Bob Kane was the original artist of the 'Batman' comic, which was an immediate hit and has been in continuous publication since 1940, with new stories almost every month. 'Batman' was unique on the superhero scene of the 1940s as an ordinary human without any super powers.
After publishing his first pages in Wow! in 1936, Kane began working for the Eisner-Iger studio in New York City as a staff artist. He created 'Hiram Hick' and between 1937 and 1939, he drew features and fillers like 'Jest Laffs', 'Pluto' and 'Peter Pupp' under the Fiction House label. In 1938 he also started working at National/DC Comics, at the time when 'Superman' was just appearing. He started out doing (filler) features like 'Professor Doolittle' (in Adventure Comics), 'Ginger Snap' (in More Fun), and 'Oscar the Gumshoe' (in Detective Comics).
Kane drew a couple of adventure features written by Bill Finger, such as 'Rusty and his Pals' in Adventure Comics and 'Clip Carson' in Action Comics. The collaboration with Finger eventually led to the creation of 'Batman' in 1939. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #27 and shortly after the publication of the issue, Kane hired artist Jerry Robinson to assist him on the feature. Kane and his team also created all kinds of colorful and bizarre criminals such as 'The Joker', 'Catwoman', 'Two Face', 'The Penguin' and 'The Riddler'.
Kane would illustrate 'Batman' until the mid-1940s, and although his name appeared on the strip until 1964, the work was done mostly by other artists, initially Robinson, and later also Stan Kaye, Sheldon Moldoff, Dick Sprang, Jack Burnley, and Carmine Infantino.
As Batman evolved, a brooding, threatening quality was sustained in its predominantly black, night-time panels. The feature's quick success had led to several comic books, a newspaper strip version and two movie serials long before the campy TV version of the 1960s. 'Batman' has additionally appeared on virtually every form of merchandising known.
In the 1950s, Kane was asked to come to Hollywood to create a cartoon character and the TV show 'Courageous Cat' developed from this. Later, he was asked to help with the development of the upcoming Batman TV show in 1965. Kane also created another cartoon in 1969 called 'Cool McCool'. In the late 1960s he began exhibiting paintings in galleries on both coasts. He released several sets of prints since the late 1970s and then wasn't involved with comics anymore.
Bob Kane passed away after a long illness in November 1998 in California.
(N.Y. Times article, Nov. 1998)