Thursday, December 8, 2011

Jerry Robinson, pioneering Batman artist, 1922-2011

It was my great honor to know Jerry Robinson (early Batman artist; co-creator of Robin and the Joker; brave advocate for Superman creators Siegel and Shuster), who passed away on 12/7/11. New Year’s Day would’ve been his 90th birthday.

Many others have already paid tribute to him knowledgeably and beautifully, including Ty Templeton (artist for Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman), so all I can add is my brief personal experience with Jerry.

From 2006 (over the phone) to this summer (on camera, for a documentary), he selflessly spent hours telling me about his old friend Bill Finger. One of the most poignant surprises (and fluky twists) in my upcoming Finger book is thanks to Jerry.

At times Jerry would call me—to ask for my address to invite me to an exhibit opening, to ask if Bill’s second wife should be invited to the Bill Finger Awards. I was always surprised he remembered who I was. I suspect dozens of new people thrust themselves into his life each week, and somehow he managed to keep them straight and make time for all of them. I’ve speculated more than once that Jerry probably gave at least one interview a day.

He was a class act in every direction, to all of us whose paths were lucky to cross his. His contributions were not only artistic but altruistic. He didn't need a cape to be a crusader.

You'll still be expected at my book's launch party, Jerry, and now I'm counting on you to bring Bill, too.

1 comment:

Mel said...

I just found out today when it was in my local paper. I'm glad they gave him credit as the Joker co-creator. I met Jerry at Comic-Con many years ago along with Marty Nodell, so it was nice to meet Finger's artists on both Batman and Green Lantern. Jerry was a super nice guy and I'm glad I got to meet him, especially since Robin is my favorite character, and I can say I meet the teenager who served as his inspiration. The world of comics has lost an ambassador of creators' rights.