Jerry Robinson (1922-2011)

It’s a very sad day in the world of comics as news comes that industry legend, creator of The Joker, and co-creator of Robin, Jerry Robinson has passed away. He was 89.

A native of New Jersey, Robinson began working in comics at age 17 when he was hired to join Bob Kane’s stable of assistants where he worked as an inker. Gradually, his responsibilities grew and he is recognized as being responsible for co-creating Robin and creating The Joker.

In the 1970s, Robinson joined Neal Adams as a fierce advocate for creator’s rights. Beloved throughout the industry, you could always find Robinson at a major comic book convention and in recent years he returned to the spotlight and received some well-deserved attention when The Dark Knight used him as a paid consultant on The Joker and brought Robinson’s name back to the spotlight.

This is sad news on a personal level. Josh and I had the honor of meeting Jerry Robinson just over a year ago when we sat down to talk to him about auctioning off some of the famous comic book art that her saved from destruction. We also chatted a bit about his experiences with The Dark Knight. You can find that interview below.

Jerry Robinson was a gentlemen and a pillar of the comic book community. He will be missed.

Update: DC Comics has released the following statements:

“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


  1. A true legend and in my opinion, one of those who sat at the table of the Comic Gods.

  2. Sad to read this. It was cool to see him at the NY cons the past couple of years. He seemed very nice and happy to talk with fans.

  3. wow, what would the batman / DC / Warner universe look like without Jerry Robinson?


  4. Awww man. 🙁

    Thanks for creating the greatest villain ever, and for sharing your art collection with the world. If anyone gets a shot to see the traveling exhibit with his collection, I HIGHLY recommend it.

  5. Even without reading the original stories, I can recognize the influence the man had on the industry. Damn shame to see him go.

  6. Sad to lose a GIANT in the industry. His work will always live on, happy trails Jerry and thanks.

  7. This is sad. A Batman without Joker is no Batman at all.

    What’s sadder is Bob Kane is taking credit for Jerry Robinson’s death.

  8. Man, very sad. I remember that interview you guys did with him well.

    RIP Mr Robinson.

  9. I’m very sorry to hear this. I love the guys work and I’m grateful that iFanboy in that interview, there’s little that I love more than hearing interviews and stories about the Golden Age.

  10. Oh man – what a sad day. Contributions don’t come any bigger than his. Vale Jerry.

  11. I had the pleasure to meet him a number of years ago when I received an art scholarship from school. I didn’t actually know who he was at the time but he was very nice to me. It wasn’t until I got home and looked him up that I geeked out. Went to see him talk at NYCC two cons ago where he went into his whole story about how he got into the business. Very interesting, entertaining, and funny. Going to miss him.

  12. Rest in Peace

  13. I and my son had the honor to meet him at the 2010 NYCC. He was very pleasant and signed a Joker comic for my son. I explained to my 9yr old the Mr.Robinson was the man who created The Joker, he just looked at him with such amazement in his eyes. Later on he would ask me who else he created, thank God I was able to remember that he was co-creator of Robin. RIP sir, you deserve it.

  14. very sad

  15. So sad to hear.

  16. Rest In Peace.

  17. Nice to see the NBC Nightly News gave a quick notice to Jerry Robinson tonight.

  18. I’ve really been interested in reading about comics history the last few years and it’s really revealed to me how big of a presence Jerry Robinson was. This book about him is pretty great: