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John Romita, Jr

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John Romita, Jr

John Romita, Jr.
John Romita, Jr. in 2006
Born (1956-08-17) August 17, 1956 (age 57)
New York City, New York
Nationality American
Area(s)
Pseudonym(s) JRJR
Notable works
Awards
  • Inkpot Award (1994)
  • Eisner Award (2002)
  • John S. Romita, Jr. (born August 17, 1956)[1] is an American comic book artist best known for his extensive work for Marvel Comics from the 1970s to the 2000s. He is often referred to as JRJR (the abbreviation of John Romita, Jr.)

    Early life

    John Romita, Jr. is the son of Virginia and comic-book artist John Romita, Sr., one of the signature Spider-Man artists since the 1960s.[2][3]

    Career

    Romita, Jr. began his career at Marvel UK, doing sketches for covers of reprints as a favor thanks to his respected father. His American debut was with a six page story entitled "Chaos at the Coffee Bean!" in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #11 (1977).

    Romita's early popularity began with his run on Iron Man with writer David Michelinie and artist Bob Layton which began in 1978. In the early 1980s, he had his first regular run on the series The Amazing Spider-Man and also was the artist for the launch of the Dazzler series. Working with writer Roger Stern on The Amazing Spider-Man, he co-created the character Hobgoblin. From 1983 to 1986 he had a run on the popular Uncanny X-Men with Dan Green and author Chris Claremont. He would return for a second run on Uncanny X-Men in 1993.


    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Romita enjoyed an extended stint on Daredevil with writer Ann Nocenti and inker Al Williamson, noted for its creation of long-running Daredevil nemesis Typhoid Mary and for an influential reimagining of the villain Mephisto. For Romita himself, however, his stint on Daredevil was most significant for being both the first time he was allowed to do full pencils instead of just breakdowns, and the first time he had a working relationship with the writer on a series.[4] He later remarked that "I finally felt like I was part of the creation process for the first time while I was on DD."[4] After Daredevil #282, Romita left the series to pursue other projects.

    Stan Lee interviewed Romita and his father in Episode 8 of in the 1991-1992 documentary series The Comic Book Greats.

    Romita later collaborated with Frank Miller on a Daredevil origin story entitled Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, a revisiting of the character's origin, with Williamson again on inks. Romita was repeatedly forced to draw new transitional pages as the story changed formats from a 64-page graphic novel to a 144-page graphic novel to a five-issue limited series.[4] He worked on a host of Marvel titles during the 1990s, including The Punisher War Zone, the Cable miniseries, Thor, a return to Iron Man for the second "Armor Wars" story arc, written by John Byrne, and the Punisher/Batman crossover. Klaus Janson was a frequent inker.

    In the 2000s, Romita had a return to The Amazing Spider-Man with writer J. Michael Straczynski. He drew Marvel's Wolverine with author Mark Millar. In 2004, Romita's creator-owned project The Gray Area was published by Image Comics. Romita's art has since appeared in Black Panther, The Sentry and "Ultimate Vision", a backup feature in the Ultimate Marvel line, written by Mark Millar.

    In 2006, Romita collaborated with writer Neil Gaiman on a seven-issue miniseries reinterpretation of Jack Kirby's characters the Eternals.[5] Romita worked with Greg Pak on the five-issue flagship comic of Marvel's 2007 crossover storyline, World War Hulk.

    In 2008, Romita again returned to The Amazing Spider-Man. He also collaborated once more with Millar, for a creator-owned series, Kick-Ass, published by Marvel's Icon imprint. This was later adapted into the 2010 film Kick-Ass. Romita, one of the producers, directed an animated flashback sequence in the film.[6]

    On April 9, 2011, Romita was one of 62 comics creators who appeared at the IGN stage at the Kapow! convention in London to set two Guinness World Records, the Fastest Production of a Comic Book, and Most Contributors to a Comic Book. With Guinness officials on hand to monitor their progress, writer Millar began work at 9 a.m. scripting a 20-page black-and-white comic book of his character Superior, with Romita and the other artists appearing on stage throughout the day to work on the pencils, inks, and lettering, each drawing a panel.[7][8] The book was completed in 11 hours, 19 minutes, and 38 seconds, and was published through Icon on November 23, 2011, with all royalties being donated to Yorkhill Children's Foundation.[7]

    On May 4, 2012, Romita set out to break his own record for continuous cartooning, to support the charity Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation of Nevada. He attempted to continuously sketch characters and sign comics for 50 hours straight.[9]

    Influences and techniques

    Romita's art influences include his father John Romita, Sr.,[2] as well as comics artists Jack Kirby[2] and John Buscema,[2] the Wyeth family of painters,[2] and illustrator Charles Dana Gibson.[2]

    Having illustrated both gritty street-level stories of characters such as Spider-Man and Daredevil and cosmic stories such as those starring Thor, Romita says he prefers the former, because "that is where I grew up. I use the same approach to each of the different story types - the story tells me what to do."[2] He prefers to work in the Marvel Method. He considers The Man Without Fear to be his best work,[4] due to the strong storytelling and the quality of the story.[2]

    Bibliography

    Marvel Comics

    Other publishers

    References

    External links

    • Grand Comics Database
    • John Romita Jr. at the Comic Book DB
    • John Romita, Jr. on Marvel.com

    Interviews

    • Newsarama, September 14, 2006
    Preceded by
    Keith Giffen
    Iron Man artist
    1978–1979
    Succeeded by
    Jerry Bingham
    Preceded by
    Bob Layton
    Iron Man artist
    1980–1982
    Succeeded by
    Alan Kupperberg
    Preceded by
    Keith Pollard
    The Amazing Spider-Man artist
    1980–1984
    Succeeded by
    Ron Frenz
    Preceded by
    N/A
    Dazzler artist
    1981
    Succeeded by
    Frank Springer
    Preceded by
    Paul Smith
    Uncanny X-Men artist
    1983–1986
    Succeeded by
    Marc Silvestri
    Preceded by
    Rick Leonardi
    Daredevil artist
    1988–1990
    Succeeded by
    Lee Weeks
    Preceded by
    Herb Trimpe
    Iron Man artist
    1990–1991
    Succeeded by
    Paul Ryan
    Preceded by
    Brandon Peterson
    Uncanny X-Men artist
    1993–1994
    Succeeded by
    Joe Madureira
    Preceded by
    Gil Kane
    Spider-Man artist
    1996–1998
    Succeeded by
    N/A
    Preceded by
    John Byrne
    The Amazing Spider-Man artist
    2000–2004
    Succeeded by
    Mike Deodato, Jr.
    Preceded by
    Darick Robertson
    Wolverine artist
    2004–2005
    Succeeded by
    Kaare Andrews
    Preceded by
    N/A
    Avengers artist
    2010
    Succeeded by
    Chris Bachalo
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