It is not uncommon for young boys to grow up viewing their fathers as being a real live hero – choosing to immolate their every move. This is why boys shadow their father shaving in the bathroom in the morning or cutting the yard. Now, imagine growing up and your father is one of the world’s top comic strip artists and storytellers. Well, this was actual reality of John Romita Jr. Yes, that is right, he is the son of the great John Romita Sr. – the sketch artist behind a great deal of the artwork and storytelling at Marvel and DC comics. If fact, Romita Sr. is the actual creator of The Punisher.
John Romita Jr. decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. Here are five facts that will unveil the genius behind the younger Romita.
1. He is Often Referred to as Jr. Jr.
Because he followed his father both, in name and career, he if often referred to by those who know him intimately as Jr. Jr. Truth be told, he not only followed his father in name and vocation but in the level of creative genius. John Jr. is the creative genius that is behind much of the comic strip work at Marvel from the 1970s through the 2010s. Jus as his father had in the 50s and 60s, Romita made his indelible imprint on the world of comic strips.
2. He Did His First Comic Book Rendering at Age 13
While most kids were satisfied with just reading comic books, John Jr. was busy preparing to submit his first rendering, which he did at age 12. It was a contribution to the ongoing Spiderman saga that his father had contributed to so heavily in the past. John Jr. was responsible for the creation of the character The Prowler, which became another nemesis for Spiderman. It would be the first of many contributions that would allow him to build his own legend separate from his father.
3. He Began His Career with Marvel Doing Sketches
As a favor to his father, John began his career at Marvel Comics in the United Kingdom by doing sketches for the covers of magazines that were being reprinted, but his debut in the United States would not be far behind, and it began with a unique story that spanned six pages entitled Chaos at the Coffee Bean, which as also a contribution to The Amazing Spider Man brand. These contributions would lead to an entire life of spectacular work.
4. Iron Man Was His Claim to Fame
While there is no shortage of exceptional work that we can turn to and ascribe to the genius of John Romita Jr., without a doubt, the project that thrust him into the stratosphere was the work he did on Iron Man, beginning in 1978. John Jr. would get to work with the creative artist Bob Layton and the phenomenal writer David Michelinie. Together, they were able to create a number of supporting characters to Iron Man.
5. He Lists His Father as His Greatest Influence
While John Jr. admits that he has been influenced by a number of great sketch artists and storytellers, including Jack Kirby, the Wyeth family of painters and Charles Dana Gibson, he declares that it was his father that had the greatest influence on his work. That should come to no surprise for those who know the massive impact that John Romita Sr. had on the comic book industry for over four decades. While all of these influences can be observed in John Jr.’s work, he is in a class all his own.