Jerry Robinson was a comic book artist best known for his work on DC Comics’ Batman line of books during the early 1940′s, helping to create one of the most iconic villains in comics, the Joker, and working for creator’s rights.
In 1939 Batman creator, Bob Kane, discovered a 17-year-old Jerry Robinson, who was attending Columbia University as a journalism student. Hired as an inker and letterer on the new comic book, within a year he moved to primary inker. During his time with National Comics, Robinson worked alongside other Golden Age greats such as Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (yes, they should sound familiar they created Superman) and Jack Kirby (you’ve heard of the 4th World and the New Gods, perhaps?). When it was time to add a new member to the early Bat-family, he suggested the name Robin (after Robin Hood), and soon a young Dick Grayson turned up at Wayne Manor, forever changing the tone of the Batman books. If helping add one character to the Batman myth was not enough, soon after Robin’s entrance, he came up with the character the Joker, modeling him after Conrad Veidt’s character in The Man Who Laughs. The actual creator of the character, the Joker, has always been argued. Bob Kane maintained that he and Bill Finger, created him, but the majority of comic book historians credit Robinson with it. When Kane left the Batman comic books in 1943, to focus on the Batman newspaper comic strips, Robinson took over full penciling duties on the books until 1944.
Jerry Robinson did much more in his lifetime to add to the medium that I love dearly, but giving the best hero, his best friend, and the best nemesis, makes me forever grateful for his contributions.