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With a career spanning over three decades, John Romita, Jr. has come to be known as "Mr. Marvel" or simply "JRJR". Like his father, John Romita, Sr., his name is practically synomynous with Marvel Comics as he has depicted nearly every character in the company's universe.
With a style typified by solid storytelling and powerful visuals, JRJR puts the 'super' in super-heroes. He is as adept at illustrating tales of street-level crimes as he is with capturing the majesty of galaxy-spanning demigods.
Romita, Jr. has been a personal favorite of mine since my first issue of his Iron Man run (#258, to be exact). I got it as part of a 3-for-$2 grab bag when I was a young teen. Shortly thereafter, I started collecting anything I could find of his: Uncanny X-Men, Daredevil, Punisher War Zone, Daredevil: Man Without Fear, and of course, Amazing Spider-Man.
But JRJR's success and longevity have not come without joys and pains as we discover in our conversation. He details his early career wrought with accusations of nepotism, and his mission to establish his own artistic identity apart from that of his legendary dad.
John also regales us with hilarious stories of the 1980s-era Marvel bullpen and him being the first (and only) Marvel "Hunk of the Month". And he speaks warmly of his collaborations with writers Frank Miller, Ann Nocenti and Mark Millar, as well as inkers Al Williamson and Klaus Janson.
* Special thanks to our friend Warren Drummond for helping make this interview possible.