I was particularly saddened to learn today that Jerry Robinson had passed away at age 89. There have already been dozens of posts on the internet about Jerry’s passing. He was one of the last of the great Golden Age artists. More than that, he was a preeminent comic book historian and a staunch advocate for the rights of comic book creators. He was a true gentleman and will be missed by everyone in the comic book community.
I had a rare and pleasurable opportunity to spend a little time with Jerry at the 2007 Heroes Con in Charlotte, NC. In those days I was still producing the Golden Age of Comic Books Podcast, and Jerry was more than willing to sit with me and answer my questions, many of which I’m sure he had been asked many times before. He didn’t rush the time we had together and was genuinely interested in talking to me about the Golden Age. I had been a fan of Jerry for many years before that day, and he had always been my favorite Golden Age artist (despite never getting the credit he was due for many years). I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed spending time with Jerry that day, and he reenforced my love for the Golden Age.
Jerry’s unique perspective of having spent a lifetime in the comic book world (he started working for Bob Kane at age 17), no doubt led to his interest in the history of the medium. He worked hard over the years to chronicle the evolution of comic art, and his book, “The Comics” is a must read for any fan of the history of comics. His passion for the art form spilled over into his desire to protect the rights and interests of creators, and for years Jerry worked to ensure that every creator was treated fairly and with respect.
While Jerry’s presence will surely be missed, his contributions will endure for generations to come. His creation of The Joker and intimate involvement in the evolution of The Batman and all of his supporting characters will continue to influence popular culture for many years.
Following are a few of my favorite Golden Age Batman covers by Jerry.