TOP TEN :: Best Comics Artists Ever :: #3 :: John Romita, Sr.

September 20, 2007 at 1:49 pm By:

While Jack Kirby set the style for all modern comics, it was John Romita who established the look. He also had the unenviable position of following the greats of the comics industry: Kirby on Captain America and Fantastic Four, Steve Ditko on Spider-Man, and Wally Wood on Daredevil. I’ve heard many an old school fan decry Romita’s arrival on Amazing Spider-Man, with the seminal issue 39, as the end of the character. How could a romance artist, with the glossy and clean linework, replace a master of oddity and mood! This was quickly replaced with astonishment.

John Romita’s work, influenced by the great Milton Caniff, quickly won over legions of fans, making Spidey the preeminent Marvel superhero. He followed his run as penciler for Spider-Man as the embellisher on Gil Kane’s pencils, perhaps the greatest mesh of graphite and India ink ever produced. He established the popular look of Marvel’s characters in Spider-Man’s daily newspaper strip, and in almost all of their licensed material. Later, as Marvel’s art director, he guided the next generation of artists and continued Marvel’s incomparable “house style”. His hand is seen everywhere on covers from the ‘60’s to the ‘80’s, often offering the subtle changes that move a cover from good to great. John Romita is one of the most influential pencilers, and arguably the greatest inker, that comics has ever seen.


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