Legendary Marvel artist John Romita passed away yesterday at the age of 93, according to his son, fellow artist John Romita Jr. Romita defined the look of Spider-Man for a generation and was Art Director for Marvel from 1973 through the early 2000s.
Romita’s career began in the late 1940s at what was then known as Timely Comics. Following a stint in the Army, Romita returned to what was then known as Atlas Comics, helping to relaunch Captain America in 1953. After a short stint at DC working on romance comics, Romita returned to the newly christened Marvel Comics, where, following a short stint on Daredevil, he took over the art duties on Amazing Spider-Man following the departure of creator Steve Ditko in 1966. Along with his tweaks to the design of Spider-Man and Peter Parker, Romita helped create iconic characters like Mary Jane Watson, Rhino, Kingpin, Shocker, and more.
As Art Director, Romita also designed a number of characters on titles that he wasn’t working on, including Wolverine and Punisher. He was inducted into the Will Eisner Hall of Fame in 2002.
I have at least 38 comics drawn by John Romita in my collection, starting with issue #44 of Amazing Spider-Man, cover dated January 1966, and ending with issue #132, from May of 1974.