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Original Artist: John Romita



John Romita Senior started drawing after spending a year in commercial art. Romita drew mostly horror and romance stories, but also several war, crime and Western features. His best known work contains the 'Avengers', 'Daredevil' and 'Spider-Man', in which his son John Romita Jr. followed him.


John Romita, Sr.

John Romita, Sr. (better known as simply John Romita) (born January 24, 1930) is an American comic book artist best known for his work on Marvel Comics' The Amazing Spider-Man. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2002.


Romita is the father of John Romita, Jr., also a comic book artist.



Early life and career


John Romita graduated from the School of Industrial Art in 1947. He broke into comics on the seminal series Famous Funnies. "Steven Douglas up there was a benefactor to all young artists", Romita recalled. "The first story he gave me was a love story. It was terrible. All the women looked like emaciated men and he bought it, never criticized, and told me to keep working. He paid me two hundred dollars for it and never published it — and rightfully so".


Romita was working at the New York City company Forbes Lithograph in 1949, earing $30 a week, when a friend from high school whom he ran into on a subway train offered him $20 a page to pencil a 10-page story for him as uncredited ghost artist. "I thought, this is ridiculous! In two pages I can make more money than I usually make all week! So I ghosted it and then kept on ghosting for him", Romita recalled. [1] The friend worked for Marvel's 1940s forerunner, Timely Comics, which helped give Romita an opportunity to meet editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee.


Romita's first known credited comic-book art is as penciler and inker on the six-page story "The Bradshaw Boys" in Western Outlaws #1 (Feb. 1951) for Marvel's 1950s predecessor, Atlas Comics. He went on to draw a wide variety of horror, war, romance and other comics for Atlas. His most notable work for the company was the short-lived, 1950s revival of Timely's hit character Captain America, in Young Men #24-28 (Dec. 1953 - July 1954) and Captain America #76-78 (May-Sept. 1954).


He also was the primary artist for one of the first series with a Black star, "Waku, Prince of the Bantu" — created by writer Don Rico and artist Ogden Whitney in the omnibus title Jungle Tales #1 (Sept. 1954), and starring an African chieftain in Africa, with no regularly featured Caucasian characters. Romita succeeded Whitney with issue #2 (Nov. 1954).



At Marvel, Romita returned to superhero penciling after a decade working exclusively as a romance-comic artist for DC. He felt at the time that he no longer wanted to pencil, in favor of being solely an inker:

“ I had inked an Avengers job for Stan, and I told him I just wanted to ink. I felt like I was burned out as a penciler after eight years of romance work. I didn't want to pencil any more; in fact, I couldn't work at home any more — I couldn't discipline myself to do it. He said, 'Okay,' but the first chance he had he shows me this Daredevil story somebody had started and he didn't like it, and he wanted somebody else to do it".[2] "[He] showed me Dick Ayers' splash page for a Daredevil [and] asked me, 'What would you do with this page?' I showed him on a tracing paper what I would do, and then he asked me to do a drawing of Daredevil the way I would do it. I did a big drawing of Daredevil ... just a big, tracing-paper drawing of Daredevil swinging. And Stan loved it.[3] ”


Romita began a brief stint on Daredevil beginning with issue #12, initially penciling over Jack Kirby 's dynamic layouts as a means of learning Marvel's storytelling house style. It proved to be a stepping-stone for his famed, years-long pencilling run on The Amazing Spider-Man. "What Stan Lee wanted was for me to do a two-part Daredevil story [#16-17, May-June 1966] with Spider-Man as a guest star, to see how I handled the character".


Coming to The Amazing Spider-Man as successor of Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko, Romita initially attempted to mimic Ditko's style, but brought his own clean, soap operatic style of illustration to the book, and made the character his own.

Marvel Comics art director


When editor-in-chief and art director Stan Lee assumed the position of publisher, he promoted Romita to the latter position. In that capacity, Romita played a major role in defining the look of Marvel Comics and in designing new characters. Among the characters he helped design are the Punisher, Wolverine, and Brother Voodoo.


Later career

He collaborated with one of his two sons, John Romita, Jr., on The Amazing Spider-Man #500, drawing the last few pages of the issue. In the mid-2000s, Romita sat on the board of directors of the charity A Commitment To Our Roots.


In Febuary 2007, Marvel is releasing Daredevil #94 which pays homage to some of Romita's past work at the company.


Romita Sr., John: (American, b. 1930): John Romita Sr. started drawing comics after spending a year in commercial art. His first jobs were done for the Atlas group in 1949, and he drew mostly horror and romance stories, but also war, western, and crime features. After the Atlas implosion, Romita Sr. went to DC, where he drew romance stories for eight years. After that, it was back to Marvel, where he initially inked The Avengers and drew Daredevil. However, Romita Sr.'s most celebrated work was done for the Amazing Spider-Man, the feature he took over when Spider-Man co-creator Steve Ditko left Marvel in 1966. Under Romita Sr.'s tenure, Spider-Man became one of the comic field's most popular characters. Romita Sr. left his regular Spider-Man art chores in the early seventies to become an Art Director at Marvel in the Special Projects Department, and as Art Director for Marvel Books. In 1977, Romita Sr. briefly drew the syndicated Spider-Man newspaper comic strip. His son, John Romita Jr., is also an artist at Marvel.


