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John Romita Jr. Feels The Pressure On New ‘Superman’ Run

Influential Marvel Comics artist John Romita Jr. begins his run on Superman with writer Geoff Johns this week, and while you’d expect this would just be another notch in the incredibly accomplished artist’s belt (he’s drawn popular runs with virtually every major Marvel character you can think of) he’s apparently pretty intimidated by the prospect of taking on the very first comic book superhero.

In particular, Romita’s worried because DC has so heavily promoted his jump to the the character and the publisher. Ads with the text, “Romita is coming!” similar to the “Kirby is coming!” ads of the 1970s — which heralded a similarly auspicious “defection” — have popped up throughout DC’s books in recent weeks. “Now I’ve made this big noise and people are thinking that I’m doing it to make noise,” he told USA Today. “And while that may or may not be true, I’m getting that microscope All that does to me is maybe pop a few more gray hairs, but it also makes me work that much harder.”

Here are a few more highlights from Romita’s USA Today interview:

On switching publishers:

“All I did was just change characters. I’m in the same business, and the first time I drew the character and started penciling a page, I said, ‘I’m still here.'”

On the design of the new character Ulysses, who was inspired by a biker:

“The guy looked like a fat Hulk Hogan, but still he had a ponytail that went down to his feet. I thought that would look very cool.”

On drawing Superman’s nose:

“I draw Italian noses. I can’t stop myself. Superman’s nose has never been broken and I put a little bump on his nose, and [DC Comics Co-Publisher] Dan DiDio said, ‘Wait a minute. Not every character is Italian, Romita! Straighten that nose out!'”

On getting used to drawing him:

“It’s taken me a little while. If somebody says, ‘Ah, you did a lousy Superman face,’ yeah, you’re probably right. I gotta work on that.”

On drawing Superman at cons in years past:

“I would draw that character after an all-night binge of drinking. Superman was on the floor with his belt buckle open from eating and drinking too much, with beer cans all over the place. And if it’s Superman, just like the Hulk, it would be a lot of beer, because they’re amazing. And then the beard and the scruff, the drizzle down their face. I had so much fun.”

For more from Romita, check out the full article at USA Today‘s site.

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