Jerry Robinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey as the son of a Russian immigrant father and a mother from Manhattan. He grew up poor during the depression years, and wanted to become a journalist. He earned a living selling ice cream, until he was hired by Bob Kane to work in his studio on the recently started 'Batman' title in 1939. He worked in the studio for a couple of years, together with Kane and writer Bill Finger on all the 'Batman' stories. Although Robinson and Finger never received bylines, they were the main authors of the feature, and the creators of the villain 'The Joker' and 'Robin the Boy Wonder'.
From 1941, Robinson, accompanied by Finger, went to work directly for DC. His main job remained the 'Batman' strip until 1947, but he also went to work for other companies. For Lev Gleason, he did the 'London' feature for Daredevil Comics. He worked on 'Green Hornet' for Harvey from 1942 to 1943, 'Atoman' for Spark in 1944, 'Fighting Yank' and 'Black Terror' (together with Mort Meskin) for Nedor from 1946 to 1949. Robinson also worked with Meskin for National/DC, drawing 'The Vigilante' and 'Johnny Quick' from 1946 to 1949.
In the 1950s, Robinson was a teacher at the School of Visual Arts. He worked for Stan Lee at Timely during this period, where he illustrated stories for many crime, romance, war and western titles. He also made cover illustrations for the 'Bible Tales For Young Folk' title at Official Magazine Corp.
In 1953, he briefly left the comic book field and created the newspaper strip about science investigator 'Jet Scott' for the Herald Tribune Syndicate, together with writer Sheldon Stark. Due to the heavy workload, Robinson dropped the strip after a couple of years and went on to illustrate about 30 book covers for varying publishers.
Robinson eventually returned to comic books in the early 1960s. He illustrated for several of Dell Publishing's movie and TV tie-in titles, such as 'Lassie', 'Bat Masterson', 'Rocky and Bullwinkle' and 'Nancy Parker'. Robinson then went to work as a newspaper strip cartoonist, and created the satirical 'Still Life' daily panel (1963) and the popular 'Flubs & Fluffs' page for the New York Sunday News (1964).
Flubbs & Fluffs
Robinson is also well-known for his work as a comics historian, and political activist. Robinson was president of the National Cartoonist Society from 1967 to 1969. His work for this organization led to the establishment of the Cartoonist and Writers Syndicate.
Jerry Robinson, born 1 January 1922, passed away on 7 December 2011 in Staten Island, New York, survived by a wife and daughter.