Girl With Hair Ribbon

Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 16:30:16 +0100

Subject: Girl with Hair Ribbon



Hey David Barsalou,


I am working on an Article for the German Wikipedia about "Girl with Hair Ribbon" from Roy Lichtenstein.

I was wondering if it'd be possible for you to tell me what John Romita comic the original piece was from?


Thanks for any information and help,

Alan Smithee


Mädchen mit Haarband

Mädchen mit Haarband (Originaltitel Girl with Hair Ribbon) ist ein Gemälde des US-amerikanischen Künstlers Roy Lichtenstein aus dem Jahr 1965. Das 48 Zoll × 48 Zoll (121,9 cm × 121,9 cm) große Bild befindet sich im Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokio. Lichtenstein malte das Bild nach dem Panel eines Comics von John Romita senior. Das Gemälde gilt als typisches Werk der amerikanischen Pop Art und als Beispiel für Abstrakte Malerei.


David Barsalou: GIRL WITH HAIR RIBBON. DECONSTRUCTING ROY LICHTENSTEIN. 2000, abgerufen am 9. Februar 2012 (englisch).


TV Tokyo Inquire

From: Kyoko Matsuda (

Sent: Wed 7/23/08 2:11 PM To:

Cc: yuko matsuda (


Dear Mr. Barsalou:


I am writing this on behalf of TV Tokyo, a Japanese TV network.

We produce weekend evening, 30 minutes-long art program titled "The Great Masters of Art" for TV Tokyo.

This program reaches about 5 million Japanese population.


In each episode, one artist and one masterpiece by the featured artist will be picked. The program will explore the stories behind the production of the masterpiece and the life of the artist as well. Also the program will demonstrate/ explain the specific artistic technique that was used to create the featured art work.


We are planning to produce a program on Mr. Roy Lichtenstein and feature his "Girl with Hair Ribbon" for upcoming "The Great Masters" on TV Tokyo.


Since you have been working on the "Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein" site since 1979. I would like to ask a question about the cartoon which Mr. Lichtenstein transformed to his art work.


The director in Tokyo is interested in filming the original cartoon by Mr. John Romita Sr. and we are looking for its location. We already have contacted the Lichtenstein Foundation but they said they don't own it.


Please let me know if you know the information.

Thank you very much for your attention.




Kyoko Matsuda

BK Nexent, Inc.

545 8th Avenue 9th Floor North

New York, NY 10018, U.S.A.

Tel: (212)697-7401




Favor to ask...

From: Amy Leiva (

Sent: Wed 12/05/07 3:40 AM To:



I was really impressed by the hard work you put into "Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein." I had no idea that his works weren't completely original. I wonder if any of the original artists ever received any sort of official recognition from him for their immense contribution to his fame. I was wondering if you could please send me the original John Romita picture that "Girl With a Hair Ribbon" is taken from (sans the "Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein" lettering on it). I thought the Lichtenstein painting was a beautiful work until I saw the original and was blown away. I would like to print it out for display in my home. I would be supremely grateful if you would do me this grand favor.


Thanks and keep up the great work.

Very Sincerely,


Amy Leiva


From : Frank Lovece

Sent : Tuesday, January 9, 2007 5:41 PM

To :

Subject : Fantastic site. Quick question


…because as far as Google is concerned, you are the only person alive who can answer it!

This page's panel by DC Comics war artist Jerry Grandenetti inspired Lichtenstein's 1962 drawing (not painting) "Jet Pilot":


No one I can find knows where it's from. Would you have any idea? This for an article about Grandenetti.


Thank you for any help or leads!


Frank Lovece


(212) 678-5192


From :


Sent :

Friday, March 11, 2005 4:09 AM

To :


Subject :

"Girl with Hair Ribbon"


My name's Alex Officer, and I'm doing a project on Roy Lichtenstein for my art class. I found your website, and it has been very useful, but I was wondering if you had any information on the painting "Girl with Hair Ribbon", or knew where I could find some. I was looking for things Like what it was done on, painted with, dimensions and where it is stored. If you would be able to help me in any way I would be very grateful.


Yours sincerely,

Alex Officer



Sent: Sun 13/03/2005 12:37 AM

To: Alexina OFFICER


Subject: RE: "Girl with Hair Ribbon"


"Girl with Hair Ribbon"- 48"x48" oil & magna on canvas...was painted in 1965. I believe it is in a private collection.



From :


Sent :

Monday, March 14, 2005 8:33 AM

To :


Subject :

RE: "Girl with Hair Ribbon"


Thanks for the information, you've helped me a lot!!

About this Site:

A site to feature the art, animation, work and some of the thoughts of the artists working at Michael Sporn Animation.


- Another site with some interesting imagery is designed for the person who loves comics or Roy Lichtenstein, or just would like to see where Roy Lichtenstein ripped-off those comic images, go to the Lichtenstein Project. There you’ll see side-by-side pairings of the artist’s paintings and the comic artists’ strip images. Decide which you like best.

