A couple of weeks ago, Clang! Boom! Steam! and I got the chance to talk to John Romita, Jr. about a number of things, but mainly it was Kick-Ass that we were there to talk about.
John Romita, Jr. is the artist of Kick-Ass, but he’s been in comics drawing flagship Marvel titles and characters since the late 1970s. He’s had a tenure with pretty much every major Marvel character and his art has aged like a fine wine over the years, getting better and better. John Romita’s name on a book these days is a mark of quality and consistency.
When the first issue of Kick-Ass came out, it seemed like a stretch for Romita, who had always done these mainstream, all-ages Marvel books. Kick-Ass is a fairly violent, bloody book. No one would have guessed that it would have suited Romita so well.
During our interview, one of the first things we talked about was the level of controversy that is sure to be stirred once the media and conservatives catch wind of the character of Hit-Girl. (Hit-Girl is a profanity spewing, 8 year old, bad-guy-killing, bad-ass.)
“I thought, ‘My God, there’s going to be some controversy about that character.’ And then I’ve lost all semblance of my morals, because I remember days when I would say, ‘That’s way over the top, I don’t care for movies like that,’ because when I had a baby, I had to be more careful about what my son sees and I’d never let him see that sort of thing and as he got older and he saw things on the Internet, I couldn’t shield him from every single thing, even regular TV. So here I am at the point where I have a 13 year old son and he was IN the movie as an extra, and I can’t keep him from seeing it, and he’s even talked me into reading the whole 8 issues, so, so much for me being a ‘moral’ father. I think that the controversy will actually help out. The minute some wacko on the right complains about the indignity of the film and the degrading nature of it, more people will want to see it. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, but from a financial point of view, more see it. From a fathers point of view, I’m almost embarrassed to embrace all the good that happens to it and I’m sorry to all the parents.”
After we talked about the controversy, we talked about the translation of his work into the film, his career as an artist, the future of Kick-Ass (as well as about the sequel to Kick-Ass) and his current work on The Avengers and the Heroic Age of Marvel.
The last thing we talked about in the interview is John Romita’s upcoming work with Howard Chaykin Shmuggy and Bimbo.
“It’s the best story I’ve ever worked on. It’s based on two formerly live people that grew up in the forties with my parents. Two hit-men. There’s more to them along the super-natural lines that meets the eye.”
He also related to us a tremendous story about Mark Millar and the time he tried to drink whiskey through various bodily orifices.
In the interview, we talked a little bit about the Kick-Ass movie book, it’s available from Titan and you can pick up a copy on Amazon here.
Titan has also been good enough to provide us with a copy to give away to you guys that’s part of the grand prize Kick-Ass contest ending Friday. There will be a full review of the book later in the week as part of our countdown to Kick-Ass!
Kick-Ass is published by Marvel in the US and Titan Books in the UK