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The artwork of the Amazing Spider Man.

Updated on May 30, 2016


I am a fan of comic books, especially comic book art from the '60's and '70's. It was during that time that you can get comics for 10 cents, then it went up to 12 cents and again it went up to 25 cents, etc. I haven't keep up with comics, but I am sure it is, probably, about $2.99. Quite a jump from the 10 cents days! I want to give tribute to two great comic book artists-John Romita and Steve Ditko. Both drew Spider Man and their art was exceptional.

Steve Ditko!

Born on Nov 2, 1927 and hailed from Johnstown, Penn. Enlisted in the Army in 1945, he drew comics for army newspapers. Using his GI bill, he enrolled in the Cartoonist and Illustrator's school in NYC. His teacher was Jerry Robinson, who drew The Batman comics. Being a fan of Batman, he felt honored to be under his mentoring. In the 1950's, he had achieved some experience and success. He had done some inking for the studios of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.

He, had, also done some work with Carlton comics all the way thru 1986. Drawing such heroes as Blue Beetle, The Question and Captain Atom, his work spoke for itself. I had the privilege to read and appreciate some of his early works in the Blue Beetle comics. If you have a chance, check it out, it is a classic. Some of the heroes that he had drawn for Charlton Comics went on to DC comics!

His big break was when he teamed up with Stan Lee and drew Spider Man. Originally, Stan had Jack Kirby draw Spider Man, but as fate would have it, Steve was chosen for that memorial task. I like his artwork, combined with the inking, it is a wonder to behold. I, especially, liked how he drew Spider Man with the large webbing hanging from his arms unto his hips.

I, also, liked it when his Spider sense would go off. Sometimes, he would have his face split with Parker's and Spider Man at the same time-classic! Plus, he captured life in the early sixties in a unique way. Issue 38 was the last issue drawn, as he suddenly quit and walked away. There are many versions of why this happened, but I have some links that will explain that in length.

Also, credited among his works are Dr Strange, Hulk and Iron Man. Afterwards, Steve worked with DC comics. Credited among his works are Creeper and Hawk and Dove series. Returning in 1979 to Marvel, he took over Jack Kirby's Machine Man and drew a new host of superheroes. Ditko retired in 1998 and was nominated in the Jack Kirby's Hall of Fame in 1990. In 1994, he was nominated in the Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame. I, personally, like Steve Ditko's art and rate him among the greats. If you are a comic book fan, see if you can get a early version of Spider Man and appreciate Steve Ditko's art!

Johnny Romita's artwork!

John Romita!

John V Romita was born in Jan 24, 1930.(Brooklyn, New York City) In 1947, he graduated from the Manhattan School of Industrial arts. Among his influences were Milton Caniff, who drew Terry and the Pirates. A Sunday comic strip that started in 1934 and lasted for a couple of decades. This popular comic strip would turn into a movie serial in 1940. Another was Carmine Infantino, who drew Superman, Flash and Spider Woman!

In 1951, he was drafted, but soon found work drawing recruitment posters for the army. He worked with Atlas comics along with Stan Lee doing Westerns, War Stories and even doing the cover art of Captain America #78 (1954). Then, after that, he worked for DC comics and drew some romantic stories for a few years.

In the 60's, Atlas comics would become Marvel comics.Teaming up again with Stan Lee, he provided artwork for the Avengers and Daredevil. His big break came when he took over for Steve Ditko and starting drawing for Spiderman. Mind you, I am a Steve Ditko fan and his artwork is classic, but Steve Romita took it to new heights.

He, along with Stan Lee, managed to put the spirit of the late 60's into their stories. Things such as the hippie culture, Viet Nam war, drugs and real life situations could be seen in Romita's artwork. My favorite scene of his artwork is when Peter is thinking about his problems and you see all the faces with the people involved in his life.

John Romita, also, provided the artwork for the Spider Man cartoon of the 60's! As a kid, I really enjoyed those episodes, especially the one on the Origin of Spider Man. Spider Man has, also, appeared on the newspaper comic strips where Lee and Romita provided the artwork, Over the years, John Romita has not slowed down and continues to draw on and off for Marvel comics. In 2002, Romita was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic book Hall of fame.

Closing thoughts!

There has been great comic book artists that, over the years, have drawn Spider Man and I salute them. One of them was John Romita, jr, who had some great artwork, too! With all due respect, I think that Romita and Ditko's art are in a class by itself. Two different styles, yet they complement each other.

Ditko capturing the adventure and the classic old school webbing hanging from Spider Man's arms. His Spider senses and his face half Parker/half SpiderMan is priceless. Romita drawing the beautiful ladies such as Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane Watson is a wonder to behold. Peter Parker's love life with Gwen and, later on, with Mary Jane is one to admire. He has, also, managed to bring to the scene- life's problems, such as the loss of Gwen Stacy and Harry's addiction to drugs. A masterpiece that only Romita can capture thru his art. Both in my opinion were born to draw Spider Man. This is my tribute to two great comic book artists!

Which artwork do you prefer?

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    • Nathan Kiehn profile image

      Nathan Kiehn 2 months ago

      I've always enjoyed the work of both Romitas. For me, while Steve Ditko defined the look of Spider-Man and so many of his adversaries, John Romita polished that look. Take the Green Goblin for example. He's a little muted in his first appearances, he rides the broomstick, he looks a bit too "epic fantasy" rather than "comic book supervillain." And then John Romita took the reins for ASM 39 and 40, and his Green Goblin is vibrant and maniacal. He's more colorful; Romita uses the pallet other artists (including his son and Tim Sale in Spider-Man: Blue) would adopt down the road.

      And his son is fantastic too. His work on ASM with Straczynski and later during Brand New Day is spectacular.

      There are a lot of great biographical details, which I really liked reading. Having read a graphic novel biography on Stan Lee, I found the similarities between him and Ditko really neat. Thanks for sharing.

    • The Reminder profile image

      The Reminder 5 years ago from Canada

      Hi Montecristo.

      I too am a fan of comic books but unfortunately I haven't been on the scene for a while. Romita is in my opinion one of the greatest artists ever, along with Alex Ross. I have a copy of that ASM no.50 but I wish it could have that condition!