 90, 93, 99, 101 (1959–1966)
- Secret Hearts #43, 60, 69–70, 78–93, 109, 152–153 (1957–1971)
- Young Love #39–43, 45–54 (1963–1966)
- Young Romance #125–128, 130–132, 171–172, 175 (1963–1971)
- Adventures into Weird Worlds #21 (1953)
- All-True Crime #44 (1951)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #39–58, 67, 72, 82–83, 87–88, 93–95, 106–119, 132, 365, Annual '96 #1 (as penciller); #89–92, 96, 120–125, 146, 151, 238, 247, 274, 400, Annual #16 (as inker only) (1966–1995)
- The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2 #18 (inker) (2000)
- The Amazing Spider-Man Special Edition (1982)
- The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip (1977–80)
- Astonishing #7, 18, 24, 43, 57, 61 (1951–1957)
- The Avengers #23 (inker) (1965)
- Battle #14, 26, 39, 45, 49, 53, 57–59 (1952–1958)
- Battle Action #20, 22, 25, 27, 29 (1955–1957)
- Battlefront #6, 10 (1952–1953)
- Battle Ground #9 (1956)
- Black Knight #4 (1955)
- Captain America #114, 138–145, 148 (1969–1972)
- Captain America vol. 3 #50 (among other artists) (2002)
- Captain America Comics #76–78 (1954)
- Caught #2 (1956)
- Combat #3, 6 (1952)
- Commando Adventures #2 (1957)
- Cowboy Action #10 (1956)
- Crime Cases Comics #7 (1951)
- Crime Exposed #5 (1951)
- Daredevil #12–19 (1966)
- Daredevil vol. 2 #50, 100 (among other artists) (2003–2007)
- Doctor Strange vol. 2 #7 (inker) (1975)
- Droids #1–4 (1986)
- Fantastic Four #103–106, 108 (1970–1971)
- Frontier Western #7 (1957)
- Gunsmoke Western #38 (1956)
- The Incredible Hulk Annual #17 (1991)
- Journey into Unknown Worlds #22 (1953)
- Jungle Action #2–6 (1954–1955)
- Justice #42 (1954)
- Kid Colt Outlaw #70 (1957)
- Kingpin #1 (1997)
- Lorna, the Jungle Girl #17–26 (1956–1957)
- Love Romances #35, 37 (1954)
- Marines in Battle #3–4, 19 (1954–1957)
- Marvel Romance Redux: But I Thought He Loved Me #1 (inker) (2006)
- Marvel Romance Redux: Guys & Dolls #1 (inker) (2006)
- Marvel Romance Redux: Love is a Four-Letter Word #1 (2006)
- Marvel Tales #108 (1952)
- Marvel Tales vol. 2 #81 (1977)
- Marvel Treasury Special #2 ("Captain America's Bicentennial Battles") (inker) (1976)
- Men's Adventures #22, 24, 28 (1953–1954)
- Menace #3, 6, 8, 11 (1953–1954)
- My Love #1–3, 14, 16 (1969–1972)
- My Love Story #9 (1957)
- My Own Romance #36, 40 (1954)
- Mystery Tales #7, 37, 41 (1953–1956)
- Mystic #11, 15, 23, 25 (1952–1953)
- Navy Action #5 (1955)
- Navy Combat #12 (1957)
- Our Love Story #1–2, 5 (inker) (1969–1970)
- Outlaw Kid #5 (1955)
- Questprobe #1 (inker) (1984)
- Ringo Kid #11 (1956)
- Savage Tales (Femizons) #1 (1971)
- Secret Story Romances #16, 18 (1955)
- Sergio Aragonés Massacres Marvel #1 (inker) (1996)
- Six-Gun Western #1, 4 (1957)
- Spaceman #1 (1953)
- The Spectacular Spider-Man #121, Annual #13 (1986–1993)
- The Spectacular Spider-Man magazine #1–2 (1968)
- Spellbound #13, 24, 26–28 (1953–1956)
- Spider-Man #57 (penciller) (1995)
- Spider-Man: The Mutant Agenda #0 (1994)
- Spy Cases #5 (1951)
- Stories of Romance #5, 11 (1956–1957)
- Strange Tales #4, 35 (1951–1955)
- Strange Tales of the Unusual #1 (1955)
- Suspense #20, 25 (1952)
- Tales of Suspense (Captain America) #76–77 (1966)
- Tales to Astonish #67 (Giant Man); #77 (Hulk) (inker) (1965–1966)
- The Tomb of Dracula magazine #2 (inker) (1979)
- True Secrets #4, 13, 38 (1951–1956)
- Two Gun Western #8 (inker) (1951)
- Ultimate Spider-Man Super Special #1 (2002)
- Uncanny Tales #10 (1953)
- Uncanny X-Men #177 (inker) (1984)
- Universe X: Spidey #1 (inker) (2001)
- Untold Tales of Spider-Man #-1 (1997)
- Vampire Tales #2 (1973)
- War Action #10–11 (1953)
- War Adventures #7, 9 (1952)
- War Comics #10, 16, 20, 29, 40, 42 (1952–1956)
