Last night comics lost a titan with the passing of the legendary artist John Romita Sr., the man who defined the Silver Age aesthetic of Marvel Comics’ most popular heroes with his work on The Amazing Spider-Man and beyond. Tributes from all over the industry continue to come in, reflecting on the inspiration and influence of one finest to ever do it.
From Marvel to DC and every publisher in between, luminaries from the comics world have united in paying tribute to Romita’s remarkable talent. His passing at the age of 93 was announced last night by his son, John Romita Jr. — himself a vastly influential comics artist in his own right, following in his father’s footsteps.
“John Romita Sr. was a pillar of the Marvel Universe, and his talent defined decades of Marvel’s most well-known stories and characters,” Marvel Entertainment wrote in its own tribute. “The Marvel family has lost one of its legends, and we mourn the loss of a creative giant.”
John Romita Sr. was a pillar of the Marvel Universe, and his talent defined decades of Marvel’s most well-known stories and characters. The Marvel family has lost one of its legends, and we mourn the loss of a creative giant. Our hearts are with his family and loved ones. pic.twitter.com/Wj0I7TPuNs
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) June 14, 2023
“John Romita Sr. was an incomparable artist who brought so many iconic Marvel characters to life on the page and set the tone and look of Marvel’s comics for decades,” Kevin Feige, Marvel Studios’ president, wrote in a series of tributes on the company’s website. “His version of Spider-Man has inspired so many of us at Marvel Studios. Our thoughts are with his family, and the generations of artists and fans who fell in love with the characters he drew.”
“DC extends its deepest condolences to the family, colleagues, friends, and fans of iconic artist John Romita Sr.,” began a statement from DC Comics released on social media today. “We were so honoured when he came out of retirement to draw the cover for Superman #34, which featured interiors from his son John Romita, Jr. He will be sorely missed.”
DC extends its deepest condolences to the family, colleagues, friends and fans of iconic artist John Romita Sr. One of the last great creators from the 60’s, he was best known for his pivotal work on Spider-Man at Marvel. We were so honored when he came out of retirement to draw… pic.twitter.com/omOWrV6Rae
— DC (@DCOfficial) June 14, 2023
James Gunn, current architect of Warner Bros.’ adaptations of the DC universe, also paid tribute. “My brother & I wrote Mr. Romita when we were young kids & sent him drawings of superheroes we were working on. He wrote us back, telling us what he liked about the drawings,” Gunn reflected on social media. “A truly memorable experience in my life, making me feel like the magic of comic books, which seemed so otherworldly, wasn’t actually that far away.”
Sorry to hear about the great comic book artist John Romita Sr passing at the age of 93. My brother & I wrote Mr. Romita when we were young kids & sent him drawings of superheroes we were working on. He wrote us back, telling us what he liked about the drawings! A truly… pic.twitter.com/VV1slBPmwH
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) June 14, 2023
See more reflections and memories from across the world of comics below, as the industry celebrates and commiserates in the loss of one of the finest superhero artists of the western comics world — one who forever shaped the identity and world of one of its most iconic and beloved characters.
RIP John Romita.
Like many, my first Spidey comic was drawn by Romita – a digest reprint of Spectacular Spider-Man Magazine #2, which reprinted one of my favorite Green Goblin stories. I still shudder at the sequence where Norman realizes he’s the Goblin. Romita’s art was magic. pic.twitter.com/z2nne1EiRh
— Alex Segura won the LAT Book Prize! (@alex_segura) June 14, 2023
I grew up with John Romita’s Spider-Man as my Spider-Man. He was already one of my heroes before I’d ever set foot in Marvel.
When I was an intern in the 90’s, it was surreal to me that he worked on staff, and I was in awe seeing him walk through the halls.
— Dan Slott (@DanSlott) June 14, 2023
An artist who was a comfort in my life since I was 6 years old.
An art director I had the privilege of working with who taught me so much.
But most of all, one of the kindest human beings I have ever known.
Thank you, John, for everything you have given us. https://t.co/vXBORIGKqI
— FabianNicieza (@FabianNicieza) June 14, 2023
We lost one of the sweetest, kind, and generous people I have ever met today. Just broken.
Rest in Peace, John Romita and thank you for a lifetime of brilliant storytelling and generosity- sharing your knowledge with so many like myself along the way.
Gone but never forgotten pic.twitter.com/Wf9WmCe5aj
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) June 14, 2023
An absolute titan. He put so much humanity into his art—the struggle and the dignity of just the every day—while still taking us to better, beautiful worlds. He inspired and mentored multiple generations of comic creators. Grateful for his endearing legacy; what a wonderful nerd. https://t.co/ZJeiS4sxxD
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) June 14, 2023
The world sure was lucky to have John Romita, Sr. A lovely man, a brilliant storyteller and one of the greatest to ever hold a pencil or pen. pic.twitter.com/uAtlJmYDLu
— Nick Lowe (@nick_lowe_) June 14, 2023
I just heard that John Romita Sr has died. Definitive Spider-Man artist, legendary Marvel art director, father of my great friend Johnny Jr & one of the most beloved human beings in the biz. If we can all end our careers with even A FRACTION of those triumphs we’re doing well. pic.twitter.com/6PdZlXxSov
— Millarworld (@mrmarkmillar) June 14, 2023