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Lot
92254

John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #121 "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1973)....

2013 February 21-23 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature Auction - New York #7073

 
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Auction Ended On: Feb 22, 2013
Item Activity: 15 Internet/mail/phone bidders Number of Bidders
16,989 page views
Location: Ukrainian Institute of America at The Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion
2 East 79th Street
New York, NY 10075

Description:
John Romita Sr. Amazing Spider-Man #121 "The Night Gwen Stacy Died" Cover Original Art (Marvel, 1973). Some say the death of Gwen Stacy marked the end of the Silver Age of comics. "This was the end of innocence for comics... it remains one of the most potent stories ever published," was Arnold Blumberg's comment in Comic Book Marketplace.
The caption at the lower right crystallizes the theme of the most desirable piece of 1970s comic art we've auctioned to date. "Not a trick! Not an imaginary tale -- but the most startling unexpected turning point in this web-slinger's entire life. How can Spider-Man go on after being faced with this almost unbelievable death?"
It's a story that fans still talk about, and the most sense-shattering deathblow in comics. Letters from outraged fans flooded the Marvel offices, and led to another mini-controversy... did Stan Lee OK this storyline or not?
The loss of Gwen marked nothing less than an end to the carefree fun and offbeat innocence of the Silver Age era. Spider-Man and the Marvel Age of Heroes were never quite so merry after this story.
This dynamic cover spotlights the taut suspense in an almost unbearable manner -- who among the beloved ASM cast would die? Many a fan thought, "Oh, please let it be Norman Osborn." Any Spider-fan who bought this issue off the spinner-rack has this iconic scene seared into his/her comic consciousness. With this scene, John Romita and Gerry Conway marked a tragic milestone for the world-famous Spider-Man saga launched by Steve Ditko and Stan Lee -- and for Marvelites, landmark issue covers just can't get better than this.
The image area of this eye-popping bombshell, showcasing John Romita Sr. at the height of his talent, measures 10" x 15". The art has some overall paper aging, a horizontal crease in the middle (at the level of the top of Spider-Man's head), a tear on the right side, and scattered staining that has little effect on the overwhelming power of the image; otherwise, the art is in Very Good condition. John Romita signed the page at the lower right. It's not just a classic cover -- it's a priceless piece of Bronze Age Marvel lore.

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.

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