- Web of Spider-Man #52 (inker) (1989)
- Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man #1 (1999)
- Western Kid #1–17 (1954–1957)
- Western Outlaws #1, 7, 11, 13–14 (1954–1956)
- Western Outlaws and Sheriffs #70 (1951)
- Wild Western #24 (1952)
- World of Mystery #2 "(1956)
- World of Suspense #5 (1956)
- Young Men #24–28 (Captain America) (1953–1954)
Marvel Comics and DC ComicsEdit
- Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man #1 (1976)
- With issue #73, and then #76–81, Romita provided only covers and was absent from the inside, with Buscema providing layouts for penciler-inker Mooney. Romita returned with issue #82, doing layouts for Mooney to finish. Romita fully penciled the next issue, and then returned to layouts only, finished by Buscema, Mooney and Heck variously, through #87. He penciled the following issue himself. Gil Kane then penciled a four-issue stint with Romita inking and continuing to draw covers. Romita then finished his initial run penciling issues #93–95 (Feb.-April 1971)
- The Amazing Spider-Man #39–95 (Aug. 1967 – April 1971)
- "Confidential Videotaped Deposition of John V. Romita". Garden City, New York: United States District Court, Southern District of New York: "Marvel Worldwide, Inc., et al., vs. Lisa R. Kirby, et al.". October 21, 2010. p. 45.
- Miller, John Jackson (June 10, 2005). "Comics Industry Birthdays". Comics Buyer's Guide. Iola, Wisconsin. Archived from the original on February 18, 2011. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
- Cohen, Lynn E. "Bullpen Bulletins," Marvel comics cover-dated January 1984.
- John Romita interview, conducted by former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas (July 2001). "Fifty Years on the 'A' List". Alter Ego. 3 (9). Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. pp. 8–9 of print version. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009.
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 4
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 6
- Spurlock, J. David, and John Romita. John Romita Sketchbook. Vanguard Productions: Lebanon, New Jersey 2002 ISBN 1-887591-27-3 ISBN 1-887591-29-X, pp. 8–9
- Spurlock, p. 9
- Spurlock, p. 11
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 7
- Spurlock, p. 17
- Spurlock, p. 16
- Keefe, Jim; Mietus, John (n.d.). "Interview: John Romita". Keefe Studios. Archived from the original on October 24, 2009.
- John Romita Sr., in Spurgeon, Tom. "Spider-Man At 50 Part Four: A John Romita Sr. Interview From 2002". TheComicsReporter.com. Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2014.
- Spurlock, p. 10
- Spurlock, pp. 10–11
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 10; appears in print version only
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 11; appears in print version only
- The collection Marvel Visionaries: John Romita Sr. (Marvel Comics, 2005) ISBN 0-7851-1780-6, ISBN 978-0-7851-1780-3 and former Marvel editor-in-chief Roy Thomas, in an interview with Romita in Alter Ego 9, each identify that four-page science fiction story as "It!", about a murderous alien in the guise of a baby. That story saw print in Strange Tales #4 (Dec. 1951), although the Grand Comics Database lists Romita's first identified published comic-book work as penciler and inker of the six-page story "The Bradshaw Boys" in Atlas' Western Outlaws #1 (Feb. 1951) — published nearly a year earlier. This may refer to a ghosted Zakarin story. The Atlas Tales database lists both "It!" and the six-page "Out Of My Mind", in Astonishing #7 (also Dec. 1951), as Romita's first full penciling and inking — although "It!" carries a later job number (9118) than the other tale (8964).
- John Romita at the Grand Comics Database and John Romita Sr. at the Grand Comics Database
- "John Romita Sr". Lambiek Comiclopedia. April 14, 2012. Archived from the original on November 2, 2013.
- Spurlock, p. 18
- Spurlock, p. 19
- Spurlock, pp. 20–22
- "John Romita Sr.: Spidey's Man" (interview), Comic Book Artist #6, Fall 1999. WebCitation archive.
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 27
- Manning, Matthew K.; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2012). "1960s". Spider-Man Chronicle Celebrating 50 Years of Web-Slinging. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 35. ISBN 978-0756692360.
Artist John Romita, the penciler that would define the looks of Spider-Man and Peter Parker for an entire generation, had his first crack at drawing the web-slinger in a two-part story of the Stan Lee penned series Daredevil.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, pp. 27–28
- Thomas, Roy (August 2011). "Stan Lee's Amazing Marvel Interview!". Alter Ego. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (104): 12.
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 36
- Ro, Ronin (2004). Tales to Astonish: Jack Kirby, Stan Lee and the American Comic Book Revolution. London, United Kingdom: Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 92. ISBN 978-1582345666.
- Evanier, Mark (April 14, 2008). "Why did some artists working for Marvel in the sixties use phony names?". News From ME. Archived from the original on November 26, 2009. Retrieved July 28, 2008.
- The Amazing Spider-Man #49 (June 1967) at the Grand Comics Database
- Thomas, Roy; Sanderson, Peter (2007). The Marvel Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles from the World of Marvel. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 98. ISBN 978-0762428441.
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 37: A beautiful, fun-loving 'swinger', Mary Jane Watson wandered into Peter Parker's life, changing it forever and capturing more than her fair share of attention."
- Saffel, Steve (2007). "A Legend Is Born". Spider-Man the Icon: The Life and Times of a Pop Culture Phenomenon. London, United Kingdom: Titan Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-84576-324-4.
- DeFalco, Tom; Gilbert, Laura, ed. (2008). "1960s". Marvel Chronicle A Year by Year History. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 119. ISBN 978-0756641238.
After teasing the readers for more than two years, Stan Lee finally allowed Peter Parker to meet Mary Jane Watson.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- David, Peter; Greenberger, Robert (2010). The Spider-Man Vault: A Museum-in-a-Book with Rare Collectibles Spun from Marvel's Web. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Running Press. p. 38. ISBN 0762437723.
- DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 119: "The first original super-villain produced by the new Spider-Man team of Stan Lee and John Romita was the Rhino."
- DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 121
- DeFalco "1960s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 122: "Stan Lee wanted to create a new kind of crime boss. Someone who treated crime as if it were a business ... He pitched this idea to artist John Romita and it was Wilson Fisk who emerged in The Amazing Spider-Man #50."
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 37: "[Stan Lee] knew that most readers tuned in every month for a glimpse of that side of Spider-Man's life as much as they did to see the wall-crawler battle the latest supervillain."
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 39: The Amazing Spider-Man #47 (April 1967) "Kraven's latest rematch with Spidey was set during a going-away party for Flash Thompson, who was facing the very real issue of the Vietnam War draft."
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 43: The Spectacular Spider-Man #1 (July 1968) "Drawn by Romita and Jim Mooney, the mammoth 52-page lead story focused on corrupt politician Richard Raleigh's plot to terrorize the city."
- Manning "1960s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 46: The Amazing Spider-Man #68 (Jan. 1969) "Stan Lee tackled the issues of the day again when, with artists John Romita and Jim Mooney, he dealt with social unrest at Empire State University."
- Daniels, Les (1991). "Research and Development (1970–1978)". Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World's Greatest Comics. New York, New York: Harry N. Abrams. pp. 161 and 163. ISBN 9780810938212.
In July 1973, Stan Lee announced that John Romita had been officially appointed Marvel's art director ... Unofficially, Romita had been moving into the position for some time.
- The Amazing Spider-Man (Marvel, 1963 series) at the Grand Comics Database
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 30
- Sanderson, Peter "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 159: "In June , Marvel embarked on a story that would have far-reaching effects. The Amazing Spider-Man artist John Romita, Sr. suggested killing off Spider-Man's beloved Gwen Stacy in order to shake up the book's status quo."
- Manning "1970s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 68: "This story by writer Gerry Conway and penciler Gil Kane would go down in history as one of the most memorable events of Spider-Man's life."
