DC Comics, the largest English-language publisher of comics in the world, and home to Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman announced today that legendary Batman comic book artist Jerry Robinson, a key contributor during the early years of the Batman comic book series, will be a creative consultant for the company.
“It’s an honor to have Jerry complete his journey from DC’s bullpen to advising us on characters he was intimately involved with, and the international world of comics he knows so well,” said Paul Levitz, DC Comics President and Publisher.
“I am delighted to be affiliated with DC Comics, my alma mater, as Creative Consultant,” said Jerry Robinson. “I look forward to working with Paul Levitz, whom I greatly admire, and the enormously talented DC editors, artists and writers.”
Born on January 1, 1922 in Trenton, New Jersey, Robinson was a student at Columbia University in New York when he first began working for Batman creator Bob Kane in 1939. Kane, along with writer Bill Finger, had just created Batman for National Comics, the company that would eventually become DC Comics. Robinson first began as a letterer and background inker, eventually moving into the role of penciller and primary inker for the early Batman strips.
In 1942, Robinson began a stint as the series’ main artist, followed by other comic book legends, including Dick Sprang. Robinson played a vital role in the early appearances of legendary Batman characters, notably The Joker, Robin, Alfred, and The Penguin, and executed many of the iconic covers of the Golden Age of comic books.
After leaving the Batman line, Robinson continued working in the comic book field, writing and drawing numerous features for a variety of publishers. In 1961 he began a new career, creating the political/social satire “still life” and later “Life with Robinson,” syndicated daily for 34 years. Another popular creation ”Flubs & Fluffs” ran in the Sunday New York News for over two decades.
Robinson’s new role as creative consultant will reunite the legendary creator with many of the characters he spent decades working with, including the Batman.
ABOUT JERRY ROBINSON:
In addition to his comic book work, Jerry Robinson is an accomplished artist, writer, historian and curator. Robinson’s published works include The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art (Putnam), acclaimed as the definitive study of the genre. His other books include the biography, Skippy and Percy Crosby (Holt), and The 1970s: Best Political Cartoons of the Decade (McGraw-Hill). Robinson‘s drawings of Broadway theatre appeared for years in Playbill magazine. He is the co-art director of the hour-long animation, “Stereotypes,” filmed at the Soyuzmult Studios in Moscow, and co-author of the musical Astra: A Comic Book Opera. The premiere of Astra was performed in Washington, DC in June 2007. A graphic novel adaptation of Astra was published in Japan and the U.S.
Robinson has made several tours of Europe, North Africa, Japan and Korea entertaining the armed forces. He has traveled to over 40 countries, serving on international art juries and as comics curator, including the first exhibition of American cartoon art in Tokyo, Taipai, Warsaw and Moscow; and others in Portugal, Slovenia and Ukraine. At the invitation of the United Nations, Robinson’s company CartoonArts International produced major exhibitions at UN summits in Rio de Janeiro (ecology), Cairo (development) and Vienna (human rights).
Robinson produced numerous exhibitions in the U.S., including the first show of American comic art at a major fine art gallery, the Graham Gallery in New York (1972). He served as special consultant for the largest cartoon art exhibition, at The Kennedy Center, Washington DC, and for the landmark show at Whitney Museum in New York. In 2004 he produced the first in-depth exhibition of the super-hero genre, The Superhero: The Golden Age of Comic Books 1939 –1950 at the Breman Museum, Atlanta, which is now on world tour. In 2006, Robinson curated the exhibition, The Superhero: Good and Evil in American Comics, at the Jewish Museum in New York.
Robinson was a member of the faculty of the School of Visual Arts, The New School, Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute, all in New York City. An exhibition of his color photography was held at SVA Galleries. In 2000 Scriptorium Films produced a ninety-minute television documentary on Robinson’s career for Brazilian TV. Harry N. Abrams will publish Robinson’s biography, written by Professor Christopher Couch in 2008. Robinson is currently the curator for the United Nations exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that will be opened by the UN Secretary General on December 10, 2007.
Robinson served as president of both the National Cartoonists Society and the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists, the only person so honored by his peers. In 1978 he founded Cartoonists & Writers Syndicate/CartoonArts International, which represents political and humor artists from around the world.
Robinson has been honored time and again for his contributions to comics, including the National Cartoonists Society award for the Best Comic Book Artist (1956), the first year that award was given; the Best Newspaper Panel Cartoon for Still Life (1963); and their Special Features Award for Flubs & Fluffs (1965). Robinson received the Milton Caniff Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He received the Clampett Humanitarian Award in 1999 and was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2004.