We both served, a few years later, with Hans Georg Rauch and Rinalto Traini, on the jury of the Montreal International Salon of Caricature.
You can also see here a caricature he drew of me on a trip to a cartoon festival in St. Estève, France, in the early 90's.
From Comic Book Resources.
R.I.P. Jerry Robinson, Joker Creator & Comics Ambassador
Jerry Robinson, a pioneer of the comics form best known by fans for creating the Joker but also praised for his work as a comics historian and creator rights advocate, has died at age 89.
Robinson was born in Trenton, New Jersey on New Year's Day in 1922. At only 17 years of age, the aspiring artist was hired as an inker by Batman creator Bob Kane, and over the next several years, Robinson offered as much visual input into the character's world and cast as his originator. Robinson co-created Robin, the Boy Wonder and is often credited as the primary influence for arch-villain the Joker, though Kane and Robinson would clash over credit for the villain's creation in later years. The artist was soon hired away from Kane's shop by "Batman" publisher DC/National Comics, for which he served as a staff artist, drawing many of the most striking covers of comics Golden Age.
Over the course of his early years in comics, Robinson proved a creative and social dynamo, moonlighting as a comics artist on projects such as the infamous "created in one night" issue of "Daredevil" while taking classes in Journalism at Columbia University. "I was always a political animal," Robinson told CBR News last year. As the production of comic books wound down near the end of World War II, Robinson moved primarily to newspaper comic strips where he remained for the late '50s, '60s and '70s, becoming known for Editorial illustration, political satire strips such as his long-running "Still Life With Robinson" and lush cover paintings for Broadway's "Playbill." The artist also served as President of both the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists (AAEC) and the National Cartoonists Society (NCS), and remains the only person to receive both honors.
In the 1970s, Robinson returned to the national spotlight as a comics historian and advocate for the rights of artists. "Starting in 1972, I curated the first comics at a fine art gallery. That was, I think, the year after, or almost simultaneously, with a show at the Louvre on comics, which I went over to see. I think that started it," the artist recalled in a conversation with CBR earlier this year. "The following year, I was a guest curator at the Kennedy Library in Washington, where we did I think the largest show ever held on the comics. Certainly in the US. It was the size of a couple football fields and had all the genres of the comics. So it's been a long time, but more and more universities and colleges have taken it on as a course of study, serious scholars and so forth." That renewed interest in the medium combined with Robinson's curatorial interests to create "The Comics" -- one of the first definitive books on the strip comic artform as a whole, written by Robinson in 1974 and recently published in a new edition by Dark Horse.
Shortly thereafter, Robinson became a key figure along with artist Neal Adams in the fight to get Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster proper credit and pay for their hero from DC Comics. Robinson himself saw the benefits of a corporate culture at DC and Warner Bros. become arguably more appreciative of its original creatives in recent years as he served as a paid creative consultant for the company on projects including Christopher Nolan's "The Dark Knight" which drew heavily on Robinson's original stories in its portrayal of the Joker.
In recent years, Robinson rode a wave of publicity and public appearances surrounding not only the books by him and about his life, but also for his contributions to comics as a whole. He curated more exhibitions of original comics art, and last year auctioned off some of his most acclaimed original cover artwork from the Golden Age.
Jerry Robinson, 'Batman' illustrator, dies at 89
Jerry Robinson, a pioneer in the early days of Batman comics and a key force in the creation of Robin the Boy Wonder; the Joker; Bruce Wayne's butler, Alfred; and Two-Face, has died in New York City. He was 89.
The illustrator with a far-ranging career - after shifting in the early 1960s into political cartooning, he was president of the National Cartoonists Society and then author of the exhaustive and well-regarded "The Comics: An Illustrated History of Comic Strip Art" - died Wednesday, according to Michael E. Uslan, a family friend and an executive producer of the Batman feature films since the 1980s.
Born on New Year's Day in 1922 in Trenton, N.J., Robinson was a still a teenager when he stepped into the fledgling comic book industry. He had met Bob Kane, who showed him the just-published issue of Detective Comics No. 27, which introduced a masked manhunter called Batman. Robinson was wearing a white painter's jacket that caught the eye of Kane because the teen had covered it with his own illustrations.
