Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Remembering a great comic book creator after 12 years

Bob Kane at the Movie Premire of Batman Forever!

Detective Comics # 27: May of 1939: the first Batman Comic!

The autobiography of the man himself, Bob Kane and I am privelege to have a copy of this book!
Bob Kane: Sir you are truly a role model for me, I am a extremely big fan of your creation, Batman, I have your autobiography, I have read the book a few times and I will treasure it dearly. Remembering you 12 years later, to the man who created the greatest comic book hero ever, Batman!

Bob Kane (born Robert Kahn, October 24, 1915 – November 3, 1998) was an American comic book artist and writer, credited as the creator of the DC Comics superhero Batman. He was inducted into both the comic book industry's Jack Kirby Hall of Fame in 1994 and the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame in 1996.


In early 1939, DC's success with the seminal superhero Superman in Action Comics prompted editors to scramble for more such heroes. In response, Bob Kane conceived "the Bat-Man". Kane said his influences for the character included actor Douglas Fairbanks' movie portrayal of the swashbuckler Zorro, Leonardo Da Vinci's diagram of the ornithopter, a flying machine with huge bat-like wings; and the 1930 film The Bat Whispers, based on Mary Rinehart's mystery novel The Circular Staircase.

Bill Finger joined Bob Kane's nascent studio in 1938. An aspiring writer and part-time shoe salesperson, he had met Kane at a party, and Kane later offered him a job ghost writing the strips Rusty and Clip Carson. He recalled that Kane

...had an idea for a character called 'Batman', and he'd like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane's, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of ... reddish tights, I believe, with boots ... no gloves, no gauntlets ... with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign ... BATMAN.

Finger said he offered such suggestions as giving the character a cowl and scalloped cape instead of wings; adding gloves; leaving the mask's eyeholes blank to connote mystery; and removing the bright red sections of the original costume, suggesting instead a gray-and-black color scheme. Finger additionally said his suggestions were influenced by Lee Falk's The Phantom, a syndicated newspaper comic strip character with which Kane was familiar as well.

Finger, who said he also devised the character's civilian name, Bruce Wayne, wrote the first Batman story, while Kane provided art. Kane, who had already submitted the proposal for Batman at DC and held a contract, is the only person given official company credit for Batman's creation. Comics historian Ron Goulart, in Comic Book Encyclopedia, refers to Batman as the "creation of artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger".

According to Kane, "Bill Finger was a contributing force on Batman right from the beginning. He wrote most of the great stories and was influential in setting the style and genre other writers would emulate ... I made Batman a superhero-vigilante when I first created him. Bill turned him into a scientific detective.

Within a year, Kane hired art assistants Jerry Robinson (initially as an inker) and George Roussos. Shortly afterward, when DC wanted more Batman stories than Kane's studio could deliver, the company assigned Dick Sprang and other in-house pencilers as "ghost artists", drawing uncredited under Kane's supervision. Future Justice League writer Gardner Fox wrote some early scripts, including the two-part story "The Monk" that introduced some of The Batman's first "Bat-" equipment.

In 1943, Kane left the Batman comic books to focus on penciling the daily Batman newspaper comic strip. DC Comics artists ghosting the comic-book stories now included Jack Burnley and Win Mortimer, with Robinson moving up as penciler and Fred Ray contributing some covers. After the strip finished in 1946, Kane returned to the comic books but, unknown to DC, had hired his own personal ghosts: Lew S. Schwartz from 1946-1953 and Sheldon Moldoff from 1953-1967.

Later life and career
As Kane's comic-book work tapered off in the 1960s, he parlayed his Batman status into minor celebrity. He enjoyed a post-comics career in TV animation, creating the characters Courageous Cat and Cool McCool, and as a painter showed his work in art galleries, although even some of these paintings were produced by ghost artists.
In 1989, Kane published the autobiography Batman and Me, with a second volume Batman and Me, The Saga Continues, in 1996.

He was set to make a cameo appearance in the 1989 movie Batman as the newspaper artist who prepares the drawing of the "Bat-Man" for Alexander Knox, but scheduling conflicts prevented this. Kane's trademark square signature can still be seen clearly on the drawing the news cartoonist gave to Knox. In the novelization of the movie, the character is identified as "Bob the cartoonist".

Kane died on November 3, 1998, from natural causes, leaving behind his wife, Elizabeth Sanders (Kane), an actress who appeared in three Batman films, a daughter, Deborah Majeski, and a grandson. Kane is buried at Forest Lawn - Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Batman creator dies at 83

Bob Kane's Batman: In continuous publication for more than 50 years

Bob Kane, the comic book artist and writer who created Batman for DC comics while still in his teens, has died at the age of 83.
The President and Editor in Chief of DC Comics, Jenette Kahn, said, "Bob Kane is a giant in the field of popular culture, one of a handful of people who launched the comic book industry and who gave the world a group of characters so colourful and that they continue to captivate every new generation.

Creator of a 20th century icon

"Bob will be greatly missed, but he has left a legacy that will keep his memory alive."

Bob Kane, a self-proclaimed "doodler" once said he was inspired to draw Batman after studying Leonardo da Vinci's drawings.

An immediate hit, the caped crusader has been in continuous publication since 1940, with new stories every month.

This feat of almost superhuman endurance is shared only by Wonder Woman and Superman.

Batman's bid to rid Gotham City of crime and fear also took off in newspaper strips, movie shorts, an animated cartoon series, the memorable 1960s live-action television show, and four money-spinning Warner Brothers feature films.

Besides conceiving the Dark Knight, Mr Kane was also the cartoonist on the comic series when Robin the Boy Wonder, the Joker, Catwoman and the Riddler - among others - made their first appearances

He also created the television cartoon characters Courageous Cat, Minute Mouse, and Cool McCool. More recently he served as a consultant on the Batman films.

Mr Kane, who died at his home in California, is survived by his wife, and daughter.

Look! Up in the sky!

The caped crusader was unique on the superhero scene of the 40's as an ordinary human being with no super powers.

Traumatised by witnessing the murder of his parents, the young Bruce Wayne vows to avenge their deaths by spending the rest of his life bringing criminals to justice in his home of Gotham.

He uses his vast fortune to study criminology, train his body and mind to perfection, and assemble a batcave full of vehicles and gadgets.

When he is startled one night by a bat outside his window, he decides to dress as a "bat" man to strike fear into the "cowardly and superstitious" criminal heart.

At various times, Batman is also known as the Dark Knight, the Darknight Detective, and the Caped Crusader.

Since he first began fighting crime, Batman and his supporting cast have spawned a number of new comics

Bat Facts

Real Name: Bruce Wayne

Occupation: Owner of Wayne Enterprises and crime fighter.

Known Allies: Nightwing, Robin, The Oracle, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, The Huntress, Superman, Alfred Pennyworth, The Flash (Wally West), and Azrael.

Known Enemies: The Joker, The Penguin, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, The Scarecrow, Ra's Al Ghul, The Mad Hatter, The Riddler, Mr. Freeze.

Batman is the main star of six comics including Batman: Shadow Of The Bat, The Batman Chronicles, and The Batman Adventures.

One of Batman's hallmarks is his stock of crime-fighting gadgets. Perhaps best known are his Utility Belt, the Batmobile, the Batplane, the Batrope, the Batcycle, the Batboat, and the Bat Signal.

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