Saturday, April 9, 2011
Spotlight On: John Romita, Jr.
Doug: Welcome back for another round-robin discussion of an artist who got his start in the Bronze Age, but is still in the public eye 30+ years later. John Romita, Jr. came to the comics-buying public's attention with his run on Iron Man (working with scribe David Michelinie and inker Bob Layton) in the very late 1970's and into the '80's. We've reviewed part of the stellar "Demon in a Bottle" storyline, and at the time remarked that the art was so strong. But, was it Layton's inks carrying the load? I'd have to think so, and we said it at that time.
Doug: Lately, John Jr. has developed a unique style, and saying that is certainly not meant to be complimentary. Young Romita shows a very sketchy, blocky, scratchy style, and his faces tend to be somewhat flat -- does everyone have the same nose? It's quite an odd cross between latter-day Kirby, latter-day Byrne (when he inks himself), latter-day Infantino -- it's just sort of a hodge-podge style. It's difficult for me to put my finger on just what it is about Romita's style... But whatever he's doing, I'm not a fan. I'll admit the sample below is not all that bad (anyone who draws Venom sans that ridiculous tongue scores at least some points in my book *EDIT: I noticed on 4/11/11 that the image I reference has been removed. Now I wish I'd saved it instead of providing a direct link...). Go ahead and do a Google image search for his work -- there are many, many samples of pencil and post-production work, for your examination.
Doug: So how about you? What are your perceptions of Romita Jr.'s work over the course of his career? High points? Lows? Give us an opinion, and thanks in advance for sharing!