"That was a fad then, kids would get these linen jackets ... and personalize them with all this razzmatazz," Robinson told The Times in 2009. "Someone tapped me on the shoulder and asked, 'Hey, who drew that stuff?' It was Bob Kane. ... He showed me the issue that was on sale there at the local village. I wasn't very impressed."
However, Robinson, fresh out of high school and selling ice cream, was impressed with the offer of an art-table job in New York City. Just 17, he began inking over the pencil drawings of older artists but eventually moved up to the job of penciling - the marquee spot in the production chain.
Working with Kane - who was a decade older - opened new frontiers, but Kane also took the credit when Batman became a sensation. After Robinson started working with Kane and Bill Finger on Batman in 1939, he came up with the name "Robin" for Batman's sidekick, and he was the creator or key contributor to the first and formative appearances of the Joker, Two-Face and Alfred the butler.
Comics historians acknowledge that the polished, high-verve style of Robinson is clearly evident in many issues that do not bear his name.
In those early days of the comics industry, the product was seen as totally disposable. Young Robinson, though, so admired the work of his older peers that he fished their pages of original art out of the trash. Years later, that salvage effort gave Robinson the most esteemed collection of original art from the golden age of comics. Artifacts from his archive were displayed at museums, including the Skirball Cultural Center in 2009, then privately auctioned in 2010.
For today's comic book artists, Robinson was one of the last and most admired links to the genesis era of the American superhero.
"Jerry Robinson illustrated some of the defining images of pop culture's greatest icons," said Jim Lee, perhaps the most popular comic-book artist of the past 25 years and now co-publisher of DC Entertainment. "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."
Neal Adams, the comic book artist who became a fan favorite in the 1960s and a champion for creator rights, said that young Robinson brought energy and intuitive understanding of his audience to the Batman comics. Nothing showed that more, Adams said, than the addition of Robin, the plucky daredevil sidekick who provided an entry point for every kid who spent their nickels on Detective Comics.
"As I grew up and fell into this stuff, I realized that everything I liked about Batman ending up being the stuff that Jerry Robinson created," Adams said Thursday. "When I started doing Batman the stuff that came back in - Two-Face, who they hadn't used in years, and the Joker and Alfred - all was from the stuff that Jerry Robinson did, and when you go see the films, a lot of that is there too."
Comic books were just one stop in Robinson's long and eclectic career. There was also the 1953-55 comic strip "Jett Scott," created with screenwriter Sheldon Stark, and his work as a curator with a specialty in art-as-activism, which led to two major exhibitions, the Ecotoon collection of environmental art at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and the Human Rights collection of political commentary in Vienna in 1993. Robinson also contributed to more than a dozen books and shot photographs around the world for exhibition and publication.
Robinson's satirical eye led to two award-winning newspaper features, "Still Life" and "Life With Robinson," syndicated throughout the 1960s and '70s and part of a three-decade career of published political commentary. The New York Times once praised Robinson and his newsprint humor for "a commentary more humorous and his approach more timeless than that of most other political cartoonists." Far from Gotham City, Robinson considered this to be the defining core of his career.
"I did 32 years of political cartoons, one every day for six days a week, I wrote and drew every word, every line," Robinson told The Times in 2010. "That body of work is the one I'm proudest of. ...While my time on 'Batman' was important and exciting and notable considering the characters that came out of it, it was really just the start of my life."
Still, Robinson was proud of his years working in comics and the success of the recent Batman films brought Robinson back into the spotlight, but watching Batman, the Joker, Alfred, Two-Face break box-office records was bittersweet.
"It was based on a playing card and the character had a lot of mystery to him early on," Robinson said of the Joker. "We had no idea, of course, that we'd still be talking about him all these years later. When I think of the money from that movie - a billion dollars - I get a chill. ... We should have copyrighted what we had done. ...We were young and no one could have seen all of this. ...It was a new industry and we were pioneering a new mythology. We had no past so we had very few rules. We also didn't expect any of it to last."
Robinson is survived by his wife, Gro; his son, Jens Robinson; his daughter, Kristin Robinson-White; and two grandchildren.
From The Comics Journal: