The nerd community and even the world of popular culture lost a great person last night. Jerry Robinson was the creator of the Joker and is well known for his work on the early Batman, which he began at 17 as a journalism student. He passed away in his sleep last night at the age of 89.
Robinson, on the Joker:
We did know we had a great character in the present. And as soon as we did it, we knew we had one for longer than the first story.
Of course, by playing such an integral part in the creation of one of the cornerstones of the Batman collective, he created a legacy.
Later in his life, he advocated for cartoonists’ rights and he worked with DC Comics as a “creative consultant”. In 2004, he was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame.
These are some of the statements released by DC about Robinson:
“Jerry Robinson illustrated some of the defining images of pop culture’s greatest icons. As an artist myself, it’s impossible not to feel humbled by his body of work. Everyone who loves comics owes Jerry a debt of gratitude for the rich legacy that he leaves behind.”—Jim Lee, DC Entertainment Co-Publisher and artist of BATMAN: HUSH
“Jerry Robinson was one of the greats. He continued to be a vibrant, creative force well into his nineties, with ideas and thoughts that continue to inspire. Jerry was a great advocate for creators. It was my pleasure to meet and work with him. He will be missed.”—Dan DiDio, Co-Publisher, DC Entertainment
“It’s impossible to work at DC Entertainment without feeling the impact of Jerry Robinson’s contributions to the industry. His influence continues to resonate today.”—Bob Harras, DC Entertainment Editor-in-Chief
“Jerry Robinson was an innovator, a pioneer in storytelling. His artwork was always astonishing, but his contributions to the Dark Knight mythology go far beyond art. The streets of Gotham City are a little lonelier today…Jerry will truly be missed.”—Mike Marts, BATMAN editor
Newsarama also included a recent interview with Robinson at the bottom of their article here.
We can appreciate him for his talent and his dedication to the art of comic books, and for his contribution to our nerdverse. To his friends and family, however, he was obviously much more than that. RIP.