The artist behind some of Marvel’s best comic books, John Romita Sr. has passed away. Known for his iconic work on Spider-Man, The Punisher, Star Wars Droids and much more, the artist was an inspiration for comic book artists everywhere.
Romita’s death was confirmed by his son, comics artist John Romita Jr. The iconic comic book inker passed “peacefully in his sleep” at the age of 93 years-old.
“I say this with a heavy heart, My father passed away peacefully in his sleep. He is a legend in the art world and it would be my honor to follow in his footsteps,” Romita Jr. posted on Twitter, honouring his late father. “Please keep your thoughts and condolences here out of respect for my family. He was the greatest man I ever met.”
John Romita Sr worker as Marvel’s art director of comics for three decades, running from the 1970s to the early 2000s. During his time at the company, the artist inked some of the most iconic panels in comic history, such as Peter Parker throwing away the Spider-Man costume in Amazing Spider-Man #50.
Across his lengthy Spider-Man tenure, Romita introduced and designed a number of unforgettable characters. The artist drew the first incarnation of long-time love interest Mary Jane Watson as well as the character’s menacing villain Wilson Fisk, aka The Kingpin.
John Romita Sr’s legacy has caused ripples through the comic book industry, and his brilliant designs and characters are still used to this day. For example, comic accurate versions of Kingpin are used in Insomniac’s recent Spider-Man PS5 game.
Fans of the artists’ work have taken to social media to pay tribute to the iconic Spider-Man artist.
Guardians of the Galaxy and The Suicide Squad director James Gunn said: “Sorry to hear about the great comic book artist John Romita Sr passing at the age of 93. My brother and I wrote Mr. Romita when we were young kids and sent him drawings of superheroes we were working on. He wrote us back, telling us what he liked about the drawings! 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. My thoughts & condolences are with his family & loved ones.”
Even Jeremy Kirby, the grandson of comic book legend Jack Kirby, paid tribute to the artist, saying: “Sorry for your loss, John. Your father was an amazing talent and an even better person.”
John Romita Sr is survived by wife, Virginia, as well as his two sons, John Romita Jr and Victor Romita.