Meet your favorite comic book artist (or “sequential artist” as those in the industry say): John Romita Jr. (On August 5, the Bryant Park Reading Room featured him, interviewed by David Shoemaker, as part of their Word for Word Series)
He’s a junior in multiple senses of the word. He shares his name and profession with his father. John Romito Sr. used to disappear into the attic for days at a time, working on his projects. When his son was young, those projects were romance comics (Did you know those existed? Because I didn’t!) John Jr. would stop by to see what his dad was doing, but he wouldn’t put up much of a fight when the artist hurried him out. Then, one day, he stumbled up into the attic while his dad was creating a scene from Daredevil. “Yes, he’s going to beat all those guys… and he’s blind.” The next day, John Jr. started working on his own sketches, and from that day on, John Sr. couldn’t get him out of the artist’s studio.
Romito (Jr.) has drawn pretty much every superhero you can think of (Batman, Superman, all the Marvel crew…) and some you might not have (Kick-Ass, anyone?) What separates his work from others, according to him, is not the artwork itself. He insisted that there are many more artists more talented than him: what has kept him in the business so long is his aptitude for storytelling. He compares compiling the right “cuts” with directing a film. So, not surprisingly, he’s thrilled about how the two industries have come together in recent years. In this spirit, I’ve included a gallery of shots below: imagine your own conversation to go with the slides!