David Barsalou, who put this site together, also has complete reference material for each of the strip artists at his flickr place.


prffsrdumbledork 25 Sep 06, 7.14PM PST

Comic Book "Girl with Hair Ribbon"


I was wondering where that picture came from. Did you scan it onto the computer or did you find it somwhere in the vastness of the internet. Either way do you have one or know the location of an image without Deconstructing Lichtenstein on it?


Thank you For your time


A great penciller, inker, designer, and art director, John Romita has done it all. While swimming in the middle of one of the great talent pools of all time, Romita did work that was at once the lushest and classiest of the lot. Had he limited himself simply to inking, he would have pushed Joe Sinnott for honors as the best embellisher of the Marvel era. He designed characters such as the Kingpin, Punisher and Wolverine, and he held sway as art director when Marvel welcomed the likes of Frank Miller, Bill Sienkiewicz, Jim Starlin, George Perez and others. He is, simply put, among the most important talents Marvel has ever had.



Girl With Hair Ribbon‏

From: Chantal Caissie (

Sent: Thu 2/04/10 2:12 AM



I was wondering if it'd be possible for you to tell me what comic the original piece was from? I know it's a John Romita comic, but I can't find any information on what storyline it was in, etc.

Thanks for any information and help,



"My work has nothing to do with 'appropriation,' the refocusing of history, or the death of art, or the negative questioning of originality," . "Rather, just the opposite. It involves the power and autonomy of originality and the focus and pervasiveness of art."

Elaine Sturtevant


Marcos Cabanas August 19 at 2:14am

Brilliant! I knew Lichtenstein based his pictures in comic strips although I never saw the originals.

It's nice to see the artists behid the artist... Thank you.





Deconstructing Roy Lichtenstein Group On Facebook


Mike Collins /Facebook


The cult of Lichenstein really winds me up- he took astonishing images by folks like Romita, Norvick and Joe Kubert and just blanded them down to what 'real' art perceived comics to be-- and the way he kiddified the lettering was equally disrespectful. It became a self-fulfilling prophecy- see, comics are crude! Annoys the hell out of me!


Museum of Contemporary Art

Tokyo, Japan

Girl with Hair Ribbon, 1965. Oil and Magna on canvas

48 x 48 inches; 121.9 x 121.9 cm


Alan Smithee

Date: Wed, 15 Feb 2012 16:30:16 +0100

Subject: Girl with Ribbon Hair



Hey David Barsalou,

I am working on an Article for the german Wikipedia about "Girl with Hair Ribbon" from Roy Lichtenstein.

and I was wondering if it'd be possible for you to tell me what John-Romita-comic the original piece was from?

Thanks for any information and help,

Alan Smithee


Is this where I really belong..? h-have I been reaching for the moon ?



The Tate Modern

Lichtenstein: A Retrospective: Preparing the show

By Iria Candela


* Comments


31 January 2013, 22.07


It's difficult to appreciate Lichtenstein knowing the extent to which he appropriated images created by others into his works.


There's an excellent site here, which shows how he copied the works of comics artists Jack Kirby, Tony Abruzzo, Joe Kubert, John Romita and others:


It's one thing to inspiration from popular culture, but Lichtenstein's method was closer to plagiarism.

It's dispiriting when you consider that the original artists worked "for hire" without regular salaries, health insurance or pensions while Lichtenstein became rich and his works still sell for millions.



16 February 2013, 16.32


Thank you for giving us some background on the Lichtenstein retrospective, and good luck with your exhibition.


However, I have to agree with ‘jfire’: much of Lichtenstein’s work is based on the unsanctioned appropriation of artwork originally created by working comic book artists including such luminaries as Jack Kirby and Joe Kubert (amongst many others). As far as I am aware, these artists (who, incidentally, also wrote comic books during their careers) were never paid for the use of their work in Lichtenstein’s art and have never received any payment from the huge revenue generated over the past few decades by sales of Lichtenstein’s appropriation of their original art. Permission to use their art has also never been granted as far as I am aware.


Unfortunately, the art establishment continues to sanction what is, in my opinion, little more than artistic theft by supporting the regular exhibition of Lichtenstein’s reproduction of original comic book art. By doing so, the art world also perpetuates the popular misperception of the comic book medium as an inherently juvenile or insignificant storytelling medium. It saddens me that the Tate is happy to endorse this process by also selling so-called ‘pop art’ memorabilia (such as Lichtenstein cushions for £15).


Perhaps the Tate would consider donating some of the revenue generated from the Lichtenstein exhibition and products to an organisation such as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the First Amendment rights of the comics medium and fighting censorship? Yessir, master hel, Sir, it's Woman in the Moon - and we have a winner


Btw, Friede is both the name of the rocket and the name of the girl (in the film plot).

And the 'empty' speech bubble not only was a clue for silent movie but also an invitation to investigate what the original image (Comic panel by John Romita) says: IS THIS WHERE I REALLY BELONG...? H–HAVE I BEEN REACHING FOR THE MOON? Here, the word moon was another clue. But of course, he didn't even need it to find the solution…


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Taken on September 5, 2000