John Romita Sr.’s 1974 Origins of Marvel Comics original cover art will be sold at auction.
For generations of comics readers including myself, this paperback compendium of first and famous appearances – featuring the likes of the Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, the Sub-Mariner, the Silver Surfer, Thor, Doctor Strange and the Hulk – served as their introductions to these heroes.
The book could be found in both bookstores and libraries, which was a rarity for anything comic-book related in those days. And who better to provide the art for this cover than legendary comic artist Romita, providing a rarely seen painting, foregoing his usual pen-and-ink creations. This image holds a special place in countless comic fans’ hearts — a piece that epitomizes what Marvel Comics means to readers! Gouache over graphite and blue pencil on illustration board with an image area of 14.5″ x 21.5”.
This is what the finished cover looked like
The beloved book by Stan Lee was so successful that it spawned annual sequels which became the mainstays in any Marvel fan’s collection.
As Stan Lee wrote in his prologue to this collection, “Somewhere out there, furtively skulking amongst Marvel-dom, what if there be some hapless soul who hath not yet tasted the heady nectar of Marvel mania? Even one such luckless holdout means we’ve somehow failed.”