Loss Of A Legend

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.

RIP George Perez

After a battle with pancreatic cancer, legendary comic artist/writer George Perez passed away yesterday at the age of 67.  Perez was best known for his work on The New Teen Titans, Wonder Woman, and Crisis on Infinite Earths for DC and The Avengers for Marvel.  He had announced his retirement from comics work in 2019 due to vision problems and was diagnosed with cancer this past November.

I did not get a whole lot of exposure to Perez’s work back during my comic collecting days.  He never worked on a Spider-Man title, which were my stock in trade, but I happened upon the stray issue or limited series here and there.  By all accounts, he was a better man than he was artist, which is saying something.  May his family find some solace in the fact that his talent has touched millions of people over the years.