John Romita was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1930, the son of Italian immigrants. By 19, he was already working as a comic book artist. He would then find success drawing romance comics aimed at a female audience. In 1966, he got hired by Marvel, to draw their relatively low-selling series Daredevil. But after eight issues, Stan Lee hired him to take over for Steve Ditko when he left The Amazing Spider-Man.
If you were a Gen-X kid growing up in the ’70s and ’80s loving Marvel Comics, then the art of John Romita was the way you perceived the Marvel characters. From calendars to plastic cups to posters to lunchboxes, it was Romita’s renditions that were on almost every piece of merchandising during this era. The Marvel “House Style” ultimately wasn’t Jack Kirby or Gil Kane or any other prolific artist, it was Romita’s. The heroic pose of Spidey standing in the center of his web was an image every kid knew back in the day. Most kids didn’t know who drew it, but it was the distinctive touch of John Romita. Although Romita mostly retired for the last several decades, he drew the occasional issue or cover for Marvel, reminding younger readers that he still had it. His contributions to the art form of comic books will not be forgotten.