- David and Greenberger p. 49: "The idea of beloved supporting characters meeting their deaths may be standard operating procedure now but in 1973 it was unprecedented ... Gwen's death took villainy and victimhood to an entirely new level."
- Saffel "Death and the Spider", p. 65: "Death struck again, with repercussions that would ripple through comics from that day forward."
- Herman, Daniel. Silver Age: The Second Generation of Comic Book Artists. New Castle, Pennsylvania: Hermes Press, 2005, ISBN 1-932563-64-4, ISBN 978-1-932563-64-1, p. 166
- Herman, p. 167
- Saffel, "An Adventure Each Day", p. 116: "On Monday January 3, 1977, The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip made its debut in newspapers nationwide, reuniting writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita."
- Cassell, Dewey (October 2010). "One Day at a Time: The Amazing Spider-Man Newspaper Strips". Back Issue!. TwoMorrows Publishing (44): 64.
- Lovece, Frank (April 23, 2009). "Bellerose artist created X-Men's Wolverine". Newsday. Archived from the original on October 7, 2012.
- Sanderson "1970s" in Gilbert (2008), p. 155: "In the early 1970s there was a wave of movies about African-American adventure heroes. Marvel responded to this with Luke Cage, Hero for Hire by writer Archie Goodwin and artist John Romita, Sr."
- Mithra, Kuljit (November 1997). "Interview With Marv Wolfman". Manwithoutfear.com. Archived from the original on November 10, 2013.
- Cassell, Dewey (August 2006). "Talking About Tigra: From the Cat to Were-Woman". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (17): 26–33.
- Aushenker, Michael (April 2014). "Disposable Heroes". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (71): 33–37.
'[John] Romita and I designed the character,' Wein says.
- Comtois, Pierre (2011). Marvel Comics In The 1970s: An Issue-By-Issue Field Guide To A Pop Culture Phenomenon. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing. ISBN 978-1605490342.
Credited on the splash page [of Strange Tales #169] for 'creative contributions' were [Roy] Thomas and art director John Romita, who no doubt came up with the character (Romita supplied the cover which might've doubled as a concept sketch before the book was produced.)
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. London, United Kingdom: Dorling Kindersley. p. 170. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
Many talents from both DC and Marvel contributed to this landmark publication – in addition to inker Dick Giordano, Neal Adams provided several redrawings of Superman while John Romita, Sr. worked on numerous Peter Parker/Spider-Man likenesses.CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
- Greenberg, Glenn (December 2012). "Tabloid Team-Ups The Giant-Size DC-Marvel Crossovers". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 33–40.
- Powers, Tom (December 2012). "Kirby Celebrating America's 200th Birthday: Captain America's Bicentennial Battles". Back Issue!. Raleigh, North Carolina: TwoMorrows Publishing (61): 46–49.
- Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 131: "Writer Roger Stern and artists John Romita, Jr. and John Romita, Sr. introduced readers to a brand new Captain Marvel, an African-American woman with energy-based powers called Monica Rambeau."
- Manning "1980s" in Gilbert (2012), p. 133: "Writer Roger Stern and artists John Romita, Jr. and John Romita, Sr. introduced a new – and frighteningly sane – version of the [Green Goblin] concept with the debut of the Hobgoblin."
- Weiland, Jonah (April 6, 2002). "First Look at Spider-Man TV Guide Covers". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on December 4, 2013.
- ""Postal Service Previews 2007 Commemorative Stamp Program" (October 25, 2006 press release)". USPS.com. October 25, 2006. Archived from the original on May 8, 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-10.
- "Hero Initiative Board Members Disbursement Committee". The Hero Initiative. 2013. Archived from the original on June 21, 2013.
- "Inkpot Award Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012.
- "Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame". San Diego Comic-Con. n.d. Archived from the original on June 23, 2016.
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9, p. 10; appears in print version only
- Romita interview, Alter Ego #9. Romita said when he first went to Marvel in the 1960s, "Somebody suggested I might use a phony name at Marvel — it must've been when I was doing work for both companies — and I wrote out 'John Victor,' for my two boys. Then I said, 'This is crazy. Who am I kidding? Everybody's going to know I'm doing it, so why use a phony name?'"
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to John Romita, Sr..|
- John Romita Sr. at the Comic Book DB
- John Romita Sr. at Mike's Amazing World of Comics
- John Romita Sr. at the Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators
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